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.
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.