Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What a Mess

Lately, everywhere I've looked I've seen images of kids enjoying messy play. They're playing with vats of slimy spaghetti, sifting their fingers through boxes of beans and rice, and wading in  paddling pools full of jelly with wide smiles on their sticky little faces.

And so this morning, after cleaning down the kitchen, I decided to fill a large box with flour and oil, scatter in some shells and invite the boy to come and play.

I watched the flour mould itself beneath his fingers and I watched it scatter itself like snow around the box; I watched it become matted on his knees, bum and shoes and I saw the kitchen floor turn white; I watched it appear on his face and in his hair and I saw him run the full length of the kitchen, leaving a trail of flour in his wake; I felt it sprinkling on my hair, I saw it sticking to my camera and I watched in disbelief as he tried to body-surf in the box.

And as I sat on the floor in a big pile of flour, desperately trying not to loose it over the mess that I'd wilfully created, I thought: I'm either the best mother in the world or just a complete idiot.

And I couldn't for the life of me work out which one it was.


  1. that by me cleaned the kitchen and THEN you let him loose with the messy play? You are a saint, that is what you are.

  2. He looks like he had lots of fun though. That's the thing!
    A large splash mat, and stripped to nappy and sleeved bin might help next time!

  3. I think the outdoors is calling you both! And shaving foam is very popular with the knee high crowd.

  4. He knows which one it is, Helen!
    Bobby in Shropshire

  5. Surely the best. Though it will get worse before it gets better (actually thinking about it we are still not at better just a little more elaborate)!

  6. Sure you had the ratio of flour to oil right? Cloud dough isn't sooo messy but fun to play with. Orcould play in the bath with it? Hope it cleared up OK!

  7. I'd have lost it - but then I knew from a very early stage I was not a playing Mummy. More of a cooking Mummy. They still have happy memories. Do what feels right, you don't have to do what everyone else is doing