I actually love the above photo. I have a very strong-willed little miss, and this picture captures some of her personality perfectly. This is most of our days. Far from the picture perfect one toy out at a time minimalist beauty of the nurseries, playrooms and bedrooms I fixated on over Pinterest for my entire pregnancy, most of my days are spent following a little whirlwind around, putting things back after she has torn them from her shelves.
The thing is, I'm a preschool teacher. In my non-maternity leave life, I am in a classroom of children and I spend a significant part of my September each year hammering home the idea that we take one thing out at a time, and we replace our materials after work, and that we take care of things. And for some utterly bizarre (I guess I can blame pregnancy hormones??) reason, I thought it would be fairly simple to teach my baby the same thing. Let me repeat that for those who are laughing too hard to have really grasped it. I thought I could teach my infant how to clean up.
Clearly infants are not my specialty.
So. I have decided, during this phase of 'everything must be dumped', that my job, as a Montessori mum and wanting to follow the child, is to do the best I can in maintaining her space. Part of my postpartum depression manifests as OCD and I get particular about the house- so I'm learning to let that go. I put things away as she dumps them out and loses interest. I sportscast what I'm doing- "You threw ALL the blocks on the floor. I'm putting them in the basket and away, now." I do this, over and over and over, every day. Sometimes that means I let her dump a few shelves in her quest for mess before I start tidying up behind her.
And then sometimes, I have to take a minute to go to the bathroom and I come back to this.
Everything on the floor. Everything out of the shelves. In the space of 2 minutes. And I take a deep breath, and take a picture of that hilarious face looking at me like 'What are you doing back so soon, mum?' and I laugh. I should have been prepared for this, but I wasn't. And it seems bizarre to me that I wasn't. And my life is a bit messier and sometimes (most days) her rooms don't look like perfect Pinterest rooms because she's decided the most important thing she needs right now is to practice trying my patience and dumping every basket and every shelf on the floor.
And that's okay. It will all get placed back eventually.
(At least I'm ready for when she's 3. I've got that age down.)