Most parents get that ingesting a certain amount of dirt and germs is part of growing up. Parents can teach/remind kids to wash their hands, wipe the counters with the latest antibacterial wipes and still kids do find a way to eat dirt. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I was in the dairy aisle of the grocery store the other day. This store has those special carts with a big place just in front of the handle for kids to sit. A five year old girl with long pigtails was wrapped in her mom’s sweater and being a fairly good little riding shopper. She gave me a cheery wave and a big smile. I watched her for a bit and she was smiling and waving at other shoppers too. I went farther down to the yogurt display and headed back towards the front of the store.

As I came back I saw the same little girl out of the cart. Her mom was 20-25 feet back and making selections from the dairy case. Ms. Pigtails was standing very still in the middle of the aisle staring at the floor. I looked down and saw a cookie on the floor. Ms. Pigtails carefully looks around to see if anyone, particularly her mom is looking at her. She then grabs the cookie and puts it in her mouth.

She sees me, puts a finger over her mouth as if to say, “Shhh, don’t tell on me” and scampers back to her perch in the cart.

Ms. Pigtails made my day. She also got me to thinking about how even the most careful parents can’t be watching every minute. Kids need to eat a certain amount of dirt. We like to think we can protect them but they are greedy for all the experiences life has to offer. They are really quite subversive.

I wanted to ask her if the cookie was kind of gritty but I don’t think she cared a bit.