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Sometimes You Have to Make A Mess To Clean A Mess

By Naomi Odes |

toddler eating yogurt

That's another mess I need to clean up.

This morning was one of those super challenging mornings of motherhood. I fell asleep too late (as usual) and my sleep was interrupted (as usual).  Then for some odd reason, my eighteen-month-old woke up way earlier than normal. He was sprightly and ready for action. No chance of him going back to bed. He’s usually the one who wakes up later, so I was surprised when his 3 year-old brother was still snoozing quite comfortably.

I managed to pry my eyes open and take him to the kitchen.


For as late as I stayed up last night, the dishes from dinner still seemed to be in the sink, spilling onto the counter.  What on earth was I doing, you might ask? Oh, I don’t know, sitting on my a$$ for the first time all day, that’s what.

These are the moments when I have to step back and take it one step at a time.

Step 1.  Get some food for the Fuzzball so he doesn’t freak out.

Step 2.  Coffee: I would never get this step done without Step 1

Step 3.  Food for me.

Step 4.  Dishes.

In order to get the dishes done, Fuzz needed to be occupied. I encouraged him to play in our “new” vintage toy kitchen we received in the mail last week from Grandma. It was mine growing up and my mom couldn’t stand to sell it. So, it arrived in pieces throughout the last week. The kids love it.

However, Fuzz was not interested in playing with the fake kitchen. He wanted to be up near me, arms in the sink, helping in the REAL kitchen. Yet another instance where I curse the IKEA stool.  He loves to play with water as much as the vacuum cleaner and his attention would not be diverted.

I’m all for the kids being able to see what’s up on the countertops, but it’s nearly impossible to clean anything when a thirty-two inch person is standing next to me dumping bowlfuls of water on himself, the counter, and the floor. I figured, if I was quick enough, I could at least get the dishes done and then clean the mess on the floor afterwards, otherwise, I’d still have the mess in the sink.

I accomplished this mission. Yes, there was a lot of water on the floor, and Fuzz’s pajamas were soaked. But, he was going to change anyway, right?

I cleaned up the water relatively easily. I’m sure it could’ve been worse, like last week when he dumped an entire container of peppercorns and a package of grape tomatoes on the kitche floor, which he then proceeded to squish, one by one. That was a fun clean-up.

What about you? Do you ever have to let a mess happen in order to clean a mess?

Read more of my posts on Toddler Times.
Check out my personal blog. I Am Still Awake.
Follow me on Twitter.
Follow me on Pinterest.

More by Naomi:
The Adventures Of The Striped Bandit
Is Your 3 Year-Old In Tune With Your Emotions?
7 Foreign Objects Left By My Toddler

More on Babble

About Naomi Odes


Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Sometimes You Have to Make A Mess To Clean A Mess

  1. Yes! All the time. Like, let him take everything out of a drawer in the kitchen in order to get dinner cooked, or let him destroy the bathroom while I shower.

  2. Kerrie says:

    We go through a similar routine about 5 times a day. My heart goes out to you.

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