Big Mess

I guess messiness is part of my job description. Poop and the such mark my days as a stay at home dad. This morning, however, was one of the biggest to date...

I was taking out some trash and emptying our compost, which has been sitting for far too long. I find some degree of satisfaction in utilizing all of the banana peels and avocado shells for something outside of just tossing them, but if you don't empty the inside can regularly, fruit flies abound. Well, in the process of doing so (gone for only a couple minutes), I came back in to find our youngest jumping on top of the dining room table, covered in oatmeal with more oatmeal spread about like grass seed. "Uh oh, Waverly made a big mess," our oldest said, as I began the cleanup process...

Not today's mess, but one for the record books. (Yes, that is what you think it is...)

Oatmeal is really difficult to clean up, by the way, in case you haven't had experience doing so. When you wipe it, it just kind of dissolves and mushes further into whatever surface you're cleaning. Also, it gets in your kids' hair and won't come out. I have learned, through not a few messes with our first kid, that it is best to cleanup in process. Just handle one thing at a time and then go to the next. Clean her clothes first and then wipe her off. Shut her in a room (part of her punishment) and then start at the floor, working your way up to the table. One of the hardest parts to all of this is finding the little unexpected places where said mess found itself. Today it was on the pile of unfolded clean clothes in the corner.

After it was all done, and I began to make my breakfast (not oatmeal), I realized that I pretty much managed to keep my cool during this one. Sometimes these things will get the best of you, and you will find yourself yelling, pulling your hair out, asking your children and God, "Why?!" But today my response was a stern reprimand for Waverly, and then a step-by-step cleanup process. Now they are watching TV while I am recounting the whole thing for you, faithful readers, my blood pressure at a normal level and hopefully no minutes removed from the end of my life due to stress. And so I think the takeaway is this: messes will happen inevitably, but they will be cleaned and life will go on. It's nice to be able to give your kid a hug after it is all said and done and move on with life with no hard feelings.