Friday, October 4, 2013

Raising a Dirt Magnet

Water your potted plant and leave the toddler unattended for two minutes. You will get a custom made Jackson Pollock art piece on the wall in earthy hues and bold patterns. It is just that the artist doesn't know the prior existence of Jackson Pollock. The artist here thinks that his artwork is original. (Well of course it is original.) Most importantly the artist in question here had a lot of fun splashing mud and creating this mural masterpiece. We here do not bother much about the kid rolling in dirt. (Not initially. My early motherhood months were full of panic attacks and hand washing marathons.)
Sooner or later you will figure out that it is near to impossible to keep the kid away from dirt. Then you let go. Let the kid dirty those pastel shaded baby clothes. Once you let go, it is a lot of fun (For the kid, not for the one who does the laundry. The detergent ads, they lie.)
Any person (with or without a cleanliness OCD) might want to raise some questions. I am going to imagine your questions and try to answer them so that the universe stays untampered.

1. Isn't that harmful? What if the kid falls ill?

No, it is not dangerous. If you put the kid on a proprietary food diet and wean him off breast milk too early, now that is something I would call dangerous. On the contrary, it is good if the kid plays in mud. It will boost the teeny tiny immune system. After all, the kid will have to live in the real world some time soon. Some early interface with dirt is actually advisable. Think about resistance.

2. How can you let you kid stay dirty? Aren't you a bad mother?

I don't let the kid stay dirty. I give him a bath everyday. I give him a bath right after he had his share of fun in the dirt. I cut his nails regularly. There is a difference between proper hygiene habits and paranoic obsessive madness. I don't spend my pay cheque on stacking every other cleaning product that has launched ever on the supermarket shelf. The immune system needs to know what dirt microbes are so that it can work on the immunity. By over protecting and over sanitizing, you are actually cutting the chances of your kid being healthy.

3. But isn't it cooler to let your kid play with all the apps specifically designed to make the kids smarter in your smart phone?

No, I don't think a smartphone will make my eleven month old cool. Dan is not scared to touch the nose of a neighbourhood stray dog named pinchu. That makes him super cool. Do you even know that there is something in the first world called "nature deficit disorders" among children? I am sure the third world has it too. Think twice or thrice before letting your kid hang out with the smartphone all the time. An occasional dipping the parents bigass phone in a bucket of water makes them really cool though ;) PS: I don't have a smart phone.

4. But playing outside is dangerous alright? They might fall, they might break a bone or two. Doesn't that bother you?

My kid falling and hurting himself is a bother at all times. He can fall from the cot indoors as well. And falling and bruising and healing are all part of growing up. My child laughs in pure joy when he is outside the house. He shrieks with happiness when the dog comes and sniffs him. I want to see that happiness.

5. Ok, so stray dogs and dirt. Your kid will get infected by tape worm and ring worm and what not!

That is quite possible. But you can effectively deal with those worms by using a de-worming medicine prescribed by your kids doctor. At least in this case, prevention is not better than cure.

Have Fun. Make a mud cake. A sand castle. Anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...