I laughed and said I understood, but internally, I really appreciated her words. I know not every parent wants their kids to get dirty, but I do know I don't want to be the parent that doesn't let their little girls get dirty.
As the party progressed, Munchkin started playing with another girl and then dancing and running around. The running turned into sliding on the floor and though her little friend didn't join in, Munchkin had a blast sliding around the spacious dance area with the boys. At times I looked at her, gleefully dancing around on the floor and thought she should get up. The truth is, however, it'd be hard to convince her and I know that if she'd been wearing old jeans, I would not have been as concerned. In the end I figured that my options were to continue to allow her to wear pretty clothes (that she chose to wear--I didn't make her dress up) to appropriate events knowing that they may come out worse for wear. Otherwise, she'd never have a chance to wear the clothes at all and that wouldn't serve her nor her gift-givers well. So even though I did wince sometimes as Munchkin decorated and danced throughout the party, she had a wonderful time being her version of what little girls are: messy, sweet, fun and rambunctious. I'll admit, I got home and hand-washed the dress immediately. There are faint streaks of pink ink in the skirt, but I know she can wear it again and create more colorful memories of her childhood while looking absolutely fabulous. To that fellow mother, who thanked me, I have a feeling her one-year-old daughter and three-year-old son will benefit from a mom who lets them have fun getting dirty. What fun is life if you can't get a little dirty?