The destruction a three year old can do in the time span of five minutes is both astounding and impressive. She is a force to be reckoned with and she’s hard to keep up with. We are caught between fostering a blossoming imagination and wanting sanity with a somewhat slightly unmessy house.
The internal struggle to watch her at work is intense; minding her mess and her capability to clean it up is a full time job in and of itself. There is the logic that if she can take the toys out, she can put them back. But there’s the reality that she becomes so overwhelmed by her own tornado of fun that she can’t manage or offer any real ability to clean up her own mess.
Make no mistake, we walk her through cleaning it up. It’s a dreadful process and each time feels like the first time she’s ever cleaned. She’s got a good racket going on here and there are days where she can catch us unwilling to put up with the hellishly long process of telling her what to pick up and where to put it. On those days, she happily toddles off to wreck another room while we “clean sweep” the one she trashed.
Sometimes it feels like I’m chasing a wrecking ball- it’s like I’m instructing a wrecking ball to clean up what it pulls out to play with. And I get the same response from the child as I would expect from the wrecking ball.
It’s exhausting. I just want to see the carpet on the floor. I just want to not step in something wet when I’m in my sock feet. I just want to go to the bathroom and not see a morning constitution and way too much toilet paper in a toilet that’s just waiting patiently for someone to flush it.
It’s all part of learning…and she is learning. She is getting better. Slowly. Very slowly…she’s getting better.
And one day we will miss this. Not today, but one day.