Well, we’ve sure been getting dirty lately!
I think Daniel’s recent obsession with “worm hunting” might have something to do with it.
“Worm hunting” consists of convincing an older brother or sister to dig alongside you in the woods or in Mama’s empty herb garden (Shame on me, I know!) until one uncovers a worm or two. Or seven. Or sixteen.
Then the 2 year old grips the worms in his soil-blackened hands and brings them in (yes, you read that right — inside my house) to “show Mama.”
This is the most important part of worm hunting.
Mama does not freak out. Once, when she tried to say the worms were just a little bit gross, Daniel grew indignant.
“Dey not gwoss!” he had insisted, stamping the floor with a mud-caked foot for emphasis. “Dey worms!”
So no. Mama pretends the worms are the loveliest and coolest and awesomest creatures she has ever had the honor of hosting in her home and then hisses at a nearby big kid to hurry up and help Danny feed those worms to the turtle already.
You see, we must feed them to the turtle (of course we have a turtle in the house — you are missing out if you don’t have one) because if we don’t feed them to the turtle, the worms will just be there and the 2-year-old will not be able to think of anything else, indoors or out, and the worms will be handled and brought back outside and then back inside and stressed over by folks of all ages … No, they must go away. And why not treat the turtle to some live food for a change anyway?
After the worms have been eaten and thus served their earthly purpose, the 2-year-old can return to his earthly purpose — which is of course, digging up more worms.
I do wonder some days, though … How many worms can 10 acres hold? And how many worms can one turtle ingest? And how much money could I make if I opened up a little bait shop?
Tonight, when I examined the hands of Raphael, one of Daniel’s favorite worm hunting partners, I said, “Wow, you sure got grubby.”
But Raphael shook his head.
“No Mama,” he told me. “I’m not grubby. We only saw one or two grubs and we didn’t touch them. We were out there for the worms.”
Very well then. Not grubby. Wormy. That’s us.