Dirty Little Faces

 Joseph was always a clean baby. During his first birthday party, I had to put his fingers in his cupcake. He was appalled and spent the rest of the photo op waving his hands for a towel.


 Yes, my oldest created a baby sign for “napkin”.


While at times his propensity for neatness can be trying, I do appreciate that he knows how to use a napkin and likes to keep his area clean. I indulge his desire that his food not touch and I make sure he has three or four napkins at each meal. I did, however, draw the line at separate spoons and forks for each meal item.


Elizabeth is, as most younger children are, the polar opposite.


She has yet to meet a cake that she doesn’t want to face plant. She insists on feeding herself and doesn’t mind if some gets on her hands, her face, her clothes, her hair – as long as a little ends up in her mouth.


Joseph is horrified.


“Mama! Make her stop!”


“Mama! Elizabeth is disgusting! Stop letting her feed herself!”


“Mama! I’m going to throw up. I can’t look at her!”


He has gone so far as to feed her himself. Which she thinks is funny. And I think is adorable.


I tell him to be patient and she’ll get the hang of it. In the meantime, he’s taught her the sign for “napkin” and how to properly use two or three.


Do you have a messy child or a neat freak? Or both?