Thursday, April 14, 2011

Messy, Messy, Messy

I just solved the mystery of the missing pee.

This morning, when I awoke at 5:30 to get L., I discovered a certain blonde girl sleeping in between J. and I, wearing mismatched pajamas. Not that unusual a circumstance, but she HAD been matching when she went to bed. And wearing a pull-up.

Future examination revealed a wet pair of pajama pants in her hamper, but dry sheets on her bed. She admitted to changing and that her pants were wet, but insisted nothing had gotten on the sheets.

Strange (that the pants were in the hamper, not on the floor!) and stranger still.

And then, this afternoon, I stepped in the evidence. Apparently before she got in our bed, she had spent some time in the sleeping bag that stays on our floor to help ward off our nighttime companion. The puddle was still pooled underneath the polyester princesses.

Care label on the sleeping bag:
Keep bag completely zipped while laundering.
Use only front load, non-agitating washing machine.
Wash on gentle cycle, cold.

Guess what sleeping bag is now agitating away on hot in my top loader? I did zip it up, though.

That's my N.
Creating laundry conundrums for me on a daily basis.
  • Do you wash a dress with a black top and a white skirt with the darks or the lights?
  • How do you remove crusty oatmeal from a mermaid dress up costume that says "spot clean only"? (A mermaid dress you can't get wet? Okay.)
  • Proper spot treatment for ground in play doh, strawberry juice, sparkle nail polish, and marker? (sometimes all on the same shirt)
  • Is this set of pajamas actually dirty or did it get worn from 2:10PM until 3:40PM and then thrown into a corner of her room in favor of a pair of floral comfy pants?
I once read somewhere that you should really avoid creating labels for your children, even in subtle and unspoken ways. That makes all kinds of sense to me. You certainly don't want them identifying themselves as "the smart one" or "the athletic one." But I'm pretty sure we've already marked out a path for Miss N. to be "the messy one."

Here is O. after eating a bowl of ice cream:

And N., after the same ice cream eating experience:


Whenever I sweep up the kitchen floor (a little more often now, only because L. is crawling), the biggest swath of crumbs is directly under her chair at the table. We play with play doh, and half of hers ends up on the chair or halfway across the room.

After she's mixed all the colors. Shudder.

Italic
A good portion of my day is spent following the trail of mess that she leaves in her wake. Barbie pile here, dress up clothes there, a swirl of cut up bits of paper from a coloring book over under
the dining room table.

She invents "projects," often having to do with liquid soap, cups of water, and/or toothpaste. She dips pieces of toilet paper into the sink filled with water, wraps washcloths around things to create sculptures, and smears sticky substances all over any surface she comes into contact with.

Here she is in the middle of one such project.


This actually began as a craft project I initiated. We were supposed to make a sculpture of sorts out of yarn and a homemade glue made of cornstarch and water. When dry, it would harden into an ornament you could hang to display. O. quickly jumped ship because it involved getting your hands goopy. N. decided it was much more fun just to mess around with the ingredients.

Sometimes, when N. is in full-on princess mode, I get concerned about the messages that are shaping her. When she only wants to grow up to be a mermaid, and talks non-stop about dancing at royal balls, dressing for weddings, and wants to buy books about bridesmaids, I get concerned that she's getting sucked up in the Disney marketing machine.

She wants only to wear sparkly flats that give her blisters, and sleeveless short nightgowns that leave her hands and feet feeling like popsicles. ("I don't cay if I'm chi-wy!") I worry that she is already thinking that one must suffer for fashion.

I wonder where she gets all of her interest in ruffles and items only in shades of pink and purple. Surely not from me, who has not had hair long enough for a pony tail since I graduated from high school, and practically spent my childhood in overall shorts and a sideways baseball hat.

At Pinkalicious, The Musical

But then I remember that she is also this messy, messy joyous girl. The one who is the first to dig with me in the dirt for worms. Who sits right down in the sandbox with no regard for her skirt. The one who is willing to scoop the 'guts' out of the jack-o-lantern. The one who prefers spaghetti noodles to penne so she can slurp it, sauce flying everywhere. Who laughs louder than anyone in the house.
This one, peeking out with the smile I so adore.

Yes, this girl is definitely the princess who rules around here, but I don't think she'd be too bothered by any peas under her mattress. She'd be too busy wrinkling up the sheets to make sure they are comfy-cozy.


She looks so old here, like the kind of girlfriend
you'd like to hang out with and giggle.
Yes, just about my favorite thing to do.