I don’t consider environmental concerns to be one of my ‘soapboxes’, but it is something I think is important and tend to watch out for. I recycle, conserve water, buy CFL bulbs and more, both in an effort to conserve my own dollars and the environment. One thing I’ve realized recently that I’ve had to accept is that my children are not very eco-friendly.
I don’t mean in the sense that they take up space, breath air, eat things, defecate and are much like a parasite feeding off this planet (aren’t we all). No, I’m perfectly okay with that, it’s the other things that bug me.
Things like flushing the toilet three times after going (or not going) on the potty. Using half the roll of toilet paper to wipe with each time, or discovering kleenex and tp can wipe your nose and then using multiple pieces at every sniffle. They drop perfectly good food on the floor, slightly soil the occasional disposable diaper forcing me to use more, and their just plain messy (not that I’m not).
When you sit back and look at it, it is kind of funny. I was surprised by the frustration I felt when they flushed the toilet multiple times. I have full control over my toilet flushing decisions, and no control over most other people’s, so it’s never caused much emotion one way or the other. But, when my own children, to whom I’m trying to instill values (both big and small) flushes multiple times, it hit a nerve I didn’t know was there.
The reality is there are some things you just have to let go, and this is definitely one of them. If a few roles of toilet paper and gallons of water are what it takes for my kiddos to potty train, that’s going to have to be okay with me. I’m gonna be okay with wasting tons of paper and crayons, paint and glue, and more as my children learn and explore, grow in their creativity.
I’ll still conserve water and toilet paper, but I won’t let that get in the way of being gracious with my children.