|Go son! Get down and dirty!|
I confess: I let my child crawl on public spaces. Everywhere except restrooms, hospitals and clinics.
I'm sure that the thought of a child crawling on public property would gross out some people, parent or not. But to me that's fine. I'm the type of mom who'd let her child explore as long as he wasn't in any imminent danger, such as being hit by a truck or being eaten by a bear or being electrocuted or drowning or being burned alive. Yes, there's the danger of getting sick but I don't think his risk is any higher than other kids. There are dirt, bacteria, germs and viruses everywhere. They're in the air we breathe.
Some say that exposing kids to a bit of germs strengthens their immune system. I'm not sure if that's accurate, but I'm happy to report that Ziv is in the pink. It could be the exposure to some dirt that's helping him stay healthy but I think Ziv's strong immune system is more likely because of all the outdoor exercise he's getting. I let him play at the park at least once a day for 30 minutes and I tell you, that guy could be crawling a distance equivalent of a kilometer to an adult.
I may be relaxed, but I'm not careless. When Ziv's out there, I follow him around to make sure that he doesn't put anything in his mouth. I also make sure that after he's done playing, I clean his hands with antibacterial wipes and then wash his hands as soon as we get home. It must be working because, we haven't had any incidents of diarrhea or any infection whatsoever. Thank God!
This entry came about because of something that happened this morning.
Two aunties aka old ladies at the park said "dirty" while pointing at Ziv who was happily exploring the world on all fours. I just smiled at them but deep inside I was irritated. To them that single word probably just meant the ground is dirty and I should not let my little child crawl on it. But to me, that seemed like a commentary on my parenting style. It might be a single-word sentence but it made me feel I was just told I'm a bad mother for letting my son crawl around the community park.
I would understand if the comment came from my mother-in-law. She's supposed to question our parenting decisions. But strangers? I don't know why they'd feel entitled to give their opinions when it comes to the things we let our son do. They may know kids but they don't know OUR kid.
I know there will be more of this in the future. I just need to toughen up and work on that fake smile.