Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yogurt Reminders

I drug out some old home movies the other night.  Video we had taken when Princess #1 was our one and only.  We recorded everything back then.  Oh look, Princess sneezed!  Grab the camera!  Ah, Princess is headed to the potty!  Grab the camera!  Princess is sleeping and doing nothing but laying there.  Grab the camera!

My poor Princesses #2,3 and 4.  Let me just apologize now for the great unbalance in amount of face time you get on film.  I could come up with a good excuse.  But I have none.  It's just your lot in life.

Anyway, back to the movies.  I was particularly captured by a 5 minute or so clip of Princess #1 eating when she was about 18 months old.  I was pregnant at the time with Princess #2 but did not know it yet.  I was a stay at home mom and was the videographer, although it must have been a Saturday because I could hear hubby's voice in the background.  Princess #1 was standing on a chair in our dining room, at the table, with a container of yogurt.  She had a spoon and was feeding herself.  Nicely dressed.  No bib.  You can imagine the dexterity of an 18 month old.  Especially with runny yogurt.

Hubby and I were laughing in the background as she tried with all her might to get the yogurt into her mouth.  She laughed with us.  She turned around and put her yogurt-y hands on the chair and kissed the back of it with her yogurt-y face.  As I watched, I waited to hear myself reprimand her for getting the chair messy.  But I never did.  I waited to hear the admonition to sit down.  It never came.  I waited to see hubby come onto the screen with a wet wash cloth and clean Princess #1 before she could get anything else messy.  But he never showed.

My how things have changed.  Hubby and I mused about how differently we would handle such a situation now.  Surely the reminders to sit down and not touch anything or make a mess would be the first to come from our mouths.  It occurred to me as I thought about this about how hubby and I tend to run our home in a "proactive" mode as opposed to a "reactive" mode.  If there's no mess made in the first place, then there's no mess to clean up.  I'm not sure at what point we made the switch, since clearly neither one of us were too concerned at the time of that video's filming about the state of our dining room chair or anything else within close proximity.  

It makes me a little bit sad, to be honest.  It makes me fear that I spend too much time worrying about the mess, and too little time enjoying the moment.  It was a good reminder, to see myself 6 years earlier, much more relaxed, much more joyful in the moment.  Obviously, our home has changed quite a bit since that video and I know that with that other things have to change too.  Allowing the Princesses to run amuck in the name of enjoying the moment isn't always the best path to a calm and nurturing home.  But there must be a balance in there right? If my lovely friend Michelle can allow her 6 children to throw old pumpkins off the roof and survive, surely I can allow a little yogurt mess now and then. 


  1. Gosh, I'm the opposite! I think I was more uptight about cleanliness with the first and second. By the third child I was just *tired*. And now after having #4 as long as there is no imminent fear of major structural damage occurring I just let them carry on and do my best to pick up the aftermath in my "free time".

  2. I'm there with you, girl! It's hard to just let kids be kids sometimes, when you know you're the one that's going to be cleaning the big mess at the end! I have to remind myself of the same things you talked about....


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