Mr. T leaves crazy little play tableaus all over the house. Constantly. He immerses himself in an imaginary landscape and lingers there, and then eventually moves to another room, another game before I’ve noticed what’s happened.
There are Zoob creations on the couch. Zoob creations beside The Beatles.
The other day when I sat in my writing chair and tried to put my feet on the footrest, I discovered this:
Not to mention the constant explosion of pens and pencils across the kitchen table. Sometimes he uses them as art supplies. Sometimes they’re yet more characters in his games.
Does he clean up one “mess” before starting another? Why, of course not!
This drives Chris absolutely crazy. He’s one of those rare husbands who is neater than his wife. (Which is wonderful in many ways–the man knows how to wield a vacuum–but it can also make me feel like I’m a slob. Which I don’t think I am. Usually.)
I understand the need to help Mr. T take responsibility and learn to clean up after himself. But I’m a sucker for creative messes. The “I’m still playing with that” excuse works on me every time. Because he really does flit back and forth between his games. I’m always willing to let an imaginary world live on a little longer, at the risk of a cluttered living room.
I don’t do well with enforcing the old rule: You have to clean up one mess before you start another.
Plus, I’m home with Mr. T all day. I appreciate the fact that I have a kid who is able to entertain himself for hours–even if it means that I can’t walk through the upstairs hallway.
So I struggle with knowing when to insist on clean-up, and when to let the clutter lie. Yes, I want Mr. T to learn to clean up after himself. Yes, I want a neat house. Yes, I want to keep my husband sane.
But I also understand that when your kid snaps together a bunch of Zoobs and forms something he calls A Galaxy of Wonder, it’s, well, wondrous.