Sloshy Rainboots and A Dead Squirrel

toddler girl outside rain bootsIt’s Wednesday, which dictates the post be somehow related to food or health or science or something practical like that.

But I want to talk about Spring nature and toddler messes. So we’re going to call playing in alley puddles exercise. Ok? Good.

Yesterday, Iris and I spent the day at home doing the usual activities like making and eating food, reading books and listening to music that lets me pretend I’m 16. On this particular day, we were also treated to a mild thunder shower (love). That meant puddles.

Better yet, Iris has a brand spankin’ new pair of rain boots, courtesy of her Auntie Sara. I put two and two together, and made the executive decision to go puddle hunting in the alley behind our house. That made me the coolest mom in the world.

For what was probably close to an hour, I watched Iris stomp, jump and run into puddles, she all the while laughing with abandon and grinning from ear to ear. She did fall a couple of times, but seemed unhindered by her drenched pants and muddy hands. When I deemed she was as damp as she should be, I took us inside. That made me the worst mom in the world.

I think the whole neighborhood got to hear just how awful I was. She wailed all the way to the front door and beyond.

A bath fixed everything for both of us.

Now, I’ve got wonderful pictures and videos of my wee babe having the time of her life in Spring nature, but the messy aspects are what stick out in my mind.

Just as I was realizing that Iris’ boots were filled with water, and noticing the intriguing noise they made, something else caught my eye. A little beyond the puddle, all covered in mud and rigor mortis, was a dead squirrel. If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I was at first drawn to this example of nature’s way and its resulting physical process. Then I remembered my priority (caring for my child), and was immediately accosted with horrific images of her grabbing the filthy thing with her inquisitive hands.

As a side note: I picked up a dead bird around age three, and tried to revive it with kisses. My poor 80 year-old grandfather had to kick it away when I wasn’t looking and pretend it had flown away, fully healed. Point being, I have reason to expect the worst when it comes to little kids and dead animals.

I managed to lead Iris to another puddle before she noticed the poor squirrel, and avoid a potentially gruesome situation. Still, I have a feeling that section of the alley will make my spine tingle in the coming months.

We made it home with only one knee scrape and no frightening bacteria. I poured out Iris’ boots and got a warm bubble bath going. All was right with the world (unless you’re the squirrel).

I want to remember the beautiful moments of these early years with my daughter, but have a feeling some of the clearest memories will always involve the messiest bits of life. No complaints… I just hope it doesn’t involve too many dead animals.

To your Wednesday!

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