If you don’t have kids, it’s hard to explain what amazing chaos engines of mess they truly are. Let me paint a small picture for you. It’s spring of 2015. We have decided to sell our condo and move from Cambridge to the woods of northern Westchester, NY. Part of this process involves cleaning and painting our condo before it’s up for sale. Painting means we have to get out for a couple days. We have 2 kids, trying to navigate them and a crew of painters would be virtually impossible, so we get a hotel room for a couple days to let the guys work, and the place air out.
The kids are pretty psyched about this turn of events. A hotel visit probably means a pool (in this case it did)… it probably means staying up late and watching movies (it did), and it probably means lots of snacks during a disjointed weekend with no schedule. My then 2 year old, now 3 year old, Vera, was pleased with this entire arrangement. I don’t think Vera’s first words were “I’m hungry”… but they are a frequent refrain. We’re not even unpacked in the hotel room and a chorus of “I’m hungry’s” is calling out to me.
Red being a consummate professional, has packed a bag of snacks for just such an occasion. Vera peeks through the choices looking for something optimal, and lands on a sleeve of saltines. Dropping two suitcases and a shoulder bag to the ground. I open the saltines for her. She instantly grabs two handfuls of saltines, crumbling a third of the half dozen crackers in both her hands across the ground in front of her.
“Honey, don’t make a mess,” I intone… settling into the couch next to her.
“Sorry daddy,” she says in sweet tones as she settles into the chair next to me to munch. Big sister Lucy doesn’t want saltines so she’s pouting. Vera is munching happily as a growing pile of crumbs and cracker spills around her onto the chair.
“Can we go to the pool?” asks Lucy.
“The pool, the pool daddy!” exclaims an excited Vera, who starts jumping on the chair, and is now grinding cracker into the fabric with each jump. She also drops a cracker or two in her exuberance.
“Give us a few minutes to unpack girls,” I reply.
“Ok Daddy,” says Vera sitting down and grabbing more saltines. Not content to minimize her mess radius, Vera gets up from her chair with 3 broken saltines now stuck to her behind. She walks towards the back of the hotel room, trailing saltines in her wake… a pile of broken crackers lies on her chair, and the floor. Those crackers never stood a chance.
On a side note, if you’re keeping track, we just ran out of dish soap. I guess it’s time for another palette!