I remember when I was a little girl,
we had a slide in the garden.
My brother and I liked to slide down it 
into the paddling pool in the summer;
a splash landing.
And at other times of year
we would put cushions at the bottom
or our big beanbags.
We'd slide down the slide time and again
onto our soft landing.

One day
during one of these play sessions,
we tucked one edge of my brother's beanbag
under the bottom of the slide
and we slid, and slid, and slid some more.
Until the bean bag popped.
The whole of the patio and half the garden
was showered in teeny tiny bean bag balls.
It looked like it was snowing.

And the almighty mess that my brother and I made that day
was one hundred percent
more fun than any slide could ever be.
That is a day playing on the slide that I really remember.
I don't remember who's slide it was that popped that bean bag,
but I can remember the hysterical laughter,
I can remember the way we played in the mess,
throwing handfuls of the bean bag stuffing high in the air,
I can remember the fun of that afternoon like it was last week.
I remember my mum making us clean up afterwards,
but only after we had had a great laugh playing first.

It's good to remember that childhood is packed full of fun.
And that sometimes the fun isn't conventional.
The best fun doesn't happen with toys or games,
it often happens when things surprise you
and when things maybe go a bit wrong
and you discover that there is fun in that moment.

It's not always easy as a parent,
with a hundred things that need doing
and never enough time to do it.
But sometimes, just sometimes,
it pays to think a bit like a child.
And instead of rushing to tidy up the mess,
letting your children enjoy it.

I learned a lesson about just popping out of the room for a minute
and leaving two cheeky and inquisitive children unattended.
And I also learned a lesson about seeing the world like a child
and there's a lot of fun in making a mess.


  1. Brilliant! They both look like they're having so much fun with their rainbow sprinkle party, and you're so right about remembering the times things went a bit awry as the highlights of your childhood!

    1. They really were having so much fun. More so I think because they knew that they shouldn't be. x

  2. Gosh, you're so right. Sometimes it feels like your children are deliberately taunting you with Lego shards,empty crisp packets and fighting games, but being messy and noisy is just part of being young. We need to learnt to turn off the 'aaargh' switch and remember.

    1. Haha, I know what you mean about it sometimes feeling like they're taunting you with mess. But I think sometimes sitting back and just enjoying the mess as evidence of their childhood has a place too. x

  3. I love that last photograph - it's so bright and uncomplicated. Clean floors, two textures and then a mass of colour. A bit like life when you have children. Your babies never fail to make me smile. xx

    1. It was certainly a vivid splash of colour against my neutral flooring. They made me smile too, it was one of those laugh or cry moments when it was all going wrong, but choosing to laugh actually made it really special. x

  4. Great photos - i bet they thought it was hilarious. It would be all to easy to get stressed and tidy it up right away wouldn't it - without seeing it through a child's eyes it does just look like a mess! x

    1. The first thing my husband said when he saw the photos was "why didn't you just clear it up?" I wouldn't have these cheeky photos to show off my troublesome twosome if I had though. x

  5. I think my Mum was constantly walking into messes like this, such great fun! How could you possibly clear it up when you see those faces? xx

    1. Well exactly. They were just too excited and happy for me to stop them right away. x

  6. Yes!! Exactly this!
    My husband is constantly moaning at us for having toys laying around, and for the house being a mess. It frustrates me because rather than playing with the boys and letting them get on with it, I follow them around tidying and miss out on the fun, as do they. My argument is that if my husband didn't work from home then he wouldn't see the mess.
    It looks like your two had so much fun with the sprinkles, and the story of you and your brother really made me smile xx

    1. It's like that quote "sorry about the mess, my children are making memories". Somethings are just more important than a perfect house. x

  7. I love this post Lucy and it is so true everything you have written. I know that because I am such a clean freak I often forgoe the more messy activities and I shouldn't. Those cheeky monkey's looked like they had a great time with those sprinkles. x

    1. They really did have so much fun. My jaw practically hit the floor when I came in and found them, but they just looked too excited for me to be mad. x

  8. Oh it does look such fun - some of the times I see mine the happiest is when they are covered in mud or paint or generally up to messy mischief!
    Hope your hoover is good ;)

    1. Messy mischief is definitely the best kind of fun for children.
      And luckily my vacuum dealt with the mess really well, in fact I felt like I should be in a vacuum advert!!! ;)

  9. Replies
    1. They did. The giggles and smiles said it all really. x


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