That being said, we don't want to be and we don't strive to be. We keep things generally clean and picked up but there are times when life spirals out of control with a centrifugal force that takes a herculean effort to stall it. When Cora was a baby I often thought, "This is a piece of cake. It's so easy to keep the house cleaned up. Why do some many people complain?". Ha! That was when she was immobile and was content to be strapped to mom or dad at all times. Fast forward, and we have a little "Cora the Destroyer" on our hands and life is just messier.
I've heard of kids that don't like to get dirty at all and that is not my kid. Dirt? Check. Grubby nails? Check. Water from the dog bowl (I do try and keep her out of the toilets)? Check. Food? Milk? Lint? Chalk? Sand? Boogers? Check, check, check, check, check and check. She's never really been discontent in a dirty diaper, although I usually don't give her long to complain, and getting her clothes all wet doesn't even make her flinch. She is an explorer (and destroyer) and she is always too wrapped up in the moment to be trifled by the grime of toddlerhood.
The other evening she asked very politely to go outside ("aht hide, aht hide, aht hide" while pointing out the back door). Right on the back stoop we have several plant pots vacant of vegetation but move-in ready with soil. I thought Cora would head right towards the swing but was instantly drawn towards aforementioned pots. We practiced moving soil from one pot to another.
After her excavation I thought she was ready to go back inside so I stripped her down to her diaper. Nope, she wanted to swing.
Ever seen a baby in a diaper after sitting in wood chips? Think hedgehog (I was too busy trying to pick prickly bits off to get a picture). So, we ended up playing the rest of the time like this. I love it that babies don't know to feel awkward when they are naked except for shoes!
Each day I am reminded that being a parent is one long endurance exercise in letting go. So much to let go of. Preconceived notions of what life is supposed to look like. What others think of you and your family as long as YOU are happy with YOU and your family. The rug underneath the dining room table as it becomes matted with rice and overboard food particles after the family meal. Picking up things only to have a little one come right along behind you to undo your good intentions. Their intentions are what matter in this moment. It is in the messes where the true moments hide.