A few weeks before we moved to the new house, the hubs and I bought a fancy new outdoor toy for the boys. It’s a large water and sand table complete with a sunbrella to keep those sweet little heads out of the sun and lots of fun toys for floating, digging and pouring. It was for sale at one of those warehouse stores where if you don’t buy it now, this very minute, they’ve sold out by the time you come back, so we grabbed one and kept it in the box, out of the grasp of little hands for nearly two months.
Now that we’ve finally had a chance to clean up the garden, we decided this weekend was a high time we broke out the new toy. I excitedly put it together, attaching legs and opening up the packages of toys.
When the boys woke up from their afternoon naps I made a big to-do about getting on their water gear and hats for a “surprise”, my three year old’s third favourite word — the first and second being “no!” and “mine!”.
We went out together and inspected the new table. Their little faces lit up! They grabbed the toys and started splashing merrily. It was all wonderful …. for about 6 minutes.
Then the prospect of exploring the rest of the garden occurred to the baby. First, he saw a sun lounger, which he promptly climbed and almost as promptly fell off. Then he spotted a ladder left lying out by the hubs and somehow managed to get stuck in the space between the rungs — the pitfalls of being a tubby baby! Then he spotted the toy lawnmower and sought to trundle along behind that. The only problem being it was not full of bubble solution so too light to offset his considerable weight. After a few graceless faceplants he opted to move onto his all-time favourite activity: attempting to consume random bits of crud he finds on the ground.
All this meant that I was only keeping half an eye on the three year old, not enough to notice that he was methodically dumping the contents of the water table on the ground, on his shoes, on any dogs who were foolhardy enough to get close, on luckless ants, on the leaf blower, and most importantly, on himself.
Having fully tested Archimedes principles he turned and announced,
“Mumma! I can’t play with this!”
“Why, darling?” I asked as I wrestled a soon-to-be-consumed twig from the tenacious grasp of the baby.
“I can’t … is too wet for me.”