Monday, June 8, 2015

Free To Be KIDS This Summer

Before I had kids, I remember watching a reality show (no, I'm not admitting which one) and totally laughing at the mom and her feeling on letting her kids get dirty. This mom was worried about the kids' clothes for goodness' sake. So much so that she wouldn't let the kids do kid things. Because heaven forbid those clothes get stained. Geez. Relax lady! They are kids! Kids get dirty. Not news.

Fast forward a few years. I have two little girls who can easily rival any little boy in clothes staining ability. Probably more so, because in addition to the food stains (my children seem to drag their clothes through their food), and the mud and grass and disgustingness that my children find fascinating (sorry boy moms, you don't have the monopoly on this one), they are also drawn to glitter paint and fancy markers and "washable" makeup.

Now I'm not quite as paranoid about stains as this reality show mom (still not telling you which one). But there have been days when I've got the girls in brand new shirts or dresses or bathing suits, and I can see the staining happening . In slow motion, like one of those movie scenes. NOOOOOOOOO....

The other day Madison was wearing a t-shirt for the first time. She's just starting shopping in the "big girl" section of the store, and I'm proud when I find clothes in her size that I approve of. This was a basic t-shirt with a few summer-y, Hawaiian style flowers on it. She had it paired with a new pair of modest shorts that matched the flowers perfectly. Basic, cheap, summer play clothes, but she was looking cute.

The girls are old enough now to have free reign over the basic creative supplies - crayons, washable markers, glue sticks. The stuff I trust them with. I'm not crazy enough to leave the paint or glitter out for a free for all, but I did have a freeing feeling when they could actually draw without having to ask for permission. On this particular day, they were stamping.

And then I saw it.

Madison was holding the ink pad with one hand and stamping with the other. But she was pressing the ink pad up against her body. She was literally stamping her brand new shirt with a quartet of colors.

And I lost it.

I snatched the shirt off her and started pretreating it and moaning about how she had this brand new shirt for one hour and you need to be AWARE of treating things well and how now I had to spend all this time doing laundry and her new shirt was ruined...and I realized I had become that mom. The mom who freaks out over stain removal and forgets that four year old kids are messy sometimes. A four year old shouldn't be freaking out over the possibility of a stain where they prioritize it over play.

Seriously, laundry isn't the chore it used to be. What's great about detergent is that you don't have to choose sensitive skin over stain removal anymore. A detergent like all free clear (and especially all free clear OXI booster) can get the stain, keep skin free from irritants, and let you relax about laundry. You can live free. And how freeing is that?

Stomp in the mud puddles.

Eat the melty popsicle.

Color with sidewalk chalk.

And stop worrying about the clothes. Let the kids be kids, let the detergent handle the mess, and know that a happy kid is worth all of it.

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