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Anatomy of a Mess (PHOTOS)

Baby mess

Good times

If I had to account for my time each day, I’d say a good four hours is spent cleaning up my children (and after them). Their faces, their hands, their toys, their butts. I clean, they get dirty. It’s my job to clean, it’s their job to be messy. It’s cool.

However, as much as I’m a bit obsessive compulsive about cleanliness and order, sometimes it’s kind of fun to let the mess just happen. The other night I knew my little Peony needed a bath, so I decided to make the bath really worth it. I stripped her down to her diaper and let her have at her dinner of pasta with red sauce and peas.

The results were quite glorious, and she had a blast shoveling it in while simultaneously coating herself from head to toe. Take a look:


  • Tasty fun 1 of 12
    Tasty fun
    Good food + good fun = a winning combination.
  • Hee hee 2 of 12
    Hee hee
    Making a mess agrees with me.
  • Shovel, shovel 3 of 12
    Shovel, shovel
    Excuse me, please, while I cram in a bit more food.
  • I’m back 4 of 12
    I'm back
    Have I mentioned these are good times?
  • Water break! 5 of 12
    Water break!
    Chug-a-lug
  • Where was I? 6 of 12
    Where was I?
    Oh, yes. I missed a spot right here.
  • The pièce de résistance 7 of 12
    The pièce de résistance
    Or, rather, the peas de résistance.
  • Bath time 8 of 12
    Bath time
    Dirty? Who? Me?
  • Squeeee 9 of 12
    Squeeee
    At least this is fun, too.
  • I clean up real nice 10 of 12
    I clean up real nice
    Don't you agree?
  • P.S. 11 of 12
    P.S.
    Enjoy these dirty moments while you can.
    Pictured here: Peony's older sister, Petunia, circa February 5, 2010
  • Clean as a whistle 12 of 12
    Clean as a whistle
    Because some day soon, before you know it, the messes become a thing of the past. (At least the messy faces do.)
    Pictured here: Peony's older sister, Petunia, circa July 30, 2012

Photo credits: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Baby’s First Year:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Strollerderby, follow her on Twitter, and read her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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