Mucky Pups vs. Pristine Princesses
There aren't many things that will make me stand on my soap box [apart from the lack of British apples in the supermarket, all the issues Hugh's Fish Fight is championing, and a whole host of other things I'd like to mention but really must get back to the point], but people disciplining their children for being dirty is one of them.
To keep this simple – would you chastise your toddler if they came home from nursery looking like a “street urchin”?
For example if the 'street urchin' look was clothes are covered in food, play doh, a grey smear you have no idea what it is, and what looks to be mud or compost or leaf mould – some kind of nature muck. Hair is a mess and fingernails are black.
Would I be pulling my hair out dragging the toddler away from the nursery screaming at the staff about the lack of care?
Nope, quite the opposite. Each of those marks has a story to tell:
DangerBaby is learning to eat with cutlery and in the process of bringing spoon filled with baked beans to mouth, more often than not 80% of the beans don't make it to the mouth. Nor do the beans stay on her bib, they run off the bib and on to the trousers quicker than Mr.Bolt. I don't notice, I'm too busy saying 'Woweee clever girl you are a good nummy numnumer” and scooping more beans up onto her spoon. Result – Food on clothes.
We recently went to a toddler morning organised by our local leisure centre where as well as soft play there were crafts and other activities for toddlers. Not something we do at home, so DangerBaby had never seen paint covered paintbrushes, glue or glitter before. She happily toddled over to the paint, picked up a sponge, covered her hands rolled the sponge on a bit a paper and then dipped it in every paint colour going to make a nice brown smudge thing. Still holding the brush, she laughed with glee and ran at the glitter table. I only just had time to rescue the genius child's masterpiece before she put the paintbrush into the glitter. So with paintbrush rescued the obvious choice was her hands... in they went to the glue and then into the glitter and after a brief visit to her hair... on to the paper it all went. Two masterpieces later and I conceded to wiping the worst of the glue off her hands. Result – Strange grey stuff on our trousers (glue).
The glitter kept us amused for AGES [about 5 minutes] before she noticed the play doh table. Now cleanish, this strange stuff was sniffed, tasted [and I wonder why we both have horrific colds at the moment] and moulded about. All and any models Mummy tried to make were squished with a triumphant belly laugh and a huge smile. Result – Play Doh under our nails and in our hair.
All this fun tired us out and we headed home for lunch and a nap. [I'm still finding glitter on her bedroom floor and it's a week later].
Once she'd charged her batteries, we took to the garden to hunt for vegetables / strawberries / the last of any crop we could find. But this meant passing the leaky water butt with the bucket of water catching the drips. Splish splash! Wet hands over to the veggy patch to see if there are any strawberries, pull away the plants Mummy has just picked up, see a strawberry – quick wipe wet muddy hands on top/trousers and POUNCE. Yummy yummy. Pick up HUGE snail and poke it and wipe off all the dirt... go to put in mouth... MUMMY TO THE RESCUE! I chase her around the garden shouting 'No chew chew!' hoping that she'll put the poor snail down and find something else to keep her amused. She rockets off towards the greenhouse screaming with joy. Result – compost, water, muck, leaf mould all over her hands & clothes.[no snails were harmed in the writing of this blog]
By the time CBeebies bedtime hour and supper came along, we were both liking a bit like Stig of the Dump - or 'street urchins'. What a fantastic day we had!
As you can see I measure the success of our day by how my child looks after her supper.
Last Friday, her hair was spiky and glittery with a little smear of brown paint, she had bits of baked bean juice on her sleeve, glitter, paint, grey stuff, red play doh, and garden muck on her trousers.
But most importantly of all she was wearing a very very big smile all the way to her bedtime bath.
My little mucky pup: