Every day after lunch I kick the children outside for mandatory recess, and shut the door. When I open it an hour and a half later they are usually standing there dripping in mud. I noticed the other day, as I was having them disrobe on the patio and streak to the bathroom, that I don’t seem to mind them getting dirty. I never yell at them or say, “Don’t get dirty!” I just inspect them on re-entry and give the necessary orders. These usually range all the way from, “Wash your hands!” to “Get naked and get in the shower!” What can you do?
Dirt is just so much fun. Right behind sticks. If you have dirt, sticks, and brothers and sisters, you are in want of nothing.
Our week went something like this: Monday was irrigation day. They literally went swimming in dirt. All of them had to get butt naked by the back door and take baths afterwards. I expected as much. Tuesday, the yard remained sufficiently muddy so they made dirt balls and flung them at the shop. This is apparently no end of fun. Wednesday the mud was starting to harden so Rahab and Jael steadily rolled it into ammo while Jehu pelted Gideon with dirt balls for an hour straight. This is also fun.
**Judith sporting the Haircut She Brought Upon Herself.
Wednesday night after dinner, someone started drawing with the charcoal in the fire pit. Two seconds later it looked like this.
They all got baths again and I had to quickly finish unpacking and sorting my sewing boxes so I could then hose off the patio before it all tracked in the house.
At this point the children started to wax feral, outfit themselves with tribal markings, and hunt chickens.
Did I say baths?
Rahab was the best at making dirt balls. Such an industrious little person. Although Gideon discovered later that she packed a few of them with rocks.
Eve usually does some outside time herself. She also likes dirt. She must, judging by the amount she eats.
Thursday I went out to check on them and there wasn’t a child in sight. I hollered, “Boys! What are you doing?” They yelled back, “We’re up in a tree reading books! What else would we be doing?” They must have been sad that all the mud had dried up.
Jael is always the most intrepid tree climber. If you can find her in the top. Jehu hollered up to her, “Hey Jael! Look down and then imagine what happens if you fall!” They’re just jealous.
Friday there was an epic stick fight. I remember looking out the front window to see Gideon and Jehu parrying down the street. It gets kinda wild. But since they have been beating each other with sticks since they were two, they don’t seem to get hurt. Which would not be your initial impression. Practice makes perfect.
Saturday we drove to the trail head and dumped the big kids out. Apparently they were burrowing through the underbrush because they came back an hour and a half later looking like this.
Our neighbor came over to help pull the burrs out of Jael’s hair. And then I gave everyone more baths.
And then I washed all their clothes. And their shoes. And guess what? Tomorrow is irrigation day all over again.