Dont’ Fuss The Messy Clothes

Stanley thoroughly enjoys pushing the Tonka truck around; splashing through puddles, until he realizes his pants getting wet. He looks at me with gazing eyes, pouting about how his mom will soon be picking him up. I reassure him that at school, that it is OK to get wet, muddy, and messy. “You can always take a warm bath and change later,” I let him know. I have to confess I love the radical idea of kids piling into their parents SUV or station wagon, with at least a splash of paint or part of the earth on them. It reassures that as a teacher we are doing our job of not insulating kids psychologically, emotionally, and physically from the elements of their natural environment and of the sheer joy of experimenting with their surroundings. These marks of messes on their clothes are the indicators of architects, artists, scientists, and earthmovers in training – who are laying the foundation to higher learning. And a teacher or parents fuss over soiled, wet, or other wise “dirty” clothes can place a real damper on the spirit of self-discovery. Stanley, with his worried eyes of hearing his mother’s reaction, with a shameful sort of expression should not even be a concern at age four. It is his mother’s issue. And before we make a fuss about clothing we should at least let’s ask ourselves: Should a child’s natural; development towards a full sensory experience in learning be thwarted or limited, over messy clothes or spilled milk?

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