Finding A Creative Way To Celebrate Life’s (And My 3 Boys’) Messes
Words: mater mea
Visuals: Jennifer Currell
Messes come with the territory when you’re a mother. But, with the right outlook, those messes can be the makings of some wonderful family memories.
“As a mom, especially with boys, I'm always cleaning,” says special needs teacher and blogger Scherrie Donaldson, as her youngest son, 5-month-old Quinn, gurgles in seeming agreement.
That’s because as a mother of three adorable, “active, and messy” boys—Tristan (5), Avery (3), and newborn Quinn—Scherrie has a lot of messes to clean up after, some run-of-the-mill (Quinn just started eating pureed foods) and some incredibly creative.
“It's all kinds of messes that I would have never even thought of,” she says, laughing. “I didn't know modeling clay could make such a mess! You have to find the humor in it or you will pull your hair out.”
Finding the humor in modeling clay smears, poo (there’s a lot of it), and chocolate cupcake stains on fresh white shirts helps this mom enjoy the silliness that led to these accidents. It sounds easier said than done, but Scherrie lets us in how she and her husband turn their boys’ messes into memories, thanks to a big sense of humor and a little help from Clorox.
I get creative. (Laughs) I just taught them to clean up after themselves. They don't really do a good job, but they kind of start cleaning up the mess, and then I go over it with Clorox® Wipes. Boys in the bathroom is a big thing. (Laughs) I have one who just potty trained, and he just goes everywhere. We keep the Clorox® Wipes right next to the toilet, so I teach him to wipe it off, and then we go back over and clean it up. We let the boys feel like they're cleaning, but then we go over it with real cleaning.
There's a little bucket next to the tub that we just leave there for things like [Quinn’s poopy onesies]. It goes in there with water and a little bit of Clorox® Regular-Bleach to soak. That's something that's always there at this point. Last week, we thought Avery was taking a nap, [but] he comes into the room with a handful of poo. (Laughs) He's like, "Mommy, I pooped." "Why is it in your hand?" My husband and I tried to figure out where it came from and I think maybe it rolled out of his shorts. (Laughs) That went into the little green bucket with some water and Clorox Bleach. We have the Clorox wipes everywhere. We had to wipe down the floor, we tried to figure out where he walked. (Laughs)
It's like, “Okay, you came in the room with a ball of poo in your hand.” In the moment, it wasn't that funny, but looking back on it, you're like, "Wait, I see that’s a story I’ll tell you when you get older." And knowing that Quinn is our last child, it's like we're trying to savor those moments even more—just smiling and enjoying the time, because the time flies so quickly. Looking back now, it's hard to even remember, when my 5 year old was Quinn’s age.
One way that we celebrate is that we have a lot of pictures of doing silly things. My son went to a birthday party in a white shirt and somebody gave him a big chocolate cupcake, and he got it on his face and on his shirt. We just snapped pictures! Clothes and things can get cleaned, so really it's not a big deal. We have a lot of pictures of them with oatmeal on the head or cupcakes on the face, so we try to make light of it, celebrate them, and keep track [of these messy moments].
This post is sponsored by Clorox—helping you find the joy in making a mess.