Somewhere along the lines, I heard a joke that went something like "If you enjoy a clean house, children are not for you" It went on to give stellar examples of sticky messes, toys in every room of the house, mystery substances and destroyed furniture. I thought back to my childhood, where I think we all believe we were far better behaved than reality. This was pre-children mind you, where I went....Nah....this must relate to "those" parents, "If I ever have children, they will follow the rules".
As is turned out, the Joke is solidly on me. Chore charts, written cleaning rules, verbal reminders, etc. all are lost to hectic schedules and three boys under the age of 10. They have 100 times the toys and activities options than I or my husband did growing up, which leads to 100 times the mess opportunities. Then we have the infamous YouTube channels that these kids are drawn to like insects to a bug zapper. These ideas and projects they try to emulate. *Face Palm* And yes, we monitor and limit YouTube in our home, but cannot control that of their friend's homes.
It's summertime, so the outdoors come in with every flower, plant, stick, rock, feather and leaf they save and give as gifts. Massive amounts of scotch tape is the crafting adhesive of choice (A for effort there). We're talking an entire roll per project. Scissors are often missing and markers mysteriously lose their caps. Pen tattoos are a daily occurrence along with marker colored hands, the same hands that lost those darn caps. And then we have the different cup, bowl and plate for every new snack and sip of water strategically placed throughout the house.
Are there days, I just want to lose my Sh*T?..... of course, just like days I contemplate a garage sale or donation since they clearly have too much; but I wouldn't trade the childhood they get to have or crush the creativity they exude. Parenting isn't for the faint of heart and some kids are just more creative than others at reminding us of that. The best we can do is lead by example and remember to breathe.