Why I Made a Mess

kirstenWhen I was a little girl, about 8 or so, I really wanted an American Girl doll, Kirsten. I carried around the magazine for months, open to the Kirsten page, where it showed a full layout of the doll.  I liked her dress, I wanted one like it, and I liked her little bonnet. I thought she would be so fun to play with. My parents eventually got her for me. When I first got the box, she was perfect, just like the magazine. My mother encouraged me to keep her hair in braids, because if I took it out, it would become a mess. Of course, after carrying her around for a few weeks like a baby, I got tired of one hairstyle and took it out. What’s the use of having real hair on a doll if you can’t play with it and put it in different styles?

Kids don’t thrive on visual perfection. As adults, we like to keep things perfect and clean. But kids like to see different things. They like to see what they can do to change what’s already there. Once we’ve seen something, it gets boring. Having that thing re-arranged is a great experience. Visual perfection isn’t something that gets our attention, unless it’s exceptionally grand or different. But we get used to it really fast.
Also, as a kid, I was a designer. I loved creating new things and touching new things with my hands (kinesthetic learner?). My doll fell into that realm of creativity. I loved what was there, but I wanted to see how I could make her beautiful, too! My parents may not have seen what I saw, but that wasn’t important. That trait has developed into a job as an adult, and I still love it as much as I did then. Creating, as a child, gave me practice and helped me develop that side of my brain.
So, if today your kid is making a mess of a collectible doll, maybe he or she is just a designer!
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