As I sit here watching my son – with a beard of yogurt – playing with our sensory tub creation, I hold myself back from cleaning and picking up. I have to train myself to step back, to not intervene, to allow my son the space to grow and develop according to how his brain and his body wants to explore the world.
Letting Go of Parental Control
Sensory Tubs, like this one, are a great way to learn about food, to develop motor skills, and to develop the senses. We used egg noodles, rice, and oatmeal as the base. I threw it together thinking the mixture would have a good feel and be great terrain for his dump truck, camel, frog, duck, and zebra figurines.
Then, as he began playing, he kept asking me, “What is it, mama?” So I explained oatmeal and then rice and then noodles. I talked about how we usually eat these foods and that these grains are not cooked so we would normally cook these foods.
Once he finished scooping and pouring the mix with a few measuring cups, a funnel, and a tablespoon and digging his hands in again and again to feel the interesting texture of these grains, he carried the rub to his kitchen and said, “Cook, mama?”
With all this said, the part about letting go of control comes in, these sorts of tubs will make a mess. Although I hope for a sunny day, not all days come in that form so thus your sensory tub is all over your kitchen/living room/playroom floor (or all of the above).
You can’t expect the kid to be mess-free with these activities! Take a deep breath. The good news is that these tubs are easy to clean up (I promise) with a little sweep and/or vacuum you are good to go. Plus you can work a little practical life experience by letting your toddler help pick up. I just heard him say, “Great job picking up.”
How to Let Go of Parental Control
My second thought is brief and concerns a yogurt beard. My son loves Greek yogurt. He could eat it all day, every day. He also likes to feed himself, which is more than welcome in our household. However, we have to brace ourselves for the mess. This morning he has yogurt all over his hands, and so he turned to me and said, “Wash hands, mama.” So we washed his hands.
Related Read: 5 Easy Ways to Let Go As a Parent
What he didn’t notice was the yogurt beard (I wish I had a picture). As he raced across the kitchen to the couch, my body twitched and then seized up – “The yogurt beard!” So I said, “Not on the couch!” This statement is odd because I don’t have a problem with him climbing the couch.
So, he turned to look at me yogurt beard and all. I couldn’t help but let out a giggle. So we went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. We had a good laugh. So, my point? Don’t forget that eating can be a mess but it can also be a lot of fun.
You just gotta let go sometimes…