I am (very slowly) learning to give in to the chaos and mess that rules when having all three children at home 24/7 and trying to give them the freedom to just be children. The other day, after we headed home from forest school, is a perfect example of this. We had been looking at dinosaurs at forest school all morning, and they had thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, they were full of ideas and enthusiasm to create their own dino worlds once we returned home. This apparently involved…..sand from the sand pit, water, mud from the mud kitchen bucket, indoor toys in the form of dinosaurs (and lots of them between the three of them), and generally creating a lovely wet muddy mess on the (now very overgrown) lawn….oh sorry, that should be beautifully created dinosaur world…and then three sets of muddy children’s footprints coming in and out, followed of course by the furry collie dog who was trailing them everywhere!! As you can imagine, for my inner control freak this was quite a test….sand belongs in a sand pit where it can be reused….mud in the mud kitchen bucket…and water, well all I can say is at least I got to the washing that was drying before the muddy wetness did!!
I am having to learn to “let go” and take a big breath, turn away, and mutter to myself, “it can all be cleaned and washed”, if I want to give the trio the type of childhood I am striving for. They are happy, they are having fun, they are being creative, and above all, they are being allowed to be children without so many grown ups’ issues holding them back….but it is taking a lot of effort for me to learn to let them be like this. I’ve always been ok with them up to their necks in mud, wrapped up in wellies and waterproofs, pulled off to reveal pristine clothing underneath before entering the house, but now the warmer weather is here it is more of a challenge, especially with house and garden being one large open area now.
With all this challenging my inner control freak, I am hoping (and already am) to see some changes in the trio, and set up some life values. They should be even more resilient to bugs (of the illness generating variety), thus making them healthier and having a better natural immunity. I see them being very creative most of the time at home, but this is another outlet for it. They are learning and developing all the time while they are out there getting wet and dirty. Studies have shown it can improve cognitive development (hopefully making them smarter and balancing my rather ropey home education skills!!). It makes the children very very very happy, and what could a parent wish for more, than three happy children totally absorbed in what they are doing, battles forgotten. It is also another way for the children to connect to nature, bring them closer to it, and in turn learn to appreciate it and respect it. The total of this sum at the end, is hopefully, lots of lovely childhood memories 🙂