What do you do when your children are taking over your space? I'm not talking about leaving toys here and there, or making a fort out of couch cushions, I am talking about my children taking my brush, my socks, my jewelry, my shoes, my piano, my music books (I am suddenly finding little hearts doodled all over Bach), my kitchen, my personal space!
This kind of take-over feels different than all others. This feels like my entire home has become a playground with unlimited access, and while my 3yr old wanders from room to room, carrying a tote and pushing her toy shopping cart piled high with miscellaneous items, I am scurrying along after her, picking up all she leaves behind. I'm exhausted from all the tidying and organizing, and I JUST DON'T WANT ANYONE TO TOUCH MY STUFF!!
Charlie wearing my dress
Last weekend, Charlie, my 7yr old daughter, announced that she was going to put on a show (at 7am on a Saturday). "MOM! I need your mic stand. How do you open this? Mom? Mom? Do you know where your microphone is? Mom? MOM?!" I helped her with my mic stand and then she proceeded to move every single piece of furniture in the room. Then, just as quickly as she began, she stopped, and announced she needed to bake a cake. Charlie left the rearranged living room, strode off into the kitchen and began rummaging around in my cupboards. At this point a bit of anxiety was beginning to stir in my stomach. I was too tired. I didn't want every single room in my house to be touched by a tornado. I didn't want her in my kitchen using my bowls and spoons and measuring cups! Clearly I need to brush up on my sharing skills.
Tonight, after a long day of unabashed creative activities, I walked into the kitchen to make dinner, only to discover that my girls had already begun. They had opened cans of beans, they were chopping arugula and mixing salad dressing. It really was amazing to see how free they were in the kitchen - after all, isn't this everything I work towards in all my Canyon Kitchen classes?! But truthfully, I stood in horror, watching the mess spread, too tired to intervene. But they were SO proud of themselves. They set the table beautifully and had created a truly delicious salad - lentils, arugula, strawberries. I was also so proud of them, so despite the mess, I put on a huge smile and enjoyed every bite of my dinner.
Charlie wearing another one of my dresses
I have moments where I am completely amazed by my children, and in awe of the rich imaginations they carry around. But I also have moments of complete exasperation! I want to give them freedom and space to explore, but it can't be endless freedom. I need to carve out a little space for myself!
So where do you draw the line? When your children are taking over in such a complete way, what do you do? Seriously. I am asking!
my dress and my sunglasses