Mud Mud Glorious Mud October 30 2014

We dig mud. Lots of mud. Being farmers when it rains we celebrate and the kids virtually bathe in the stuff. We all crowd around puddles and laugh and jump and stomp and snigger – Peppa Pig style.

There are make-believe dams to be built and mended. Mud pies. Stranded machinery to be saved. Basically whatever the game it’s just about getting messy and laughing and being kids. The front yard has become our own private wet’n’wild and the kids are each going through at least four outfits a day. For the boys it’s a natural fit. Happy as a pig in mud is an understatement.

I love watching them in the muck. They jump and jive and giggle non stop. Then they strip off at the door and run inside to warm their little backsides by the fire, or jump into a steaming bath brimming with bubbles. Then food. There’s something about cold and wet weather that makes little ones ravenous. I like to fill them with steaming bowls of chicken and vegetable soup, hoping it will ward off any colds and chills caused by getting soaked to the bone. It has become a tradition, one that in turn warms my heart when my eldest starts searching for the soup spoons, sometimes before he even looks for new pants!

Elsie is the latest to learn to love the proceeds of wet weather. It has hardly rained since she started wiggling and jiggling all over the farm, but in the last few weeks it has pelted cats and dogs and we couldn’t be more thrilled. She has a new laugh, one that she only uses when her toes first squidge through the mud. It is loud and pure. It is pure joy. The she jumps in. Holus Bolus. Her dolls too must be dragged through the muck. All though in truth, I think outside she prefers to play with dump trucks!

She has no fear, the squeals are of delight not dread. There is no ‘girly-ness’. Is that because she has older brothers and has no one else to look towards? Should I be schooling her to stay inside and stitch and sew and fold linen neatly? Not likely on this farm. I want a resilient little girl, that can appreciate and delight in the wonders of the seasons and the senses as much as her brothers. I get so overwhelmed by all the schools of thought on the sexes and I just want my mob to be kids.

Since having a little girl I must admit much much more of my time is taken up looking online at darling little outfits and dreamy combinations of tulle and lace. I adore it all. But I want my little love to love gumboots as much as tutus. And I hope that that love starts here in the mud. Getting it in her hair and ears, and loving it and laughing. Because if we can’t laugh and jump in puddles as kids, then when can we? I hope Elsie never loses that new laugh and the boys and Elsie alike never feels like they can’t jump in the mud.

I know my rambunctious crew are good at being kids. Not sure if I am great at being mum by letting them loll around in so much muck. And I am definitely not good at being the laundry lady…. But what are the other options? Letting them laze inside watching Peppa jump in the mud on television? I believe there is a time for everything… including mud!

**Wet weather entertainment tips kindly accepted. Also please please give me your tips for getting those mud stains out of all their lovely clothes!!