Apparently, I do deserve the Mother of the Year award. See, my kids aren’t just playing in the mud as you might assume. Nope, they’re building their brains. No, really. Science Daily said so!
Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behavior, according to research presented at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.
So all the times I let them play until they were filthy, digging in the dirt, rolling in the mud, catching all sorts of lizards and salamanders, it was good for them.
I think that totally makes up for any and all cartoons I have also let them partake in. Plus the occasional junk food that I can neither confirm nor deny eating. Ahem.
My only complaint is the end of the article.
“This research suggests that M. vaccae may play a role in anxiety and learning in mammals,” says Matthews. “It is interesting to speculate that creating learning environments in schools that include time in the outdoors where M. vaccae is present may decrease anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks.”
I’m biased, I think time outdoors trumps any “learning environments in schools” automatically. Instead of 6 hours at a desk, one hour in the dirt, how about 7 hours in the dirt with a few good books and a couple outdoor pillows to relax. Oh, and a glass or two of lemonade. Sounds like a great educational opportunity to me!