I’m all in favor of jumping in puddles.  I wonder why some parents are against it ? I admit that the floor of the backseat of my car is now a muddy mess of discarded socks, apple cores,  orange peels,  Legos,  and Playmobil figures all covered in leaves and dirt.  I think there might even be an old Eric Carle book at the bottom of the pile.  Since its Winter here, that pile freezes and thaws on a daily basis, creating a quagmire that I’ll have to clean up, someday, maybe in the Spring.    My car is 12 years old and has more than 200,000 miles on it, so I don’t really care so much about how clean it is at this point anyway.

Once a week or so we go to a farm stand near our house.  The farmer knows us, so we will often visit the animals in his barn.  We’ll sometimes see other parents wandering around with their kids, just about always they will discourage them from getting anywhere near either the animals, dirt, or really much of anything.  Why are you at the farm? , I want to ask them.   I don’t ask them that of course.   I know that most people don’t want their kids to end up covered in mud, or their car, or their house.  But sometimes I think it’s probably a good idea to let them have some control over what they’re doing.

You missed one!  I’ll tell him, pointing to a puddle he has not jumped in yet.  Or, try that one, it has some ice on top that you can break.  Other parents will stop and stare. What is that strange man doing?




It’s the middle of Winter.  We’ve been inside for months.  There’s not quite enough snow around to go sledding so what else can we do to get some outside exercise.

Besides trying to keep the living room rug clean, my other rule is that we don’t do a lot of jumping in the mud when we’re out with J’s car.  That’s a fairly new car and I don’t want to have to clean up two cars next month.  Fairly new being 8 years old, with 125,000 miles.

I also have to draw the line at throwing large chunks of muddy ice into puddles in order to get a huge splash of muddy icy water all over the jacket,  shirt, and pants, and then jumping into whatever was left of the puddle.  We have to have clear boundaries, right?


Right before we left the farm, I wanted to get a shot of an old tractor in the snow among some apple trees.

I don’t want to go over there, Mr. C says.

Why ?

I’ll get too wet.



Jump — 11 Comments

  1. I can’t imagine trying to get between my kids and a puddle. There are few things that bring such joy to their faces, and to mine too I suppose. I get a kick out of seeing them so happy out of something so simple.
    Sounds like you got the right priorities.

    • I try to quickly gauge wether it’s going to be above or below the ankles, most likely it’s pretty shallow, so ok go for it!

  2. Hi Peter,
    You sound like a fun loving Dad :) OK, there are limits; of course.
    But still a lot of oppurtunities to have fun & explore.
    Go guys!

    • We don’t have cable TV in the house, so after being stuck in the house for the Winter I just have to get out sometimes and let him go nuts.

  3. I bet the moms are the ones staring at you the most! My youngest seems attracted to puddles and mud. I allow him to jump in puddles only if he wears his boots, but that’s because he mostly has one pair of shoes so when he gets them soaked (and he has several times), I don’t always have an extra pair for him to wear. Just yesterday he was playing in a small stream at the park and he’s the only kid who fell butt first in there… I’m glad it was warm and sunny so he could dry up fast.

    I love your comment about parents bringing their kids to the farm and worrying about them getting dirty! That’s what I wonder in these circumstances.

    • I do have limits though. There’s a downspout at the farm that he likes to stand under. Directly under, so that the water drips on his head and back. That’s too much water I tell him. It must confuse him that some puddles are OK, but a downspout is not!

      I do know that there can be some health concerns regarding that sort of thing, so I can understand how some people hesitate to let their kids get too dirty. But I don’t think kids should be afraid to get dirty. My wife is even more permissive than I am. I’m known as the Safety Officer in the family.

    • Next month is known as ‘Mud Season’ here, so we’re going to have spend some time cleaning the house.

      Yeah Puddle Jumpers!