When our kids are little, we teach them many "life skills".......such as dressing themselves, using the potty, brushing their teeth, taking a shower. We're so proud and happy when they achieve each and every milestone that, while basking in our happiness and pride, we often forget to teach the "fringe benefits" to each life lesson. For example, we teach our children to use the potty, but do we remember to teach them to change the toilet paper roll? Or to always make sure there's extra toilet paper in the bathroom? I'm pretty sure we don't, as evidenced by my children, who all use the potty like experts, but still can only manage, at the very highest level of competency, to unwrap a new roll of toilet paper and set in on the counter, inches away from the holder (oh, and they "miss" when they throw the wrapper in the trash).
Which is another life skill - good aim. I often find more trash outside the trash can than actually IN it, specifically in the kids' bathroom. Now, I KNOW I taught them that icky things go IN the garbage, but I guess I forgot to have them take practice shots so that the refuse would actuall make contact with the INSIDE of the can. Kind of reminds me of their laundry bin. Definitely more clothes on the outside, carpeting the floor, than on the inside (in their defense, it's usually packed full, because that's another skill I forgot to teach them - if the laundry bin is FULL, one must actually DO the laundry to get it EMPTY again).
Now, I do remember teaching my little ones to brush their teeth. I supervised until I felt they had it just right and could polish those pearly whites to a gleam. What I failed to teach was how to spit without splattering the mirror and how to rinse rogue blobs of toothpaste down the drain. Silly me.
I beamed with pride the first time they made their own snack! What geniuses! What bright children! However, in my giddy glory of pride, I forgot to teach them how to clean up after that snack, actually rinsing off the dish and putting it in the dishwasher. (Note to my children: the dishwasher is that big, squarish thing to the right of the sink that makes a whooshing noise a few times a day).
One of the trickier skills of childhood is taking lids off of various products. That's why they make childproof lids! But once a child is old enough to actually USE said products, that small motor skill of unscrewing or uncapping or flipping up a lid is refined. However, I also seem to have forgotten to teach them how to replace said lids. In fact, I'm pretty sure they think the lid is disposable!
My kids can make some pretty big messes. But that's ok, because we live in a pretty big house. Isn't that why we move to bigger and bigger houses as we have more children? So they have more places to leave their messes, and still manage to find a "clean space" to make another one? I think it's time to move up again. This time we'll need a mansion!