"I think it's good for kids to get germy and dirty, and that's how they build their immune systems. You can't be too overprotective. They have to be out there in the world."
This is what Gwyneth Paltrow advised in response to Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.
But it’s not an original idea.
All mothers who quickly realised that maintaining an anti-dirt stance is a fast track to crazy, have embraced the idea that God made dirt so dirt don’t hurt.
(That’s also not an original, my mother-in-law owns that one).
We live on the second floor of a house and share the washing-line with the downstairs landlord.
All fine and fabulous except the yard in the winter is always damp. Obviously I can’t leave Q to her own devices while I hang out the stupid amount of laundry we seem to accumulate, so down she comes and I sit her on a big garbage bag.
Ghetto I know, but I refuse to wash a quilt each day because it gets covered in dirt.
Problem is, she doesn’t stay on the bag and very quickly finds the muddiest part of the garden and stuffs some in her mouth.
Nutritional value of mud is quite low I’d imagine, so our landlord is trying to train her to eat the asthma weed that’s slowly taking over the garden instead.
We went to a picnic last Saturday and there was another baby girl there who showed Q up so devastatingly I ended up fleeing in embarrassment.
This girl was dressed in pristine pink and white striped linen – linen for heaven’s sake.
Who (apart from mothers on the lower north shore) even wears linen?
Worse than that, there wasn’t a mark on it.
Q meanwhile, had gotten into the strawberries and looked like a little vampire with red juice covering her once clean top. She – of course – had to be deterred from eating more leaves, knocked over a beer, chewed on a young girl’s play wand and tried to climb on top of another guest’s dog.
Busy. Interested. Energetic. Lively.
Yep, those are all words I heard describing my little human that day.
An anti-dirt stance? Not a chance.
But as a fairy searching for middle earth, what else would you expect?