Letting Kids Just Be Kids

October 6, 2013

As a mom I have watched other parents and sometimes I just sit there and I wonder why it is they are acting that way towards their children. This is not about abuse.


I have seen parents carrying around wipes, sanitizer, and spare clothes for their children. Some which can be justified for the right reasons but other’s not so much.

I know we all want those picture perfect moments of our children where they are nice and clean. Their hair has been done, they are wearing nice clean clothes and have no food all over their face. I mean who doesn’t? But when do you stop and take a step back to realize you are putting a show on and your children are the stars.

I let my son play in the dirt and pick up worms. Why? Because he is a child. He should play in dirt and pick up worms. Why shouldn’t he? Why should his face and clothes always be so clean? Why can’t he just a be a child? Why should I have him all suited up for a day of play? I want my son to have these photos to look back on and laugh.

I do not want all of my sons photos to be the ones where mommy asked for a smile. Like the one above, is all my son. 100% happiness because he had the pleasure of eating chocolate pudding and there was no reason it couldn’t go everywhere!


This is my son Jaiden and on September 14th 2009 I let him eat pudding in his high chair in my living room (tan high chair, tan couches and tan carpet), why? Because the pudding all over the high chair and floor (never hit the couch) could never make me angry when that is one of the most amazing smiles I have ever seen!

Those items are just like my son. They can be cleaned up. Yes my apartment was a mess which just showed that someone lived there. Yes, I had toys and snacks everywhere which showed that a child lived there.

I have no shame if my son leaves the house and has a chocolate mustache because he was drinking chocolate milk. He is a child and he should be dirty. He should be a loud to have fun.

Why must we get so upset over clothes becoming dirty in a 2-year-old. I mean, they are 2. Do you really expect them to stay clean? I know I don’t. Granted, it would be nice if we didn’t have to soak their clothes in Tide before putting them in the wash but it is not the way the world should work.

Kids are meant to be kids and we should let them have that because one day we are going to be in our parent shoes while our children are going to be in the shoes we once wore. We will be reminding them to be kids and enjoy it while they are in a rush to grow up.

And what is with the hand sanitizer? I can understand using it for some moments but your children should get use to germs. I am no doctor but I can guess that my son rarely gets sick because he is building his immune system because his body is getting us to germs since I wasn’t always right there with sanitizer.


Is forcing my son to sit and keep the pudding in his mouth and not all over worth NOT seeing that smile? In my opinion, No. Because this is a real smile. A smile that is only seen when someone is truly happy and free. I did not stand there with the camera asking him to smile. I didn’t stand there and say let’s try that again, ‘Give me your biggest smile!!’.

I gave my son pudding and he made a mess, I grabbed my camera because this is a memory I want to remember and a memory I want my son to have! I mean look at the baby. He is so happy just because he was making a mess.

Why must we deny our child that happiness? So we can have clean carpet? So we don’t have to take the cover off the chair? So we don’t have to spend an hour cleaning all the pudding off of the carpet? How can we compare an hour of our time to do a few extra mommy duties to seeing a smile so genuine?


He was so happy! I love when I see this smile! I don’t get to see it has often now that Jaiden is older but when I do my heart melts. He is the love of my life and I would do anything just to be able to see him smile and if that means cleaning up a huge pudding mess then I guess I better put on my pudding cleaning gloves and get to scrubbing. This smile is worth so much more than it may appear to others.

Remember to just let your kids be kids. They are going to make a mess, just as we did. Let them! I know sometimes it can be frustrating! I know all to well! I tell my son all the time to not play in this one spot of our room and he always does and stuff is always being split because he wont listen.

But don’t make your kids sit in place because you don’t want them running around the house, don’t make them feel they did something wrong because their face or shirt is dirty. They are children. Let them be because one day they will be adults and you are going to wish you could turn back the hands of time and just let them be.


Oh No!!! The pudding made it to the tub wall…. What am I to do now???
That is right, I can just wipe it up with the rest of my house but for now I am going to sit here and enjoy my son playing in the tub and getting all cleaned! He had a blast. He took off his own diaper and played with his toys under the water. He kept his smile going and you know what, I was happy to stay up and clean up the mess because now I have these memories! And these are priceless! Something worth so much more than some spots on the carpet.


After a long day of eating pudding and playing in it this is what I ended up with. A super tired baby laying on a pillow still covered in cheese curls. But it is all good because my baby is happily passed out after a day of fun with pudding!

There is nothing more special then allowing you child to be a child and having those messy memories!

I would never change that mess or smile for anything!


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  • Lauren Eckert

    I love everything about this!

    October 6, 2013 at 12:42 am Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you Lauren! =)

      October 7, 2013 at 2:48 am Reply
  • Melanie @ MM (@mommymentions)

    awww such a cute post. he looks like my girl eating in her high chair. she gets her spoon and throws things around. the dogs love it when she eats in her high chair because they know they will be getting some snacks left for them all over the floor.

    October 6, 2013 at 2:20 am Reply
    • AKee88

      Aww Thank you Melanie. You are lucky you have the dogs to help clean you up, lol it was just me!

      October 7, 2013 at 2:49 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    So adorable!!! I LOVE this, there is no better love a mommy can give then to just let their babies have fun! :) Great post Amanda!!

