DD, 2.5, regularly comes in from the yard with dirt all around her mouth, in her hair, etc. DH calls the dirt around her mouth a "mudstache." :LOL
I know babydoll is no longer subscribed, but I would never send any of my kids to school dirty, and I know no one else here would either. DS just started kindergarten and while he may not shower/bath daily, he is always nice and clean when he goes to school.
Sometimes I just don't remember to bring a change of clothes to the park, and then we have to go to the store on the way home. I have 3 kids 5 and under. Going home and changing/bathing them and then going out to the store again would be a major ideal and would make us all miserable. If someone wants to think I'm neglectful, they can go right ahead and do so. I can't do anything about thier thinking--none of my business. I could bring them to the store totally clean and someone could judge me for nursing in public or not smacking my 2.5 yr old for screaming or tying to climb out of the cart.
My mom was great about dirt--she's let us get positivelly filthy. I remember having mud fights, "washing" our hair with mud, playing in the rain, etc. We have a picture of me around 10 months old playing in Central Park. It's a shot of me bending over, and all you can see is my muddy plastic pants diaper cover and a bit of chubby, dirty leg.
Yay for grubby, loved, happy kids!!