96% of the Time

GUEST: a person who is invited to a place

I’m excited to have my friend Dana visiting today as a guest blogger to share about her approach to kid creativity (and the messes that come with it).  I’ve known Dana for more than two decades, but don’t see her in the flesh nearly enough.  Although, now that I know I can send my kids to her house to paint, the three hour drive to her town doesn’t seem so far. 


A mom friend came over for a play date and was in awe of my willingness to let The Smalls paint in the house.   It’s true.  96% of the time I say yes to creativity, even when the outcome will be a horrible mess.

When The Smalls are creative, I see amazing things. Sometimes I’m not sure about the specifics of the amazing things I’m seeing and need to tactfully request that The Smalls tell me about a particular creation. I’ve learned that just because a creature has nine legs, lion is not necessarily an inappropriate guess.  I’ve come to understand that “Drawing legs is more interesting than just drawing a tummy.”

Saying yes to messy creativity doesn’t make me immune to being annoyed when The Smalls leave creative carnage in the wake of a masterpiece.

Saying yes doesn’t mean we avoid mishaps. Like the impressive pumpkin tattoo drawn upside-down by my two year old that lasted for nearly three weeks (Crayola’s definition of washable, not mine).

Dana 1

Saying yes just means that after The Smalls create a Jackson Pollock all over my great room I clean up with a smile on the outside (occasionally letting a caps lock string of profanities loose on the inside) knowing that the rainbow of handprints made because they wanted to see a rainbow and it wasn’t “raining and sunning” today is a fair trade for some quality time with baby wipes and a mop.

Dana 2

I say yes because the joy of creative expression outweighs the hassle of cleaning the defiled hallway and bathroom that inevitably follows “Bloody Extra #2” washing up all by herself…

…96% of the time.


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