And so the baby/mud friendship begins! I’ve been an amateur indoor gardener for a few months now. We have a big plant in the bathroom that stands on the floor and just calls to me.
“Chatty Baaaby. Chatty BAAAABY! Come and feel how crumbly my soil is . . .Check what happens when you dig your little fingers under the surface . . . Look how quickly Mummy moves when you throw compost across the room!”
It’s a game we play most mornings getting ready for the day. Even when I think I’ve got away with a quick squeeze, she spots it. I must practice my dexterity so I don’t rub it into my clothes. That and remember to open my mouth wider so I avoid the tell-tale mud moustache that gives me away every time. You don’t get that with dog food.
I was crawling in the muddy garden at nursery today. What fantastic fun! The ladies who look after us there were clever enough to change me before I hit the dirt so I didn’t ruin my good clothes. I looked identical to how Mummy had left me in the morning. Except for my hands. She has a thing about dirty fingernails and she clocked them as soon as she saw me. Busted.
I know they don’t really mind me exploring mud, or sand, or puddles because they understand that babies and dirt go hand in sticky, mucky hand. Mummy did draw the line this morning when I tried finger-painting with my dirty nappy – apparently that would have just been gross!
Mummy and Daddy laugh now at how obsessively they used to sterilise everything, boil my water and wash my hands. Of course, they still wash my hands, but they’re not neurotic any more. They know I learn by touching and tasting anything I can get my grubby little fingers on, so they tend to let me spread lunch all over my high-chair tray, or drink the bath water, and they don’t wince when they see me licking Hairy Dog. Well, not much.
I prefer the word ‘fun’ to ‘mess’ and as long as there’s nothing poisonous, it’ll all come out in the wash!