Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Clean Feet

Yep, I know.

I am supposed to be posting Berean's birthday photos.

But, I must post this instead, while it is still fresh in my mind.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today.  70ish and sunny- can't get much better in March.  After gym and swimming lessons we went over to my mom and dad's house.  They live on the edge of a large "wetland"/park area.  The boys and I walked down into the creekbed.  We crossed the creek on a tree that had fallen (they thought that was pretty cool, and it was fairly challenging for them) and then I let them wade in the creek.

Finally it was time to leave, and I called to them to get their shoes on and come up to the path.  I watched with amusement to see what would happen.  They all have little hangups about their feet/shoes/socks.  Deacon insists on wearing socks, because he likes to avoid blisters.  Deacon is always the first one to jump into a muddy situation.

Roman is fastidious about being clean.  Actually, Roman is rather interesting.  He doesn't mind getting messy, but as soon as the fun is done, he freaks out about the mess.  He also doesn't mind if his clothes are dirty, he just doesn't like extraneous dirt on his body.  He also likes to be dry.

Lincoln doesn't mind wearing his shoes without socks, but he doesn't like to put shoes onto dirty or wet feet.

I was curious to see how each would handle the situation when they realized that there was not going to be a good way to get their shoes and socks back on clean feet.  There was no dry place to sit next to the creek, and there was no clean path up to the rocks/path.

 I watched Lincoln walk through the mud to where he had left his shoes.  He sat down to put them on, then seemed to be considering his feet.  It only took him a couple of seconds to see that this wasn't going to work, and then to do his favorite thing: "MOM!  What should I do?  My feet are too dirty to put my shoes back on!"  Grandma and I instructed him to just come up to the path barefoot and we would help him or get them washed at home.  He happily took that advice.

Deacon was next to appear.  He had his socks and shoes back in place.  His legs were dirty, and his shirt was more so.  He told me about his problem and his solution without me asking.  "So, Mom, I didn't know what to do because my feet were too dirty to put my socks and shoes on.  I decided to just wipe them off with my shirt.  It worked great."  Yes, Deacon, except your shirt is now dirty.  Kind of a "Cat in the Hat Comes Back" situation.  I actually did appreciate him problem solving without involving me, and the situation was one that was acceptable and pleased him, so I guess that is ok.

 We continued to wait for Roman.  I saw him walk to the creek, rinse his feet and then walk back to the rocks.  It only took a couple of seconds for him to be back in the creek.  We've all been there, right?  It is an age old dilemma.  Suddenly he took off running along the creek.  Every 10 feet or so he would stop and peer into the woods.  Finally he found what he was looking for: a small blue bucket that we had noticed on our earlier wanderings.  He carried that back to the bridge and I watched him fill it up with water and carry it up to the rocks.  He poured it over his feet.  It simply didn't hold enough water.  He tried again.  Apparently the second time he got them acceptably clean.  I saw him stand on a clean rock and wipe his feet.  Then he sat down and started putting on his socks.  He called out to me, "Mom!  I know this is taking a long time, but I had to figure out what I had to do!"  I yelled back that he could leave his socks off and figure that part out later.  He came running across the bridge with just his shoes on and announced that he hoped he could get to Grandma's quickly because his "feet felt weird".

I  love my boy's little personalities and I love it when a situation like this comes up and allows me to see more clearly their problem solving abilities and how they react to life's little dilemmas.


The engineer said...

Ah yes, those are my guys.

gma pam said...

You are so good, Julie, to not get upset about the messes or slowness, but to observe things about them and to use those observations in your parenting! You get a gold star! (Though I do hope you have a chat with them about when it is wise or unwise to cross creeks over fallen trees...)It was a wonderful afternoon with some wonderful boys! I can't wait to see the men they will become.