I have guests over. Chance is playing one of his favorite games, pulling all the DVD movies down from a shelf under our TV in the front room. He studies each of the DVD covers intently; some he smiles at (he particularly likes Dave Chappelle), some he just joyfully flings to the floor. Once he has a good pile going he slides them around on the rug like cars, scattering them everywhere. He plays this game at least once a day.
My guests are looking at me with that look. Finally one of them ventures, “Do you really want him to do that?”
“Yeah,” I say, “he’s having fun and there’s nothing that’s gonna hurt him.”
“Buuuuuut,” they say back with incredulous googly eyes, “he’s making a mess.” Capital M on mess implied. Doesn’t that drive you crazy, their looks seem to say, it’s messy and how will you ever keep up? What kind of unclean mother are you?
I consider explaining that I left the shelf that way on purpose when I babyproofed. I think about mentioning the stage of development he’s at; you know, exploring, pulling objects off shelves and out of boxes. Getting into things. Healthy stuff.
Finally, I shrug, “I don’t mind.” I watch quietly as their brains explode. Googly eyes roll along the carpet.
Seriously. I may be a little anal but if I was going to stress every time I had to pick up something I might as well go catatonic now, because the way I figure it, life is about 1/3rd cleaning up stuff. Or, at least, it seems that way lately.
I’ll sweep up the brain bits and eyeballs later, when I get around to the DVDs.
– the weirdgirl
"The silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload…"