Messy Times with Toddlers


I wrote a post this morning and it was a little over-the-top. I read it over three times before just discarding it. What is the point of having a blog if it is just full of bitching and moaning? Clearly, that’s not why ya’ll tune in!

So then I did some cleaning, and I took my little babies down stairs to do some Christmas gift painting and, of course, it was a total mess.

I’m one of those moms who is trying to get used to mess. I mean, my house isn’t spotless by any means or fashion (especially right now), but I’m talking about those messes that are typically associated with childhood. The crazy mud mess, the crazy dirt mess, the crazy “ohh no, we got into the costco-sized flour” mess… or, in this case, the “paint is everywhere!” mess. I’m just not into it. I know that Bounty and Clorox want me to shake my head lovingly, get on my hands and knees, and start scrubbing when my boys just start wrecking the world… but…. I kinda don’t want to do that. I’d rather just avoid it.

So this was very controlled, but still properly creative painting.





and the result was still mess. Paint all over everyone’s clothes and hands and arms…I think there is some in hair… I can’t tell. All I know is, stuff was painted, and so was my table, and so were my sons. But they had fun, if only for 15 minutes. Also, I hope that those little clay painted hearts dry prettier than they look when wet… because I can’t give those to anyone in their current form. They’re kinda… how can I say this? Not adorable. I don’t even know if great-grandma can find any love for those…


There is still a lot to do. I’m not going to complain. But there is a lot. I’m still here and I’m working hard, but as the house deteriorates in a good way, I’m feeling overwhelmed in a bad way. This place is slowly turning into that space that it was when we first moved in but didn’t really decorate–just blank walls and not a lot of charm. Of course, there is plenty of evidence that two toddlers live here–what with fresh jelly stains and hand prints…

With no preschool this week, Ursa Major has been hanging out and bored. I’m doing my best to keep him interested but, eventually, he pokes his head up and says “we need to go to school!” I keep telling him that school is closed for Christmas, and then, of course, he starts asking about freaking Christmas. Every time the UPS truck goes by, he’s like “is it Christmas?”

And I just realized… that’s really bad!!

Wait… Ursa Major is gonna have Santa problems before he even really gets down with Santa!??

…oh God… oh God… oh God!!!!

…. gonna have to take a deep breath and come up with a solution to that. Later.


What I was gonna say before I had that little bloggy freak-out is that I had to take both of the boys with me to the grocery store yesterday. I was worried that it was going to be a bad time, especially because Ursa Major was going to have to hoof it because I needed all of the room in the basked. Sure enough, as soon as we got in the door and Ursa Major was told that he wouldn’t be riding in the basket, he starts up the screamy screams. I picked him right up and had a little chat with him in front of the store, told him that he could “help” push the basket, or else we’d have to turn around and go home.

Miraculously, the chat worked. He was pretty much perfect for the entirety of the trip! Toward the end of the trip, probably a good 40 minutes in, he got board and let go of the basket. He meandered toward the paths of other carts and what what… but it didn’t take much to get him back in line. I was so proud of him!

I so wanted to write something nice for today, or even tomorrow. The truth is, though, that my brain is fried and segmented. Divided between tasks for here, tasks for the house, tasks for Christmas, and a new short story that I’m working on. That’s right–I’m chasing the next challenge. This time, I’m working with my writing group to write a story good enough to submit to Lightspeed’s all Lady’s issue. I love reading genre-fiction, but I’ve had a hard time writing it. Anyway, that’s going to be my project for the next month–Deadline is February 14th. My personal deadline is January 31st. Then I’ll take 14 days to get up the courage to actually submit the damn thing.

…. thinking about actually submitting my work to a real and actual editor gives me heart palpitations…


I have to keep this brief today–we got another half-foot of snow thanks to freaking winter… and I need to clean off my car. I also want to sneak in a little bit of fiction before the boys wake up and I have to get at things like dinner. I will do my best to write something profound on Friday. I’m sure I’ve learned something this week, even if it’s “advil no longer works to make my lower back feel better.” I’ll find something to write worthy of your page views.

Until then, stay warm. Remember that there are people out there who could probably use your time, money, or gently used clothing during this season of giving. Every time I see the weather forecast, I think about the people living on the streets in front of places that I hold so dear, like Harvard Square, or on Boston Common, or sometimes on the National Mall in DC or around the National Harbor in Baltimore… there are places in our communities where there is someone cold and hungry. I gave Ursa Major two quarters to put in the red Salvation Army bucket on the way into the grocery store yesterday. Two little coins… and he was more interested in the bell that that cold volunteer was ringing. But it was his first charitable act. His first of many. It didn’t mean anything to him, and those two quarters are tiny little things, but they are the beginning of a much larger and more important lesson. My two boys are warm, their bellies are full, and their going to have a great Christmas. I never, ever forget how fortunate we are.

See you Friday.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ugh. I totally have a hard time handling craft messes like that! I feel bad sometimes that I’m robbing my kids of their creativity, but honestly, some days it’s just too much! What a good mom to let them paint for a little bit when you were obviously already feeling stressed! Hope you have a Merry Christmas blogging friend! 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I feel like the “messy creativity” can live at school. Let other people clean up this mess. I have no problem looking at the boys and being like “nope.” When it comes to this.

      Then again, I don’t want to stifle the creativity. Let’s not lie, though, Ursa Minor did the painting for a good 5 minutes and then it was all I could to do prevent him from touching ALL OF THE THINGS! (thus the shirt pic. Which I still haven’t washed… Crayola CLAIMS that ish is washable… but…. I just don’t believe it!)

      And I’m a horrible mom. So horrible. We’ve been in this house all week watching television and not going outside to frolic in the snow. 1) I hate being cold. 2) Ursa Minor doesn’t have snow pants and will just get wet and cold. 3) the snow is, at this point, taller than Ursa Minor and he’d probably get stuck. 4) I hate the snow. 5) Why isn’t winter over yet?

      See why I’m a terrible mother?

      And of course, since I live in the pretty suburbs now, all of the OTHER moms are talking about how “light and fluffy” the snow is, and how that is “perfect for skiing” and “wouldn’t it be lovely to get the kids out on the slopes?”

      ….. …… ……. I think that toddlers and skiis and rich moms and snow and cold represents Hell. Seriously. If God could create a personal hell for Kyra, it would be that.

      See? Again! Horrible mother!

      1. Not horrible! You and I would be bests if we lived close. 🙂 It’s currently snowing here right now and I refuse to leave the house because then it would require shoveling, and no thank you. So therefore, I’m going to stay home all day and my kids will also watch entirely too much tv!! You’re a mother after my own heart! The snow is beautiful to look at. 🙂

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