In my grade school science class the teacher taught us how rivers were formed by taking a wide, shallow box and filling it with sand. She then poured little rivulets of water through it so they carved paths on their way to a drain at the far end. I'm reminded of this because that's what Samantha's bathtub looked like tonight after her first ever trip to the beach.
It's sad that we live so close to the ocean (about a 20 minute drive) but we so rarely go. I decided that Sam was old enough now, though, and by jiminy she was going to go. Besides, she should be past the stage where she'd try cramming fist fulls of sand in her maw. Well, mostly. She only did it twice, which really is once more than I would have expected after seeing the look on her face the first time. Babies have gizzards, right?
At any rate, Sam seemed to enjoy it. It was still too cool for her normal beachwear, so she looked a bit silly dressed in jeans and a denim jacket, but she didn't seem to mind. She had an awesome time using her little plastic tools to dig up traditional beach treasures like seashells, driftwood, cigarette butts, and liquor bottle caps. And only once did she lose her balance and tumble down a shallow dune to cover her entire face --recently made sticky by Ger's generous application of SPF 50,000 sunscreen-- with sand.
The only rough spot was when Sam got it into her head to throw sand. I mean, it seemed like a pretty natural thing to do and she seemed to be having fun. But fearing that Sam would grow up to be some kind of sand slinging miscreant, Ger panicked and insisted that I chastise Sam for doing this. I finally acquiesced, grabbing Sam's hands and saying "No, Sam. Do NOT throw the sand." Problem was, I think Sam got the unintended message that ALL sand was bad and that she shouldn't even be touching the stuff. Upon looking around and seeing herself surrounded by miles of the stuff, a wave of abject terror overtook her and she burst out crying. But other than that, good trip!
Not much else to report on this week. Sam continues to walk more and more, and her verbal prowess is growing. Last night while giving her a bath I would ask her, "Sammy, can you give me the duck?" She'd look around, spy the duck, grab it, and fork it over. Same thing when I asked her for the little "watering can" that she loves have me pour bath water out of. Now, I've never heard her say either "duck" or "watering can" so I was pretty impressed. And a little disquieted, because that kind of thing is proof that she's pretty much listening to us all the time. She doesn't act like it, but I think she's always listening. Sometimes, out of the blue, she'll call out "Rowerrowerrower!" in imitation of a cat. But the cat will be nowhere in site, neither of us will have mentioned cats, and she will be nowhere near any of her cat-shaped toys. And then some part of my brain that listens to background noises will realize that someone on the television had just said "cat" in passing. Apparently children don't have an "off" or "mute" switch that powers them down. So now feel awkward watching "Chappelle's Show" OR the evening news with her around.
Okay, I'm kidding. She can handle Chappelle.