I love my children, trust me, I really do. I don't, however, love the mess that comes with them.
In the beginning of their lives, feeding wasn't much of an issue. Make a bottle of warm formula, feed them, burp them, maybe deal with a little spit up, but it was nothing a burp cloth couldn't handle.
They had the once in a while messy poop, but I handled it with ease.
At 4.5 months, the twins were started on solids. We skipped over rice cereal altogether; there's really no need for it anyway. We started with green beans and peas, and they loved them and took to them right away. It never really occurred to me that they would make a mess when eating. But after a week of being on solids, and a few ruined outfits later, I started stripping. It was easier as far as messes went, but a bit more time consuming for mama.
Eight months later, and things have gotten semi-easier. I don't strip the babies down for every single meal. I've become a bit more "anal" about wiping any dribbles away with the spoon as they eat, and they are no longer obsessed with spitting the food at me or eating their hands while they eat their meals, which saves on the mess. But, when we have a meal that I know will get messy without a doubt (spaghetti, for instance), they get stripped, most definitely.
The worse part of it all? I HATE CLEANING UP THE MESS. I hate cleaning them up afterwards, and I hate cleaning the surrounding area up, including their booster seats, trays, the floor. It just grosses me out. I know that's silly, but it's true.
Now, give me an exploding poopy diaper any day, I'll gladly clean them up from that, put them in a new, fresh diaper, stain treat and soak their clothes, and then do a load of laundry to completely get rid of stains and mess, no problem at all. Doesn't gross me out a bit.
But give me a messy, freshly fed child plastered with crumbs, half chewed fragments of food in every roll on their body and in their hair to boot, and be prepared for a cringe from this mama!
While I love my children dearly, and of course would never think of not feeding them because I am grossed out by any mess they may make, I do have to admit that one thing I absolutely cannot wait for is for meal times to become a bit more civilized...and for my children to eat every meal with their clothes on, and at least keep them semi-clean.
Could you imagine two 16-year-olds eating dinner in just their underwear?
What a sight that would be!