What I’ve Learned: Dust Bunnies Won’t Kill Him

This is part of a new series I’ve started here on Bean’s page called What I’ve Learned.  Once a week I will be posting about a minor victory in motherhood that I’ve accomplished as a reminder to myself that while I still have lots to learn, I’m continuing to grow as Bean’s mom every day.

I do not like being dirty.  Never have.  My parents used to tell the story of taking me to the beach when I was little.  I’d get sand in my bathing suit and I’d walk with my legs spread so wide apart that it looked like I’d been riding a horse for days.

As the owner of two dogs – one being Big Hairy Molly – dog hair is just a part of my life now.  But that doesn’t mean I tolerate it well.  It grosses me out and drives me crazy.  When I was pregnant, the thought of bringing a little baby into this hairy, dusty environment was enough to send me under our dining room table hunting dust bunnies with my Green Demon vacuum at eight months pregnant.

So, needless to say, as Bean has grown up and become more mobile, it has been harder and harder for me to keep him clean.  When he started crawling around, I started barricading him in our living room – where I knew it was relatively clean for him to romp.  But now that he’s getting more and more active he wants to be out and about.  And I realize that I can’t keep him locked in a little patch of clean carpet in my living room for forever.

This week I have learned that dust bunnies won’t kill my son.  He gets dusty.  He gets dirty.  But that’s just what you get when you crawl around on floors all day, I guess.  I keep my house as clean as I can, but it will never be the kind of place where you can eat off the floor.  And I have learned that it only makes Bean’s world smaller when I try to keep him inside a bubble.

I have been finding more and more ways to come to terms with my little guy’s desire to be where ever our dirty dogs are.  For example, I lint roll him.  A lot.  If he’s been rolling around with Big Molly, instead of snatching him up and putting him in his play crib where it’s cleaner, I just let him play and then lint roll him when he’s done.  He’s happy.  Big Molly’s happy.  And I’m happy.

And it’s not just the dog hair I’ve come to terms with.  Meal times have been messier than usual around our house lately.  Mostly because Bean insists on feeding himself everything – or at least helping to feed himself.  This can make yogurt a little tricky.  And also there are so many good, juicy fruits in season right now – watermelon, oranges, blueberries.  And I can’t just avoid foods because they might make a mess.  What’s wrong with me?!?!  THAT’S WHY GOD INVENTED DIAPER WIPES!  Someone told me when I was pregnant that the best piece of parenting advice they could give me would be to not be afraid to use diaper wipes.  At the time, I thought they meant when I was changing a diaper, but now I’ve learned that diaper wipes can clean so many surfaces – not just the soft, round ones!  Now, I just let Bean to go town on his food.  If he makes a mess, it just means he likes the menu that night.  There’s nothing that happens at the dinner table that can’t be resolved in the bath tub.

So, that’s my lesson this week.  Dust bunnies and fruit juices won’t kill my son.  Not too earth-shattering, but still a really good thing to know as a parent.

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14 Thoughts to “What I’ve Learned: Dust Bunnies Won’t Kill Him”

  1. Lisa

    So many of these wonderful lessons will follow. 🙂 My mom was worried that when my first son got mobile, he would get in the cat food. I knew that if cat food was the worst thing he ever put in his mouth, we would be OK. lol
    As a mom, you never stop learning these things. I learned a valuable mommy lesson today and my baby just turned 15.

  2. Awwww!!! he is just a cutie pie..! I know it must be really hard to sometimes just let him be a boy.. I’ll come across that when my baby get more mobile. My husband is afraid that I’ll treat him like a girl and don’t let him get dirty.. Thanks for sharing the cutest video!

  3. That video is hilarious! I love how the dogs are sniffing around to see what Bean is up to!

  4. Lisa

    He’s such a funny little kid, that video is hilarious. His little feet are so cute sticking out from under the cupboard.

  5. Marlene

    I LOVE your giggle as you watch him get himself stuck! How cute! Course, I’m a grandma so I think EVERYTHING kids do is cute (well, up to a point, that is!). I should give you the advice my mother-in-law gave me when our first was little…. she said “Relax and enjoy her/him, she/he will grow up INSPITE of you not BECAUSE of you!” So whenever my little ones had something in their mouth, or climbed on something, or ate dog food, I’d remind myself of that and ya know what? They did! And now THEY are chasing little ones, prying things out of mouths don’t belong there and I tell them the same thing! We all learn as we go. You are and will do great!

  6. Rebekah

    Thanks for this post…I’m currently dealing with “AHHH there is cat hair everywhere the baby is going to die if she gets it on her”. Yuck. I need to chill.

  7. Chloe

    If I lived in Florida I’d be begging you to let me kidnap your kid for a few hours. He’s so stinking cute! All smiles!

  8. Love it! They say that it’s actually good for their immune systems to get into all that dirt, and the exposure to dog hair can be good for his allergy immunity. 🙂 Good job, Mom! (You are ahead of me on this one, and I have three, the oldest being 9. OCD plus parenthood is a difficult thing. 🙂 )

  9. I love, love, love that you recorded and laughed at Bean’s predicament before you bailed him out.

    And trust me – I know from vast experience that dirty floors will not hurt kids.

  10. Also? I love that you left a comment today. 🙂

  11. courtney

    So true, but such a hard lesson to learn 🙂

  12. elizabeth

    Have you tried yogurt smoothies? They made them from whole milk – yo baby (usually at whole foods – but check the label because there are some that aren’t whole milk) and kefir makes a drinkable yogurt too, also at whole foods. Makes getting yogurt a lot easier and a lot less messy 🙂

  13. Nicole

    My son will be 5 next month and my daughter just turned 2. While I have gotten over most things “dirty”, the feeding yourself and getting clothes stained I have yet to succeed in! Of course my son does fine with keeping himself clean but my daughter on the other hand is a different story. What I have come to terms with is, if she is eating something messy (which is EVERYTHING!) the cute clothes come off and she is in an old t-shirt and shorts. My other power struggle is leaving her with grandparents or even when I need to run errands and she stays home with daddy. When these days happen I find myself finding outfits I could care less about to send her off in! I know, I am horrible, but if I am not there to clean it up it is sure to come home stained!
    On your wipes comment, you will find MANY uses for them! If you run out of make-up remover they work perfectly! Eye make-up and all! Just this morning in Sunday School my daughter got crayon (AHH!!!) on her dress. I couldn’t find my Tide pen so out came a wipe. It came right off! Trust me, you could probably start a whole new section just for people to share their wipe uses!

  14. Beanie's Nana

    Your post reminded me of a woman I used to work with. Her mother-in-law use to brag about her other daughter-in-law all the time to my friend. One day she said, “Your sister-in-law’s keeps her house spotless. Why, you could eat off of her floors!” My friend replied, “Well, you can eat off of mine, too. There’s some pizza over there in the corner and some bologna beside the trash can.” I still chuckle when I hear that expression “eat off the floor”.

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