Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Path of Least Messiness


Of the myriad of challenges presented to parents, one consideration, at times, must be to take the path of least messiness. One such Samantha Claeys is linked to this tenant quite strongly. And I have overheard her mother remark that she is just like her father. But I can't possibly be as much a messy Marvin as my daughter, could I??

Just the other day, after tireless continuous moments of bending to pick up miscellaneous, apparently unrelated, trinkets Sam was getting restless and just had to do something. This was after dishes, kirchen duty, filling drinks, folding laundry, cleaning tables, and other everyday tasks. I was just a bit tired and knew that whatever Sam wanted to do, it probably involved a mess.

"I wanna take a baffff". "I wannna take-a BAFFFFF Daddy-a" suggested a determined Sam. Thoughts of bathtub overflow, rather , ...Sam pouring water out of the tub, immediately filled my head. Random plastic animals and other unidentifiable plastic pieces lying next to the toilet (which I do clean on a regular basis) or the toilet paper stuffed elephant trash can. Hmmmmm.

"Sam, we took a bath yesterday. No bath tonight. Lets find something else to do" I said. Then I tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to gather all her animals around in a circle to tell them a story or sing them a song. It was an elaborate attempt at persuasion. I demonstrably described a scene where all her animals, in their various groups, could sit quietly, gazing and reflecting on the story or song that the stunning Princess Sam conveyed. After obviously entering into my little painted picture, she came to her senses.

"I don't wanna tell my animals a story, ..... I wanna take a bath". Crap. Returning volleys, I tried again. "What else can we do Sam?? Sorry, no bath, let's find something else. What can you do??"

"OK, .... I wanna cut some paper". OK this will work I thought. A confined mess. A localized mess. Easier to pick up. This sounded good, .. at least better, .... until...

As she sat at the table eager to "cut", she exclaimed and demanded "glitter". "I need glitter Daddy, where's my glitter. Oh, I will get it" Ahhh geez, glitter.

Before she was able to get her hands on the scissors, much less glitter, I hit her with the counter-offer. "Let's go take a bath Sam" And off I went upstairs. As usual, her first reponse was "What??". "Lets take a bath" I said.

"O--Kaaaaayyyyyy"

And upstairs she went to find as many plastic-molded items as she could fit in her plastic-molded tote. I think that the grand assortment of bric a brac displaces more water in the tub than she does. Ahhh, such is the life of a parent. As far as path of least messiness, I do not know if I succeeded.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009