For childless me, entertaining a toddler is a somewhat daunting task. So when I agreed to babysit a friend's daughter recently, I was naturally a little intimidated. Turns out, this kid knew a thing or two about life and in a few hours she had trashed my apartment and taught me some valuable lessons about why I shouldn't care. Here's what I learned.
Things are for using, not looking at
Kids don't see the point of having things around that you can't touch and the more I think about it, neither do I. Having someone who wants to touch everything made me realize how rather unnecessary it is to have things in your home that are so precious that you can't relax, have fun and be comfortable around them.
Simple pleasures are beautiful
My little houseguest was particularly enamored of a crystal I had hanging in my window catching the light. She was right. I also love how that crystal sends interesting patterns all over my walls, only I'd forgotten for a while; I'd become immune to its beauty. Now, I notice and appreciate it constantly.
Textiles should feel good
When I tried to pawn an old blanket off on this girl, she made a face because it was too scratchy. I don't blame her; I hate that blanket too. What's the point of having something around that no one likes and isn't comfortable? Who knows? It's gone.
A mess means you had fun
When our time was up, I surveyed the mess we left behind and didn't feel stressed or uptight about the state of my living room. Instead it seemed like a sign of an afternoon well spent.