- Published on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 16:59
By Shara Lawrence-Weiss
I used to be a "No" mom, also: "No, not right now. That's too messy. I really don't want to have to clean that up, okay?" Or, "No, that isn't safe. You can't do it." Even after working as a nanny for more than 16 years, and as a teacher aide in a Preschool filled with paint, glitter, glue, play-doh, googly eyes and pipe cleaners - it took me a while to figure out that my own kids, in the safety of their home, need to make messes, explore, dig into their imaginations and create things...
Even if those things don't always make a lot of sense to me, personally.
Today, my four-year-old came running into the room. He exclaimed, "Mom! I'm going to make you a craft!" I thought, "Oh, Lordy. That can only mean one thing: BIG MESS." I caught myself quickly and replied positively, "Great! What did you have in mind?" He showed me his collection of cups, tape and one paper towel roll. He told me that he was going to tape cups to the roll, as legs. I let him try and he soon realized it wasn't working too well. He got frustrated and said, "It isn't working!"
I told him that it would probably work better if we used thumb tacks. This isn't too safe, I know. I wouldn't do this in a Preschool setting but at home it turned out to be a good experiment. The thumb tacks worked okay and then he decided to tape one more cup onto the roll. He was so proud of himself and said, "Mom, now you can go put this in your office! Go. Do it."
So I did. It's sitting beside me now, as I chuckle.
This was one of my favorite portions from the Hip Homeschool Moms post:
It’s been a few years since I really set out to change the way I thought about and responded to the requests of my children. I haven’t been perfect. Like you, I am a constant work-in-progress...
I was chatting with two ladies earlier today, on Twitter, about how moms often judge each other. It's easy to get caught in that trap but really - we're all imperfect people, attempting to work our way through life and parenthood. Every day is another chance to get it right or do it better. I'm trying, as I'm sure you are, too. I struggle with the messes and the clean-up but when I sit back and allow my kids to do these things, they learn.
Some of my amazing colleagues are always saying, "Kids learn best through play! Let them explore and get messy!" They are right. I'm so glad to have them on this journey with me and so happy to be learning from the path they walked before me. Thanks Sally, Ava, Louise, Wendy, Deborah and Darla. I value your blog posts, insights, wisdom and friendships. Thank you for helping me over the years and for encouraging your readers to embrace the messiness of play. You may not always feel as though you are making a difference but you are. I pay attention to the things you say and other parents do, too. On behalf of the "moms who used to say NO too often club" - I appreciate you.