Some mothers carry small bottles of Purell in their purses. Whenever their child touches a surface as revolting as a doorknob- *gasp*- they whip out the antibacterial gel and smear it all over the child. They're repulsed by dirt, terrified of germs, and (I suspect) have actually researched breathing masks and living in a sealed ecosystem.
I am not one of those mothers.
I believe in good dirt, which can be found in our yard, in leaf piles, at the barn, and on horses and dogs. This is as opposed to bad dirt, which would include traces of nuclear radioactivity, mercury, and/or soylent green.
I think kids are meant to get dirty. Otherwise why would they be born FULLY WASHABLE?
Don't get me wrong- there's a time and place for being germ-conscious. When Beep was born, flu season was in full swing and I offended more than one stranger by asking them to not touch my baby. I was unapologetic. My job was to keep my baby safe, not make strangers feel better.
But honest dirt? And bacterial colonies? They're our friends. They're also coworkers of fun and exploration.
That's why Beep and I took her applesauce to the back porch one night.
About this time I can see Beep's coming up for air, and taking a good look around. Specifically, looking at Annie and Fletcher, who're hanging out nearby.
The next logical step?
Fletcher didn't care for any applesauce, but he appreciated a pet.
Oh, no, Beep. Mama already ate.... Really. I'm full. I couldn't eat another bite.
Oh, no. Well, at least she's not using the spoon Annie just licked.
Baby? Mama doesn't want any applesauce.
No thank you! No thank you!
No, Baby! [growing in desperation]
[small fist shoving in mouth]
Ok, Beep. Thank you very much.
Yep, I needed some applesauce. From your hand.
Bacterial colonies everywhere just cheered.