Grubby Kids

When Pippin was a wee newborn, a friend with a toddler commented she’d had difficulty navigating the transition from keeping everything sanitary for a newborn to accepting everything would be filthy with a toddler.

I didn’t get it, at the time. Having a newborn felt pretty messy: he was kind of leaky, it seemed, always spitting up or blowing out or seeping through. It felt like a Herculean task to try to keep it all under control and his sweet seven pounds dry and tolerably clean.

Now I understand. I have an almost-toddler with dirt and butter in her curls, knees grimy from crawling, crumbs in her neck. I have an almost-preschooler who colors his legs with markers and smears PB&J around his pie(/sandwich) hole.

There is both a sadness and a glory in letting go, in letting the grubbiness take over. I can’t always pick out Pippin’s clothes now, or decorate his room just so, but in exchange I get his crazy, rainbow-hued ideas and his increasing helpfulness and independence.

I approved the Shire print, owl and duvet. The rest is all him.

With a newborn, you get to control everything but you have to control everything. These days, it’s a relief when Scout shows an obvious preference  for a lunchtime meal, and it’s touching when Pippin chooses what he’d like hanging on his walls, though there are so many times I’d rather just handle it myself — less mess, less drama. Delegating decisions is scary and frustrating and illuminating and freeing.

Pippin-selected art; Pippin-applied washi tape (I’m raising the next Martha Stewart here, y’all)
And grubby, for sure.

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Author: Katherine Grimm Bowers

Babies. Books. Fledgling housewifery. Once and future librarian. Catholic. Always thinking about chocolate ice cream.

2 thoughts on “Grubby Kids”

  1. Love that Shire poster! If I’m scrolling on instagram and pinterest too long, they start to make me want to curate the most perfect, lovely, magical, blog-worthy spaces for my children with all wood toys and no logos. But then I remember how unrealistic that is and even more important than that–how unsettling it is to make your children’s world a total reflection of your taste instead of letting them freely and creatively express themselves.

    Like

    1. Yes! I want to show off my personality and my carefully crafted ideals about childhood and motherhood so it’s hard to let go and admit he prefers Hot Wheels to hand-painted locally made woodland animal blocks, that he wants to wear a Batman shirt (without ever having seen it!) instead of the manly, handsome button down I’ve picked for him. Second time around that means I’ve enjoyed babyhood more because I know I have a short window to make those choices!

      Liked by 1 person

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