A few weeks ago, I overheard a mom at the park tell her daughter not to play with the rocks (pea gravel) because they were 'filthy.' She followed it with (sternly), "When we are at the playground we play on the EQUIPMENT!" To be honest, I tried a little not to laugh. I tried REALLY hard to give her some slack (maybe she had to go somewhere straight from the playground?) but, really? Don't play in the rocks? For sure they aren't exactly a clean option but, it's not like the kids were in their Easter best (and her daughter was well past the age of worrying about eating the rocks) and, in my world, if my kids are happily exploring, well, then, what's a little dirt? Clothes and skin can be washed, right? If your child actually wants to try it out, we should let them, yes? No? I know a lot of people have higher standards of child cleanliness than me.
I thought of that mom yesterday (with a little smile; she would have freaked out I think!) when Natey and his friend made a serious commitment to getting dirty in the park. He full on just sat down in the mud and started playing. I tagged it as a #boymom moment, but I sure do hope my little girl might want to try this - or something like this - someday. (Yesterday she just looked at him like 'really?' and continued playing with some Ninja Turtle figures in the grass.)
He spent nearly an hour getting dirty and then I made him strip down to his undies for the ride home. He had a blast in all that mud. It was one of those parenting moments where (for me, for him, because he was so happy) I felt happy and like I wasn't doing it ALL WRONG.