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My mom scowled at the ‘Dirt is good’ campaign for the Omo detergent years back.

Not that she did not believe Omo could wash off all those stains as claimed, she was bothered with the message they were telling kids.

‘Go and play as you want, feel free. Jump into a mini-canal, mother will wash.’

We had sense sha, we dared not.

Here I am today, fighting not dirt, but chaos. I have been stubborn over the years about employing any sort of domestic staff. Apart from the cliche fears, I find that I just refused to let go of my privacy or freedom around the house because someone would be sharing our space.

Yesterday, I found myself in the middle of hosting visitors, having my hair braided by my sister.-here it is,natural hair lovers—->

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feeding baby, managing toddler tantrums and the bigger toddler’s newly acquired jumping and screaming habit. (Hello Jack of the Neverland pirates, I’ve got issues with you)

The audio chaos died down at a few minutes to midnight when everyone had fallen asleep. I couldnt believe what my sitting-room looked like, bits and pieces of everything was strewn about; from stuffed animals, to leggo, to half pairs of footwears, kiddy plates and spoons,  empty juice packs, moved furniture etc.
My eyes lit in wonder, and then fell in weakness.

A few weeks ago, TheBoss had dropped a friend’s I-phone, I couldn’t stop beating myself for that. My friend let me know it was okay and “he is just a kid”.

On sunday, a nice woman dropped by from the neighborhood, the kids kept screaming and chanting disney cartoon singalongs from their room. I was a bit embarassed after unsuccessfully telling them to turn down the volume of their voice boxes. She noticed and laughed

“It is their age dear, that is how my kids are hyper active too”.

I loosened up and was chatting away before I knew it, miraculously oblivious to their noise.

Again, a nice couple from church dropped by during the public holiday. I noticed them way back through their very hyper son and the stunts he liked to pull in church. So I told the man I was motivated by the fact that their son was calm now, outgrown that stage.

He laughed and said “It never bothered me”.

Another man said to my dad when TheBoss broke something of his “I wish I had a grandchild to break something of mine too”

So yes, I cringe when my kids do stuff I wish they just didn’t.  I cringe some more when it draws the attention of amebos and self righteous people zombie-ing around town looking for the next parent to accuse of not training their child.

This is not to hold brief for parents of children being overly naughty, but I come to realise every day, that there is indeed something called ‘children being children’.

I have seen a spick and span house turned upsidedown in five minutes by kids. I spend my time trying to replace items in their rightful places, trying to clean spills, trying to make children sit still and not see me lie on my back as an invitation to ‘bouncing castle’.

I realised last night after recalling the visit of these older parents, that I could let go of  parenting perfectionism, that I could stop being deeply pained for you if you visit and step on some random leggo, I can smile at my white walls with their pencil and crayon marks, at my leather chairs with pencil punctures, and the tea spills on tiles mopped five minutes before.

These children come with this amazing ability to create chaotic environments.

I always love to go to bed knowing I have tidied every mess.

Not last night, chaos is beautiful.

Happy festive weekend,
Olori Achalugo.

P:s: If you are one of those who will still not get the message here, and go “Oh, kids need more discipline”. You are part of the problem, you are as olofofoish as the people disturbing Beyonce over combing her daughter’s hair -something wey no consign anybody.

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