This child loves mud.
No. She loooooooves mud, holy balls.
We head outside each day, and as soon as I've turned by back for a second, she's walking towards me with a plastic container filled with dirt and water, and she's busily stirring it with a little spoon. Or a stick. Or with her fingers.
It is the inkiest, blackest, muddiest mud you've ever seen, and it is her favourite thing in the world to play with these days.
Sometimes she adds grass or leaves or wood chips from the park for texture - that all depends on what she's making, of course. Sometimes she just needs it to be smooth and silky... like for beverages.
She: Would you like a chocola-tay, mummy? It's hot.
Me: That looks yummy and I'd love a cup, but I'd love it more if you rolled up your sleeves and kept the mud off your dress, okay?
She: Okay. But I already got some over here. *holds up arm to show me*
Me: I can see that. *scowls*
She: But, we can just soak that stain, right? *cocks head to side and winks*
Me: You. Are. Dangerous.
She: *laughs and scampers away* Would you like a meatball too?
Me: *yells* I'd like you to wipe your hands on the grass, and not on your buuuuuum!
While cleaning up closets and things recently, I came across a child-sized apron with Mexico emblazoned across the front. It is black. Naturally, this has become the ideal accoutrement for this type of play. At least, it keeps *some* of the offending mud off the clothes.
Thanks to those youtube videos she's so fond of watching, she's obsessed with making icing. Ganache, actually. Getting the consistency right is her joy and her bane, both at the same time. It's too stiff... now it's too runny... it's all very hard work.
She makes leaf-and-grass salads with mud vinaigrette.
She makes pancakes.
She makes chocolate wine.
Sometimes she uses chalk to outline a cake shape on the sidewalk (or on my neighbours' front stairs) and then she gets busy frosting it. That's kind of hilarious.
When she's done making things to eat and drink, she and the other little girls take to spreading their mud creations all over the plastic play-house outdoors... they rub it down and give every inch of that Step 2 cottage a good, thick coating of mud, before my neighbour-mummy hoses it down for the day. Again. (That woman has the patience of Job, I swear to god...)
When we come in for the day, she is flecked with the stuff everywhere. It's on her face, and in her hair. I usually have to put everything she's worn into a sink of cold water overnight, but I'm trying not to be too uptight about it - everything is washable after all, including the shoes. And the child, whose appendages require a good scrubbing with the nailbrush every night, but whoa, does she ever love that mud, mud, glorious mud.
What a little pig.