"Y'all, my kids eat dirt. They do. Sometimes they eat dirt." I hastily informed Samara's entire class and their parents on the most recent class field trip.
"They also never wear shoes. Well, unless we are around people, but ... even then it's not a guarantee."
Hudson's binky had fallen under the picnic table while digging into his vanilla yogurt. I viewed his calm demeanor during a chaotic lunch as a triumph, so I just let it go. Later, Samara, his (responsible, caring, perfectly bred) sister retrieved the lost binky and returned it to its rightful owner. He proceeded to immediately stick it in his mouth, still covered with (gasp) dirt.
There were lots of gasps. In fact, so many gasps that I was a caught off guard. So many gasps that I confessed, right then and there.
I owned up to the dirt eating. Yup, sometimes it happens. In fact, just minutes before the binky episode, I myself had picked up a dirt covered apple off the ground (Hudson's), wiped it off on my jeans, and had bitten right in.
Like mother, like ...
I felt light from the first confession, so I threw in the shoe bit off the cuff. It wasn't relevant to the situation, but somehow seemed appropriate.
No one really responded, but as I gathered my dirt eating, shoeless children to take them to the sand box, a mother kindly offered a wipe for Hudson's yogurt covered face. Without even thinking, I replied, "Oh, he'll be fine. The sand will make such a mess anyway. We'll just take care of it all at once."
What was I doing to myself? Samara'a reputation? Hudson's skin?
First dirt and now yogurt residue!
In all honesty, I kind of thought that's what moms were supposed to do. I read so many blogs about simplifying that I assumed everyone recognized that messes compound, making it easier to clean the sticky, stinky, and salty once a day ... right before bed time!
The funny thing about the whole ordeal was that my own mothering actions did not cause me to feel pride (for being such a chill mom) or insecurity (for being such a reckless mom).
Rather, I laughed out loud and thought, "We all sure do this parenting thing differently."
As I looked around the tables of sweet, budding children, loved and cherished children (mine included), I thought to myself, "I think that's ok."
Lesson Learned: Maybe all those articles entitled "Overcoming Mommy Competition" are working.
Disclaimer: The parents of Samara's friends were wonderful today. I had a great time on the trip with them all, fun conversation, beautiful weather, and awesome education. This story just made Mark laugh tonight, which is why I blogged about it!