May 11th, 2016

Celebrating Lucy Scott’s debut picture book ‘Busy Busy!’

Whilst scanning through some old photos of myself, I was struck by something odd…not my pre-baby shape or my carefree grin, but by the backgrounds… They are all tidy, not immaculate by any means, but ordered looking. Scenes I’d almost forgotten could exist.

I got a lot of pre-baby advice from friends, I read a lot about motherhood, but nobody told me about the MESS.

By the time my daughter turned one she was capable of making quite a decent sized mess, by two her messes were impressive, by three they were spectacular. She’s now almost four and her messes are genuinely breathtaking.  Give her an hour and she can transform a tidy flat into an unrecognizable bombsite.

The glimmer of hope I hold onto, is that this ‘increased mess to age’ ratio cannot continue exponentially… I mean it can’t get worse! Unless of course she gets her hands on some power tools… Which thinking about it, I wouldn’t put past her.

Toddler mess bares no relation to normal grown up mess. The scale of their mess is macro but the content of the mess is micro and often sticky, you need tweezers and serious patience to clear it. It’s impossible to speedily remove dolls house cutlery from a rug.  This kind of tidying has to be done on your hands and knees, you don’t hoover so much as comb and pick.

mess 01

Thankfully patience is something I have, what I find hard is differentiating between what is precious and what is rubbish.   Sound’s easy? As a proper grown up, of more than 40 years, I feel I should be qualified to make this distinction, but I regularly get it seriously wrong.

The rows I have been given, the tantrums I have caused by throwing away her precious, special things. … I was so confident that the licked clean yogurt lid was bin-able.  What an idiot I felt when I found out it was in fact her fairies ’rufty’ (‘rufty’?!… Your guess is as good as mine)

Of course, I have unwittingly facilitated her ‘piles of stuff’ by buying her, over the years (all three of them), lots of small things – beads, marbles, plastic coins.  Why didn’t I just buy her a one big expensive thing that could be screwed to a wall?

But there is real toddler order in all this chaos.   Get down on your knees and look and ask and touch and the ‘mess’ transforms… It has windows and doors and levels.  It has gardens that live down the cracks of sofas, pockets of sea that swell under beds.

mess 02

There are little boys and girls that live in the rug and they need the cutlery to be interwoven with the wool to stop it from blowing away when the storm comes.  Think about it, it makes sense.

A child’s imagination is enviably immense their ‘mess’/ their worlds are wondrous.

‘Busy Busy’ my first book for children is a celebration of a child’s spectacular imagination and boundless energy.  It’s out now!

Available from book stores and online.


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by Lucy Scott


“I’ve learned so much since joining Creative Authors in 2012. Isy’s negotiated twenty book deals for me since then and has always been very supportive. Her advice and knowledge of the publishing world have been invaluable in helping me progress as a writer and illustrator.”

Ged Adamson, Creative Authors Client