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If any normal, sane, thirty something, responsible adult walked into my house unannounced this morning, they’d look at me with a frown. They’d judge me. They’d turn their nose up at the pig sty that my daughter and I are wallowing in. They’d look at the mound of toys, the food on the floor and the general state of things in our dwelling.

And I’d agree with them. On my mission of cleaning the house up this morning, all I can see around us is a mess. Not just one mess, but a million messes.

If I let this get to me, then I would have lost my mind long ago. Some days are better than others. If I have been organised with my week, and everything has gone to plan, the weekend tidy up doesn’t have to take all day. But today I fear it will, and maybe tomorrow as well!

I’ve already been through the panic of turning my house upside down this morning due to a misplaced (not lost, just misplaced) passport. Thankfully, it has been found, along with £35 in cash – bonus! (That has made the stress worthwhile).

Lylah is pottering around with me. We keep stopping to play and have a mess around (all work and no play makes for a miserable Anni and a very bored Lylah).

I’ve just fed and watered her at the mid-morning pit stop, after which she wandered into the living room, leaving her bowls of snacks tipped onto the kitchen floor, and her drink bottle strewn somewhere else.

I look around the kitchen, searching for the drink to bring it in to her, when there I saw it. Standing atop a pile of perfectly aligned seat cushions (from outside – in the kitchen because of the rain obviously), was her gleaming pink water bottle, precariously placed on top, in the centre. The sight of it filled me with joy. When I wasn’t looking (too busy sorting out old receipts), Lylah had formed this beautiful mountain of a masterpiece, and left it there for me to find later.

With a baby comes lots of mess and therefore constant tidying and cleaning, but this morning, for the first time, I saw these messes as something else. They are hers, they are thought about, they are planned.

They are Lylah’s little Piles of Beauty. And do you know what they mean? What they represent? They stand for a happy child, a playful child; one who adores tipping things up to see what happens, and dropping things from up high to hear the sound. These Piles of Beauty mean that my child is exploring, learning and making messes along the way.

Looking around, these mini masterpieces are everywhere to be seen. In the pages torn out of her nice books, in the piles of toys hidden in the tent, in crumbs nestling on the sofa cushions, and in the things I find hidden in every nook and cranny around the house everyday. Even the little finger prints on my glasses are a sign that Lylah just wants to learn, to create, to be.  With every attempt at wearing my specs, she’s developing that little bit further.

Let your child make a mess, stop and look at it, and think about the effort they’ve put in. Before you get the hoover out, examine your child’s Piles of Beauty, or even better, contribute your own. They can be cleaned up later, when they are in bed.

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