I'm a pretty uptight parent. Perhaps not on the outside, but on the inside I'm tied in little knots a lot of the time. I blame it on the PPD, but just to be fair, I've been anal retentive since birth. I have to mentally prepare myself for anything that will make a mess. I feel like I need to plan ahead for things like painting or tea parties. If I'm having a bad day, I put them off.
When we lived in Denver I was a member of a mom's group, and we had weekly playdates with the kids. I was shocked and amazed when our hostess very casually got a huge tub full of playdoh out for the kids (two year olds then) before rejoining the adults in the other room. You're just going to let them do playdoh - just like that?!? I thought to myself. And they are MIXING the colors!!!
On the outside, I try to be more relaxed, even if I have to fake it. Ahhh, you want to paint, huh. Ummmm.... okay.... that's a great idea. Let's paint... that sounds like fun!" In faking it, I'm learning that it really isn't that big a deal. (I also have to give credit to FlyLady, who has taught me that life really can be simpler and less stressful.)
Today after hosting a playdate for Ella, I put Little Man down for a nap, and Ella and I sat down and did a little craft activity (that included glue, I will add), and THEN we baked cookies together. I let her do just about everything, including cracking the eggs. And I never once felt uptight about it. She helped me clean up, and then she took over the kitchen table with markers and stickers and paper galore. I felt so proud of myself for being so relaxed and, well... unlike me. :)
I rewarded myself with a cookie.