With the back door open, the 19 month old, who spent the winter confined to the indoors most of the time, has discovered a whole new world. If there is a sudden silence from the short one, I know he usually won't be pulling all the cards out of my wallet and spreading them from room to room, instead he'll be outside digging in the mud or the big pile of sand left over from the chimney we had built.
He is out there as soon as I open the door in the morning and objects to being called in for any reason other than to eat. Every night he's covered in sand and mud (as are all of his siblings) and I've had to increase the bath routine from every other day or sometimes even a little less frequently than that, because there are some very dirty, gritty children running around.
I wouldn't change these days of mud and outdoor play for anything, and neither would the kids -- especially the littlest, who would rather play in the sand more than almost anything and loves being free outside from morning until night. A dirty child is a healthy and happy one, right?