I got an email the other day from Babycenter.com that said kids should play outside everyday to burn off some energy, and because, “Being outdoors also provides sensory stimulation (the sun, the birds, the dirt) that can’t be replicated indoors.”
Great idea, Babycenter.com, but where are you when it’s time to clean up this mess?
I think most parents want their kids to explore, to play, to spend the afternoon making mud pies in the backyard. That’s how I grew up and how I want my kids to grow up. One reason we like being outside is because there are fewer rules: you can run, throw and shout.
But I have to admit, I sort of tensed up watching this. I had to remind myself that clothes can be washed, and little boys can be hosed down.
Plus, I knew that if I told David not to play in the mud, then he’d say, “Whyyyyy? WHY, MOMMY?”
And I knew I wouldn’t have a good answer.
Why? Well, because there are some LOGISTICS at play that Mommy can’t quite figure out. If you play in the mud then Mommy will have to clean you, and what is Mommy supposed to do with your sister while I strip you down, hose you off, and take you inside to at least get on a diaper before lunch? See, when you think of it that way it almost doesn’t sound fun anymore, THAT’S WHY!
This is the childhood I want for my kids. Days of digging in the dirt, splashing in the water, rubbing mud on their arms, and having to hose down and leave a pile of dirty clothes by the door when they come inside for lunch.
This is what I remember about growing up. The only difference, perhaps, is that while I was playing in the dirt my mom wasn’t sticking a camera in my face because this is totally going on the blog.