I like messy children.


Nothing gets my back up faster than my mom comparing our real lives to some sort of weird, idealistic picture of my childhood. Her favourite thing to do is say something along the lines of, ‘You are all always sick. You were never sick as a child. You should stop taking them out in public if it means they are going to get sick.’


Well, Friday, THIS happened:

If you are wondering what that is that Coconut is using to paint her face for her performance in the Noh Theatre, that’s nappy cream. Yes. Now, I already know from Snort’s mass consumption of this stuff at about ten months – and my subsequent panic call to emergency services – that it’s a low toxicity substance. Sure, it’s got my dubious ‘clean’ fingers in it all the time, but hey.

If my kid wants to paint her face, hell, I’m going to get the camera and snap a lot of pictures before I then attempt to wipe this water-resistant, wiping-resistant devil cream off her face and away from her eyes!

I thought it was cute.

About ten minutes after the above picture (all of this story happens while I am making dinner), I hear the melodic wailing of my boy child. I run into the lounge to see THIS:

Apparently after re-creaming her face (how did she get the cream again? Did I not hide it?), she decided the next logical step was to paint Snort’s face. I guess because that way, they could perform together. Or maybe confuse their identities. Or…or….rob a bank made out of snow, but no one would see them because they would be So White. The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, I snapped significantly fewer pictures this time, because she was still trying to paint his face with nappy cream, it was in his eyelashes, and he was screaming like hell.

Again, at the time, I wanted to pound back some wine because it had been Quite A Day, but I still appreciated the inherent cuteness of it all. Look! My funny, clever children coating themselves in low toxicity nappy cream! Ah, the wonder!

I thought it was cute enough to put on Facebook.

My mother’s response, ‘Well, where were YOU when all of this was happening?!?!?’ Like I’d bought secondhand nuclear missiles on eBay and given them hammers to use as drumsticks.

I think toddlerhood, much like pregnancy or giving birth, must be pleasantly fogged over as you age. Also, my mom had only me, in a huge and largely empty house – and I was stuck in a playpen the whole time. No matter how many times I explain that toddlers get the sniffles a lot, or that toddlers can magically find and make trouble, it doesn’t matter. And the whole twins thing? Useless.

Only another twin mama could understand what it is like to have twins. The considerations and complications of the wonderfulness of having two toddlers tagteam you – and two kids who are rapidly gaining in intelligence because they don’t seem to be bothered by the shocking lack of sleep in our house.

Where was I when this happened?

I was laughing, I was taking pictures, I was carefully wiping the cream off the rocking horse (what was upsetting Snort, as it turned out, much more than the cream in his eyes). I was swelled up with love for these messy, messy kids. For their creative brains, for their persistence, for this classically cute toddler moment that every house must have at least once….or ten thousand times…over the course of having toddlers.

I wouldn’t be anywhere else.



8 Responses to “I like messy children.”

  1. Michele Says:

    I do think you’re right about the realities of parenting becoming quite foggy over time. My mother frequently says things like “you NEVER cried in restaurants” or “you didn’t sleep through the night until you were 3” and then upon further investigation we realize that the truth is actually much more normalized (yes, sometimes I had tantrums, and I slept through the night by 1).

    I think this is kids’ time to explore and make messes (within reasonable constraints)! They are investigating the world and learning is still fun 🙂 I hope the day never comes that I value a clean house over a happy, curious baby.

  2. Katie B. Says:


    I’ve been learning lately to be much more relaxed about messes and play I think is too dangerous and and and.. I can’t say it’s easy for me, but it makes life a lot less stressful!

  3. mamacrow Says:

    (((HUGS))) yes of course you were in the thick of it! if you were never ill, never into mischieve, and never went out your Mom must have had a boring time of it… 😉

    I’m not a twin mama, but I can say, being the mama of several – and at one point, I had 3 under 5 – life is very often like this post!

  4. PottyMouthMommy Says:

    oh the horrors of nappy cream on EVERYTHING… my oldest darling got into some pretty sticky nappy stuff- and rubbed it into the carpet, her hair, the walls… where was mommy??

    Well, I was out in the living room enjoying a moment’s bloody peace thinking my sweet little angel was asleep in her crib. Little ninja climbed out, scaled the change table across the room and went to town… while remaining virtually silent. THIS people, is why video monitors were invented!!

    I now use an all-natural lip-glossy like nappy cream that is easy as pie to wipe off!! So hopefully, I won’t go through the sheer hell of trying to scrub nappy cream out of carpet this time around!! ach!

    Good luck with those two!! They sure seem like a couple of characters to me!

  5. mom2nji@gmail.com Says:

    I have a picture of Noah and Jordan COVERED in baby powder, along with an entire bedroom. They are beaming and laughing like loons. Its one of my favorites. Memories aren’t made in an immaculate house with a grouchy mom cleaning every second!

  6. talesofanunplannedpregnancy Says:

    You were preserving memories. Ugh. Our moms are so much alike.

  7. Kylie Hodges (kykaree) Says:


    My mother is exactly the same. I’ve been in Australia six weeks and mum kept stressing all the time that Joseph was rubbing dirt in his hair, kneeling in mud, eating snails etc

    And what was funny was that I remember my mum as being really relaxed about mess and having fun!

    I love toddlerhood, when can you be completely messy, honest, irrepressible and generally brattish at any other time of your life and get away with it?

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