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.