When did I become a neat freak? It seems only yesterday that I was a bachelor living with a group of other bachelors in a house that would comfortably accumulate an unfathomable amount of everyday living dirtiness before a “house meeting” (equivalent to a UN Security Council) would be required to remedy the mess. It seems to me that back then I had an amazingly high tolerance for dirtiness and unkemptness. Now, it appears – and my wife will confirm this – that I have NO tolerance for it!
Ahhh…and the kids enter the stage allowing for the REAL action to begin! One of my very earliest posts here on Paradosis made the claim that kid’s love dirt…and who can argue otherwise? Over time they become aware of the “guckiness” of it all, but beyond that my kids seem to be little mess making whirlwinds wandering the house in search of something to put out of its proper place. Mommy and Daddy follow them around dutifully trying to restore some semblance of order…but confounded, we adults find ourselves outnumbered 2:1 in the Ferrenberg home!
It has been miserably hot the last few days here in Washington…I hate it. The oversized inflatable pool is outside and the kids have been making extensive use of it – as well as the muddy water that naturally accumulates in the surrounding yard. In and out of the pool (and the house) the muddy, grass-ridden feet go so as to leave the kitchen floor and the pool water looking quite unseemly. Yet despite the murky appearance of the water, the kids take no notice and continue to readily envelope themselves therein, while Dad cringes at the thought. As if this were not “dirty” enough, the kids also find that the mud around the pool is even more fun and exciting if you touch it with your hands, which affords you the ability to manipulate it and perhaps even send it aloft!
My protesting falls on deaf ears. They stop for a time, but inevitably as I return to check on them they are once again engaged in the glories of “dirt.” The vicious cycle is repeated numerous times until at last I see the oldest boy sitting in the mud! Aargh! I am simply flabbergasted: Don’t you guys see how messy you are getting! AND how messy your are getting the pool and the patio and the house (when I am not on guard duty to prevent their unlawful and unclean entrance)! The kids will seemingly dance and roll in the dirt until such a time that they suddenly realize that the dirt has begun to inhibit their activities – and it is then, at last, that the revelation comes to them: “I am dirty.”
Sometimes there are tears that accompany this realization, but always the children come solemnly to Dad with hands, feet, head, or whatever outstretched to display the offending dirt. “I need to get wiped off” seems to be the typical phraseology, and despite my dismay and frustration with the whole ugly process, I always provide the requested service – though often outside with a hose. In my ignorance and anger, I often include an obligatory parental lecture during the rinsing off process, which usually begins: “You know if you’d stay out of the dirt to begin with…”
Yesterday, its seems Gos has reminded me that He could tell me the same thing day in and day out - oh how I love to bath in the muck of my sins! Ironically, my anger and frustration with my kids “dirtiness” is in fact getting me even dirtier. From the mouths of babes…I sometimes wonder who is really doing the teaching and upbringing in my house.
I need to get wiped off, Lord
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 9:23 PM [+]