    October 6, 2013 at 3:54 am Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you so much Stephanie! =)

      October 7, 2013 at 3:03 am Reply
  • Growing Up Madison

    OMG I love this post. I loved seeing his smile. TBH Madison very rarely smile and every once in a while she gives me a rare one. I don’t mind her making a mess at all. She’s a messy toddler which is to be expected. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of her on my blog with her hair a hot mess. After all she’s at home. The only time we dress up is when going out. I believe in a toddler being a toddler. :)

    October 6, 2013 at 11:41 am Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you so much! I agree! Toddlers are meant to be messy! They should be having fun and not being worried about being dressed or anything like that. They only stay this age once so let em enjoy it!

      October 7, 2013 at 3:14 am Reply
  • Cindii

    This is an awesome story.

    October 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you Cindii

      October 7, 2013 at 3:18 am Reply
  • Jess Howliston

    Aww this post and Jaiden is so cute!! Your right there is nothing more important than a genuine smile!! xx

    October 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you so much!!! Our children should smile and always smile.

      October 7, 2013 at 3:48 am Reply
  • Trista

    Good point!!! He should act just like that! great post!!!

    October 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm Reply
    • AKee88

      Thank you Trista! =)

      October 7, 2013 at 3:50 am Reply
  • Peggy D

    Looks like he enjoyed every bit of that pudding!! They are only children once, so yes let them be children……cute post!!

    October 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm Reply
    • AKee88

      Haha Peggy, He really did enjoy it!! Thank you! =)

      October 7, 2013 at 3:55 am Reply
  • Alyssa C

    This is a great post, I definitely needed to read this!!

    October 8, 2013 at 9:39 am Reply
  • Sofia Byrd (@frompdxwithlove)

    Such a cute smile on that adorable boy!! And I’ve met parents like the ones you speak. I am not one of them. I let them get dirty (my oldest is not such a huge fan of dirty but my youngest is) once we are home or it is time to eat or whatever then we take a shower/bath get all cleaned up and fancy if need be.

    My former sister-in-law, with her first kid, you were not allowed to even look at him because oh-my-goodness he will get dirty and oh man!! Seriosuly. Doesn’t surprise me that he always had a cold for his first 2 years of life. Poor little man was so groomed and squeaky clean that his body didn’t know what to do with a simple cold bug!

    Kids are kids. And they are supposed to get dirty and messy and go to bed with grains of sand/dirt stuck on their hair.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply
  • Jamie H

    I agree completely! I steer clear of hand sanitizer completely. Someone gave us a bottle when my first baby was born, and now- 4 years later- we still haven’t gone through more than maybe 1/4 of that bottle (in fact, now that I type this, I realize it could very well be expired! lol). I do carry extra clothes in our car, but that’s more for potty accidents for my 2 year old, moments the 2 and 4 year old decide to go swimming in grandma and grandpa’s garden fountain (that’s happened a lot) and need dry clothes, or when the new baby has a blow out. As far as perfect pictures- the ones where their personalities shine through are by far my favorites!

    October 11, 2013 at 11:50 am Reply
  • Brandi @ Nest of Bliss

    What a lovely post. I couldn’t agree more. Kids were so much more carefree back in the day… now it seems like many mothers are in a competition of perfection and what is “best” for their child. It is almost like people pushing religion on each other! Everyone does everything different, and there are all kinds of methods for parenting. You do what is best for you based on the pros and cons of your own upbringing as well as what you believe is right.
    You are doing a wonderful job letting your child be who he is, and allowing him to make messes and mistakes. :)

    Good luck!

    October 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm Reply
  • Shauna - The Best Blog Recipess

    Cute! Love your pictures :)

    Shauna @ The Best Blog Recipes

    October 12, 2013 at 2:04 am Reply
  • Emma @ P is for Preschooler

    And you can tell those smiles are real smiles – and adorable smiles at that! I totally agree with what you’re saying! :)

    October 12, 2013 at 7:57 am Reply
    • Amanda McMahon

      You make a very valid point – those are true grins. The child is happy – let the family be :)

      April 7, 2014 at 11:42 pm Reply
  • Jackie @ Food for Regular Folks

    I think hand sanitizer is going to be the downfall of humanity. ;) I’m only half kidding. Being around germs is what gives kids immunity, it helps build up their immune system, when you never let them get dirty, have fun, play in the dirt they don’t get that… love the pics. :)

    October 13, 2013 at 10:19 am Reply
  • Kathryn Griffin @TheDedicatedHouse

    I love the last picture! Those little kissable toes. Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    October 13, 2013 at 10:31 am Reply
  • Kelly

    Such a smile! It’s impossible not to smile back :D

    October 13, 2013 at 10:44 am Reply
  • bettycupcakes

    My kiddo is also a hot mess most of the time and easily goes through 3-4 outfits a day. Just means we’re having fun!

    October 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm Reply
  • Jenn McCullar

    Oh my 4 yr old is the biggest mess maker, it’s ok they are only small for a short time.

    October 14, 2013 at 9:03 am Reply
  • Water Rolls Uphill (@WaterRollsUphil)

    Our kids get dirty. They play. It happens. Oh noes…..

    October 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm Reply
  • Myrah Falco Duque

    You are so right! Kds are kids and need times like these. As adults we worry so much about the mess.

    October 15, 2013 at 8:10 am Reply
  • cindy batchelor

    lol love the pics! totally brought a big smile to my face! cute kiddos!!

    October 16, 2013 at 9:06 am Reply
  • DawnC

    My kids also play in the dirt. My oldest daughter taught the boys around the neighborhood how to catch snakes, frogs, and many other creepy crawlies. lol Yup, my kids get covered head to toe in dirt or mud. But it’s all part of being a kid. :)

    October 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm Reply
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