dirt and stuff

Oh my goodness, it’s a glorious day outside. I wish every day of summer could be like today: lush, green, balmy, unbuggy. It’s been raining cats and dogs (though we were spared the tornadoes that rocked a lot of the southeast) so there’s still some standing water in places, but it’s not too terrible.

Rainbow and I set off on our morning walk, said our hellos to the usual suspects downtown, checked the mail, and then headed to the park. Ahhh. The knockout roses around Ward’s statue are in full bloom. Gorgeousness.

After we’d been there a little while, a grandma and her little 3 year old granddaughter came to play. Rainbow was all excited, and the little girl definitely wanted to chat and to play with “that boy.” So sweet. They climbed the playstructure for awhile, and then headed for the swings.

Watch out for the water! Grandma fretted. Don’t get wet! She seemed pretty dang uptight about water puddles, but whatever. The little girl and Rainbow swung in the toddler swings for a long time and had a blast. Then they wanted to explore.

Watch out for the grass! It’s wet! Don’t get dirty!! Stay on the path!!!

Sheesh, Grandma was all bent out of shape. It was just bizarre. Rainbow wanted to run in the grass, and the little girl wanted to chase him, but her grandma successfully corralled her. Then they started off on the walking trail, and Grandma kept trying to call the little girl back. It was awkward; like, what’s my responsibility here? I’m sure not going to discourage Rainbow from walking on the trail, because that’s what we do. We walk on the walking trail. And I’m not going to fuss at somebody else’s kid to go back to their grandma, especially when she was being a very good girl and staying on the trail.

Grandma gave up on keeping her close to the playground, and very grumblingly let her throw some rocks into a puddle for awhile with Rainbow (while the little girl kept her feet safely on dry asphalt) before they went home.

I was trying to sort out the weirdness of that whole encounter, figuring that there must have been some special reason that the little girl had to stay pristine.

And then two more little girls came to the playground, and it was the same deal. One of the little girls fell on her knees in the moistly dirty mulch and – I KID YOU NOT – the mom said, Ugh, you’re all dirty, hold on while I get some diaper wipes, while the little girl stood stock-still with her palms out and an icked-out expression on her face. Then Mom came to the rescue and thoroughly cleaned the little girl’s knees with wet wipes. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

It’s a playground, people. Kids play outside here. Dirt is okay.


Is it a little girl thing, I wonder? Is that how moms of some little girls are? It feels very… foreign, compared with all the boy stuff (read: earthworms, beetles, lizards, upturned-rocks-to-see-what-writhes-beneath) I’ve encountered during my mama-ing.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. charmarie221
    May 03, 2011 @ 16:19:28

    Not sure if you’ve seen too many pics of MissRileyG but very few of them were of her clean, at that age. I mean, unless they were early in the day. I pretty much planned on two-three outfits a day being soiled with dirt or food or paint or what have you. I remember when I first started dating Mike and Ashley (who was 5 at the time) asked to go outside and play and he said, “Don’t get dirty.” and I said “Is she going somewhere important later?” and he said, “No.” and I said, “Go ahead and get dirty.”

    I asked if he wasn’t allowed to get dirty when he was a kid and he just shrugged and said it was kind of kneejerk to say “Don’t get dirty.” I don’t know if he meant because he was echoing his mom who hated dirt (she kinda does) or if it’s because she a girl. I was too much of a tomboy to abide the “don’t get dirty” rule… although I do try and hose them down or wipe them off before they come into the house because kids are much more easily cleaned than floors and furniture. Might as well head that off before it makes it into the house.

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