On Tuesday I took M to the playground in the morning and ended up chatting for a while with a woman who was there with her two kids. We had a nice, normal conversation about stuff in the neighborhood, and she told me about a couple of nearby things to do with kids, and I hope we run into her again.
While we were talking, she was giving her kids, aged about two and three-ish, a snack. Juice boxes and those gummy fruit things. The two-year-old accidentally dumped her whole packet of gummy fruits into the sandbox, and the mom very calmly and matter of factly picked them up, placed them back in the packet, and put the packet away in her bag, saying, These are dirty now. We'll have to have another snack when we get home, as the toddler cried and then, eventually, recovered.
I watched the little girl sniffle over her lost snack and though thought, I’m glad I’m not giving M a snack right now. Because then this nice neighbor and potential new friend would see my filthy habits and never want to talk to me again.
Really, I routinely pick little pieces of broccoli and squares of cheese back out of the sandbox, brush off the larger pieces of sand, and give them right back to M to eat. By this woman's standards, I probably might as well be living in a landfill and scooping garbage into my daughter's mouth for each meal.
On the other hand, I don't exactly agree with her choice of snack foods (sugar! bound together with horse hoof byproducts! colored with dyes! and molded into the shapes of cartoon characters!) and that didn't keep me from thinking she was a pretty cool person to talk to. So maybe she'd be able to tolerate my dirtiness, too.