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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Bless this Mess

Written by Alanna Schiffer

There’s a special kind of chaos that comes along with having kids. But let’s not be too hasty here: it’s really many, many different kinds of mess. It’s an ever-changing, jet-powered, monkey-navigated camper van of destruction, and it grows with your family. Let’s take a closer look at the traditional pattern of Mess Evolution.

You start off with a clean house. Ha.

Congratulations! Your baby is here. Welcome to Phase 1: the

“I don’t have time to tidy up or fold laundry because I have a newborn, so everything smells faintly of spit-up”

mess. Fully tolerable. Nobody really minds this. Your baby’s cuteness really draws the eye away from any unwashed bottles in the sink.

Months pass. Phase 2 gradually begins: the

“toddler toys everywhere, Cheerios ground into the carpet, Goldfish under the couch cushions”

mess. This is also sort of cute, and not terribly gross. Those Goldfish are still edible. You will find yourself reaching into your 1-year-old’s mouth to pull one out, not knowing what she could possibly be eating, only to then feel bad for taking food away from her.

Soon, Phase 3. The

“Kindergartener is fully capable of tidying up after himself, but would simply prefer to cut styrofoam into tiny pieces all day, and make a hundred million signs that all need to be crookedly displayed on the walls with Scotch tape”

mess. Now it’s starting to get irritating, because do I really have to keep all this precious art you bring home? Like … ALL of it? Am I a bad mother if the fifth Kleenex box firetruck you make today just goes right in the recycling? You decide to do an experiment, and throw one thing away to see if he asks where it went. He doesn’t. Free at last! Just don’t let him look in the recycling bin.

At some point, the dreaded

“I am dealing with multiple kinds of kid-related mess at one time because I have more than one child now”

mess may befall your home. I’m thinking this is where the structural integrity of all domestic order really starts to crumble. There’s paper everywhere, and it’s covered in Cheerios, and the child who is pretty competent at colouring with markers is considerably less competent at keeping those markers away from his little sister.

This is when you get on WagJag or something and start looking for housecleaning deals. ($20 for 3 hours of cleaning? Be right back, buying twelve of these.)

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.