Woman to Women
My Name is Mud
Zen and the art of playing in the mud
I used to wear my perfectionism proudly, through my spotless wardrobe. My carefully chosen skirts, tops, flirty sandals and matching jewelry were always in pristine condition. One spot of errant makeup, drop of wine or splatter of appetizer would send me tearing into the closet for a wardrobe change like an awards-show celebrity. I fueled my neurotic need for spot-free fashion while hiding my real and deep fear, and hatred, of dirt, mud and spots.
Then the baby came. I was spat upon, shat upon and burped on more times than there were hours in the day. Constant shirt changing was making me dizzy. After a while I figured if whatever bodily fluid landed on me dried quickly and wasn’t too smelly, I could continue without losing my top. Somehow, the mess was cute and the baby-puke-rainbow became my new color palette. The need to stay clean didn’t matter as much as the need for baby and me to sleep, eat and poop.
Then we moved to the country. A little piece of heaven we carved out in the woods that, for the last nine months, has been one big mud puddle. We moved in without finishing the yard – big mistake. No grass, no landscape, just mud. My biggest fear, and I’m now living in the middle of it. My clothes, my shoes, the floors? All caked in mud.
I had two choices: Hide inside and go slowly stir-crazy or explore the outdoors with an increasingly mobile baby-cum-toddler who wants to breathe fresh air, bang sticks, pound on rocks and (gasp!) play in the mud. I’ve decided to go for it, splashy, slaphappy puddles and all. Because it all comes out in the wash.