Yesterday I watched two little girls, sisters around the ages of three and five, each playing with a balloon. They had suckers in their mouths. The older had some command over her balloon as it was only maybe a third of her size. She had the coordination and arm-span to catch it and hold it if she wished. The smaller was barely larger than the balloon and would walk up to it, arms extended, and bend at the waist. She would squeeze her little arms and the balloon would pop up into the air and away.
On one attempt, she bent over and squeezed violently, as if squeezing the balloon harder would make it easier to capture. The balloon flew into the air and the impact knocked her green sucker out of her mouth and onto the dusty floor. Her big sister noticed this, walked over, picked it up, sucked the dirt and dust off, and thrust it into her sister’s mouth. They both seemed quite happy with this exchange.
I for one think this is delightful. As a kid who ate a lot of dirt, and an adult who still eats dirt from time to time, it’s good sometimes to look at kids for what people do before we are taught to be neurotic and obsessive. I’ve heard that dirt, clinging to the skin of root vegetables, is an important part of our diet that we civilized veggie-washers are missing.
Whether that’s true or not, I don’t care. The point is that getting stressed out about dirt will definitely kill you early. Don’t worry about a little dirt. My dad says “you gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die”. If I knew what a peck was I could work on that. I know it’s less than a bushel. It’s also been said that “God made dirt so dirt don’t hurt.” This is charming, though logically flawed (Didn’t God also make scorpions, turds, and rat poison?). Enough spitballing.
Bottom line: eating dirt is not important enough to justify anyones attention.