What They Hear

“Scrub your plates,
And then the floor.
Wash your feet,
Then wash some more.”

Yet, through the filter
Of their brains,
The message shifts;
It’s not the same:

“Scrub your teeth,
With cookies, cake.
Wash the walls,
With homemade waste.”

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Photo by JACK REDGATE from Pexels

The Boy Mom Poem

Stinky socks and bathroom floors;
Gobs of green on walls and doors;

Messy hands and messy faces;
Random fights and random races;

‘Tempts to crush you in their hugs;
Burps and farts and gifts of bugs;

Yelling after throwing things…

Tugging heart and apron strings.

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Photo Credit: Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Everyone Needs to Get Messy, Especially Kids

My kids love to make messes. They’re not as enthusiastic about cleanup. At my most stressful, I tend to stand in the midst of their disaster area and say, “Well, don’t want to clean it up either! What if I decided to stop shopping for food and making dinner and cleaning your clothes??”

But those are not the sort of messes I wish to talk about today. Instead, I want to talk real messes, messes like: mud, water, dirt, homemade slime, and toasted marshmallows.

My 8-year-old came home from his Cub Scout Day Camp this week, his first time going. Covered head to toe in dirt and holding what he’d purchased at their little store, he glowed. They’d spent all day doing fun activities. They watched skits, shot a B.B. gun, and crafted. He had so. much. fun!

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Nothing warms my heart more than seeing deep, satisfied happiness on my kids’ faces. I see it when they are proud of something they worked on. There’s a flash of it when I laugh at a joke they told. There’s an almost tangible feeling of it when they’re arm-deep in sand at the beach, making castles or forts or whatnot.

We parents tend to think that fun has to be expensive. We buy gaming systems or children’s museum passes. We plan expensive vacations. We fork over cash for opening night at the movies and their overpriced concessions. We pay to attend the trampoline park, amusement park, waterslide park, or fun center park.

Why not just go to a park park?

Even if you’re not near a park or a backyard, you can still look up homemade crafts for home. I know slime’s extremely popular. Or Play-Doh. Or -even better- cookie dough.

Hands-on, tactile activities are more important for brain development than ‘strategy’ in a computer game. Interactions with physical materials help ground children (and adults) in reality. And, as I mentioned earlier, creating something with your own hands brings a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Besides, who doesn’t like to get messy?

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Here’s what I wrote this past week:

Sunday, July 14: Advised everyone to go jump in a sprinkler in “When the Summer Gets Hot, Get Sprinklers.

Monday, July 15: “Bedtime Routine Haiku.” If only they’d stay in bed.

Tuesday, July 16: Shared a quote by Ewan McGregor.

Wednesday, July 17: Recommended hitting after-holiday sales with “Shopping Tip 1.”

Thursday, July 18: “Guess I’ll Keep Him” -a snippet about my second son.

Friday, July 19: When life gets overrun with weeds, “Stop and Smell the Bindweed.”

Saturday, July 20: Shared Batman’s Mom‘s tweet about her snarky son.

Sunday, July 21: That’s today!

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Thank You, Businesses, for Free Events

We’ve hit our bi-annual Family Depression early this year, perhaps due to the combined costs of a surprise pregnancy and the final failing of our faulty water heater. I’d say to let the latter rest in peace, but honestly wanted the plumber to leave it behind so we could axe it in pieces.

At these times I start seriously considering rice and beans for dinners. I start examining the dryer lint and dropped hairs for re-use projects. I snap at the kids for running the water, the bathroom fan, their legs, and the lights.

Candles might be good…

This also means that any summer plans start involving internet searches for free events. I love free concerts, free splash pads, and free movies in the park. “Kids eat free” is another great one, though adding “…with paying adult” limits those of us who are not living polygamist lives.

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And I know hosting such money-less ventures is messy. When kids are involved, things get noisy and broken. Weird problems arise, like a rubber life-sized Transformers doll stuck in the drainage pipe.

Which is why I am grateful for those companies and public facilities that run them. I am.

Someday, long after they’ve retrieved the Transformer and cleaned up all the wrappers, I’ll return with a more mature crew. Maybe when the city is voting on increased funding for public parks I’ll recall how great the parks we went to were. I will definitely eat at restaurants that catered to us and were nice, and stay away from those that were not.

Even today, I leave an extra tip after my children leave behind a whirlwind.

So thanks, businesses and peoples. From one poor, grateful parent; your efforts mean a lot.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens