Please Don’t Wipe my Child’s Face

May 17, 2021

It happened again, the cashier at Wal-Mart beside herself trying to help me wipe my kids’ faces. “They are so messy”, she exclaims. “Oh my gosh let me see what I have to help you”, digging for paper towels. I look at my kids, enjoying a frosted donut. They look fine to me. Happy even.

“Oh, they are ok.”, I say. She says, “No, just let me get that little bit of frosting…” She leans in over the stroller with a paper towel. “Please don’t,” I start lauging. I don’t know why everyone keeps trying to wipe their faces.

She stops mid wipe and stares at us. So I ask her, laughing, “why does everyone try to wipe their faces?” She is confused, “because they are a mess,” she says.

My children, a mess? Yes, they are. Just another Wednesday. Frosting all over their little faces because we stoppped at dunkin donuts, it’s free donut day.

But I am surprised how messy children bother people. Like really really bother some people. Are you one of those people? No judgement if you are. To me messy faces and kids go hand in hand. And for sure, it would never cross my mind to wipe someone elses’ child’s face. Ever. But I am messier than most.

It always surprises me, someone notices us, three little kids in a wagon and insists on helping me wipe their faces. Never mind the toddler hitting her brother with a bottle of shampoo or the other throwing green beans out of the cart, messy faces (!), that’s the priority here. I always wonder if they have kids. If they fed their kids donuts as they walked through a store and if they did, if they brought a wet rag with them everywhere they went. Baby wipes probably.

I told Tom about this and about the women before the cashier who bent over with a rough paper towel and wiped Edith’s face commenting on what a mess she was and exclaiming in disbelif that little Edith was chewing on her brother’s shoe. I was getting blood work drawn. She’s a twin I laughed, “she’ll be alright.”

Just wipe their faces he says. Then it won’t matter.

He is probably right.

I’m working on it I say. But stronger than my desire to keep my children clean is my desire to let my kids, be kids. Donuts and all. Sticky, messy kids.

So, if you see us in the store with sticky hands and messy faces, please don’t wipe my babies’ faces.

I promise I won’t let them get it all over Wal-mart.

Mom with little kids

    Leave a Reply