One day, when the girls were at pre-school, I decided Ashton and I should have some fun.
"Let's get your shoes on and go to the park!" I told Ash. Well, he RAN to the closet and got his shoes. We put them on and then he RAN to the back door. (Just a little FYI for those of you who have not seen our house, the back door does not lead to the park.) There could have been a couple reasons for this confusion. One, it is possible that Ashton did not hear a word I said after the word "shoe". Ashton loves his shoes. They mean the world to him. Or, at the very least, they mean the following 3 things.
1) he is not going to have to go to bed
2) he is not going have to stay in the house
3) he is not going to have to go to bed
Or, it is very possible that Ashton does not know what "park" means yet. Both of these reasons are equally viable and, after careful consideration, I realized neither matter at all. Let's face it, the kid was happy in the backyard and I didn't have to strap him into the car and haul his bum to the park. It was a win-win situation, why debate the reasons.
So I cheerfully opened the backdoor and out we went into the wondrous world of our backyard. The weather was beautiful. The birds sang and the butterflies ... well the butterflies did what all butterflies do - they flew around. But, they were pretty and I enjoyed them immensely. It was not too hot (hallelujah after the summer we had) but the sun shone and all was right with the world.
**A little side note. As I sit at my computer Ashton is laying on the floor next to me with his shirt pulled up, drumming on his tummy. Ahhhh, life’s little pleasures.
Anyway, back to my story. It was a nice day and Ashton and I took advantage of it. We ran and played with balls and played in the little playhouse. Picture perfect moment really. And then it happened. Ashton noticed the sandbox. Now, the sandbox is an enigma for Ashton. On one hand, it seems to be a fun place to be. Certainly, the girls seem to enjoy themselves. On the other hand, when he touches the aforementioned sand it sticks to him in a rather irritating fashion. What to do, what to do? There was something different about this day though. Dare I say magical? Ok, not really magical more along the lines of mommies undivided attention. So off to the sand box we went. We touched. We realized, with mommies help that sand is ok. So - dramatic pause here - we got in. Let me tell you, this is when the fun really started. Ashton could get his hands and his toes involved in the digging. He would grab fists full of sand and let it run out his chubby little fingers. He would shove his hands as deep in the sand as they would go. He would kick his feet through the sand and look at the tracks his heels made. Wow! Did we have fun! And then it happened. I showed him the shovel. Well, if the sand was fun before it was nothing compared to what he was now experiencing. Sheer delight that only a child can find in a toy that, for all intensive purposes, only digs. But, man could it dig! We scooped and dumped, scooped and dumped. Beautiful. I began to give him large scoopfuls of sand to dump. He was in little boy sandbox heaven.
And, then something unexpected happened. I handed Ashton a shovel full of sand and Ashton dumped it (as he had been doing) into his gaping, baby bird type mouth. Well, to be honest I didn't see it coming. I watched in horror but I didn't move. I didn't twitch. I didn't even think, NOOOOOOOOO!" No, I sat there in stunned disbelief. Well, immediately after I jumped into action. Perhaps to make up for my complete lack of any sort of response whatsoever, I grabbed his little head and thrust it towards the sand.
**Another little side note here. Notice I said "towards" the sand. I did NOT shove his face in the sand. That would be wrong.
Anyway....... As I was saying, I grabbed his head, thrust it TOWARDS the sand, mouth down to dump out the offensive sand and shook it. Slightly. Needless to say, Ashton didn't like it. Not one bit of it. He didn't like the sand in his mouth and he didn't like the thrust and shake maneuver that I was beginning to feel completely redeemed me from my previous failure.
Now, let me take a minute to explain to you what this looks like. I wasn't taking small shovelfuls of sand. Ashton could do that on his own. Oh, no. I was taking large, heaping, full to the brim shovelfuls of sand. Because of the sheer amount of sand Ashton, in my opinion, was in grave danger (is there any other kind?) of suffocating himself. So if I thrust and shook with a bit more gusto than was actually required, it is perfectly understandable.
Once I had poured the dry sand out of his mouth, noticed that he made a fairly decent sand pile himself, I again took charge as only a mother could do. First things first I told myself. I need to get the sand off the body before I take him in the house. Of course, you don't want to track sand into the house, never mind that your son just had a near death experience. So, because the shaking of the head had worked so well for me, I shook the body as well. Amazing how mach sand children can accumulate from just sitting and eating isn't it? Anyway, I shook and then I carried him into the house and cleaned him up.
After relating our day to a friend she said, "At least you know he won’t do it again". Well, to be honest I didn't know any such thing. And as I predicted, a couple months later he did it again. This time I was much quicker on the draw. Not nearly as much sand was ingested.
Here is our most recent picture of Ashton. Dad is responsible.