There are child handprints all over my house. And I kind of love them.
Hear me out.
I was in my kitchen the other day and had a moment. A MOMent if you will. The sun was pouring in through all the windows and when I turned around I noticed a ton of tiny child handprints all over the fridge. Adorable little handprints. Everywhere. Well, on the lower half anyways.
And you know what? I loved them.
I kept looking around and noticed there were also little smudgy handprints all over the glass doors. And I loved those, too. And then I saw the countless child handprints on almost every single wooden cabinet. These adorably grimy handprints were everywhere and I found myself loving them. I mean really loving them. Because they were basically like all that handprint artwork your kid brings home from school. Except they were just scattered all over the house.
And here I was standing in the kitchen falling in love with these little child handprints all over my appliances and pretty much every surface imaginable. And it hit me for the 1078th time this week just how much I love being a Mama.
My intense if impractical appreciation of these child handprints is a perfect, super-simplified example of that.
Why have I always grabbed the cleaner and wiped off all the handprints when they were grown-up handprints but now that they’re my child’s handprints I want to slap on a layer of Modge Podge so they will stay there forever?
I can’t answer that. Maybe adult handprints are just more annoying than cute for whatever reason. I really don’t know.
What I do know is that these sticky child handprints are everything.
They’re a sign of life. Of these little lives that I’m in charge of. That’s some pretty heavy duty stuff. They’re a sign of the fact that my kids have food to eat. Food that makes their fingers sticky and fingers that find their way onto every surface of our home. They’re a sign of how quickly children grow. How they move so fast through each phase and no matter how much we may want to, we can’t keep them little forever. Not that we want our children to stagnate, but I sure could hold onto these sweet little years a
little lot longer. Because even though these days are long, these years are way too short.
And soon enough these little child handprints will get bigger.
And bigger. We’ll miss the teeny ones they used to leave behind. When they’re teenagers and they leave the drawers half open, don’t close the cabinets or forget to put a clip on the bag of chips, we might get annoyed. And when we see those teenage handprints all over the stainless and windows and counters, I bet we will wipe them off. And we may even say something to them about leaving sticky handprints everywhere.
But if we were to pause for a second, we might—just maybe—remember when we use to cherish our child’s handprints.
We live in our house. I mean that. Sure, I keep it clean. Pretty dang clean, actually. I’m a Stay at Home Mom and I often spin my wheels cleaning up during nap time and after bedtime just like all the other Mamas out there…only to have the same messes re-made as soon as they wake back up. But I’m okay with the messes. We make a mess when we play. And pull out lots of toys and move from one thing to the other. That’s what I mean when I say we live in our home. It’s not perfect. There are toys all around. There is no shortage of baby gear or anything kid-related. And you know why? Because we have kids.
Babies love bright colors, they love noisy, they love messy. And I’m only 4 years in, but I know that little kids also love color, noise & messes. I’d be willing to bet that this doesn’t change until they “grow all the way up” as my son would say. If then.
I don’t try to hide all the toys. Full disclosure: I do have the biggest toy trunk you’ve ever seen and man does it hold a lot of toys….and no lie, that definitely helps…with how my house looks and also my sanity. (I looked everywhere for the biggest trunk imaginable. Finally popped in Pottery Barn one day and saw it hiding under a bunch of pillows. It was a beat up floor model & to be honest, they were thrilled I wanted it. They couldn’t believe I was even asking about it—they gave me a huge discount just to get it out of there. It was a good day.)
But I don’t try to hide every piece of evidence that children live in my house.
Actually, I display a lot of that evidence proudly. Really proudly. I read once that some celebrity (I can’t remember who but I remember it was a badass man) framed his kids’ artwork all over the house. I freaking loved that idea and totally adopted it. You want to talk about making your kid feel like a million bucks? That’ll do it.
My children go to preschool a couple days a week & we put all their artwork on the fridge. They also paint & create precious works of art daily at home. I call it Fridge Art. We keep adding more until we have used up every square inch of space and then we take it all down in preparation for the next round of masterpieces. I kid you not, the one time I didn’t put a craft my son brought home on the fridge immediately, he was disappointed. He knows that’s where it goes & it makes him proud.Side note: Whoever thought people wanted non-magnetic fridges thought wrong. Yes, the stainless is beautiful, but can I get a magnetic field somewhere up in there please? I should invest in scotch tape at the rate we go through it just hanging stuff on the fridge.Click To Tweet
I vote to put everything on the fridge. Why not? It makes them feel so good. Hell, my husband had his best golf round last year and when he got home he taped his scorecard to the fridge next to our son’s drawings. No joke. I guess we never get too old for some things. Putting our “accomplishments” on the fridge is one of those things. (Hey hubby, if you’re reading this just know that I know that golf round was a true accomplishment and not an “accomplishment.” Ha.)
I clean up most of the little child handprints. But I always leave a couple behind.
I love looking at those little handprints. They’re basically reminders of the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life—making my kids.
And that is definitely an accomplishment. With no quotation marks.
Do you kind of love the little child handprints all over your house, too? Tell me more in the comments.
Want more on Motherhood? —> Feeling that mom burnout? Are you a SAHM? Were you a Dog Mom first? (my dog made me a mom & that’s a fact)
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My favorite thing at the end of the night is finding all the random toys my kids have set up and left after playing.. baby dolls under the sink and table where they were playing cars and house, Little People lined up on the window sill, or even the peanut butter cookie I found soggy in the water dispenser in the freezer door today. What funny little grimy reminders of how special and fun our babies are. I love this. ❤️
Oh my goodness, me too!! I looove seeing what they were into that day. How their imaginations took over. What piqued their curiosity & interest. Amen to everything you said. I feel the same exact way as you, Mama. ❤️
I read this article a while back and it gave me a new outlook on my son’s toys/cars/messes throughout my house. It’s no longer just clutter to me, and that gives my mind so much peace. Thank you!!!
I used to look at it all as just a big old mess, too! (And to be fair, sometimes it is 🙂 BUT, I can’t help but cherish all the little things that are THEM now. The hand prints, the stickers, the toys in secret hideouts that I used to think were just in the wrong spot, all of it. They’re only little for a little while. <3
One day I looked at the bottom-half of the fridge and saw my daughters footprint. It’s been there for three years now…will not wash it.
Oh I can so relate. I have some sprinkled around my house that I adore looking at, too. I swear I almost modge-podged one on my garage floor and I still regret not doing that before it wore away! I get it, Mama.
I so needed to hear this. I am pregnant and one of the things I worry about is my house not looking like my house anymore…its ridiculous, I know. And this just helped me realize that it is okay if things aren’t perfect. It will be a home full of love, and that is better.
It’s SO much better. But still, I totally get it–it can definitely take some getting used to. Our houses look different once babies & kids are living here but what’s so great about a perfectly pristine house anyways, right? 🙂 Just like you said, the love is what makes the home.
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