The School Days are going quite well and the crowd seems to be having fun.  However, for the next few weeks, Jac is teaching 3 classes at STM in the morning, and the kids wait unitl he comes in the door to go berzeerk. 

Today, the punching, kicking, pushing and screaming was reaching fever pitch and they were tossed outside.  They were calm for some time until Philip came back in, whimpering about Max putting sand in his hair and threatening to put sand down their pants.  So, as i stood making sandwiches for lunch and Max and Tess trooped in, I was not a happy camper.

I HATE that sand box.  I believe it came from the mouth of hell.  I know that sand boxes are important to the development of fine young minds and healthy imaginations and that you can’t find a good sand box just anywhere these days (has anyone noticed the gravel and bark and other attrocities that fill playgrounds?). And I would not have conspired to put a sandbox on my property if it were not a gift from the grandparents and greatgrandparents. How am I to deny my children of such generosity?  I can’t.  But I can despise it from the depth of my being which is what I did today.

I wanted to scream and rail and rant and rave, but I did not.  Instead, I attacked the peanut butter and jelly with gusto when I first heard teh sand papery noise coming from Tess’s feet and then watched as she poured no less than a quarter-cup of sand from her shoes.  And this is not good-old-fashioned playgroud sand that clumped up like cat litter when it rained.  Oh no, my friends.  This is ultra fine, beautiful Hawaiian beach sand (I hypothesize, having never walked said beaches).  It is slick under foot, will not be swept up and cannot be washed out (it clings for days and weeks on little scalps).  Ugh.  Then, as Max watched his sister he says, “Um.  When Tess was leaning forward?  I could kind of see a pouch in her back/  And I kind of, accidentally, put some sand in it.  Then, I didn’t do it, but when she stood up?  It went into her diaper.”  He ended this announcement with a flinching smile like he knew what he deserved (that, being a thorough flogging).  “Hmm …” said I, “How do you think that feels in her diaper?”  “Not very good.”  “Probably.  You need to help her take her pants and diaper off.”

Now, this was not originally intended as a punishment, per se, but more of a lesson in sympathy.  However, each of the times Max reached to unbotton the pants or pull on the waist, Tess would scream (see below) with indignation, rush him like a line backer (she laid him out every time) and run away.  (Susan says that is a good instinct on her part.  I agree.).  When I finally helped him corall her and explained to Tess what was happening, the amount of sand that came pouring out of that girl … ! (Mind you, the running around, fighting off Max deposited sand everywhere!)  And as Max undid her diaper – the look on his face … “Ugh.”  he grimaced, “It got on her pee pee.”  Ya think??? is what I wanted to say.  But I bit my tongue and tried to eyeball just how much was in the diaper (another 1/4 c.) and on her skin.  Extremely unpleasant.

They don’t know it yet, but the sandbox is out of bounds until further notice.