Friday, June 13, 2008

The Sand and Water Table

Like many little boys, Michael loves to play in dirt. We live in a town home, and the dirt that Michael plays in is really the mulch spread through the landscaping. It’s one thing when Michael plays in our mulch, but he seems to find everyone else’s mulch to be much more interesting than ours. I end up chasing a filthy toddler from yard to yard. Not my idea of a fun evening.

We decided to buy him a sand and water table for his second birthday. My goal was to keep him out of our neighbor’s landscaping and allow me to actually sit down for a few minutes while he plays.

We bought the table at Toys ‘R Us and shoved the massive thing into the trunk of my Accord. It was much larger than I expected. At home, I examined the picture on the front of the box. It shows two neat, dry children playing with the table. The sand was nice and dry, and the water was nice and clean. Both children seemed to be completely absorbed in playing with the little boats that come with the table. I was picturing a relaxing scene in my head that included Michael playing contently by himself while I sipped a Diet Coke and read.

That dream lasted for about 2 seconds after we set the table up. There is no clean water and dry sand. There is sandy water and wet sand. I was not relaxing with a book and a drink. I was dodging splashes and building mini sandcastles. After reevaluating the situation, I’ve lowered my expectations. Now, I only have two rules. The sand and water must stay on the table and Michael must stay off the table. That’s all I ask…and I don’t always get that.

While I’ve learned that a sand and water table is messy and requires more monitoring than I was hoping for, I must confess that it’s a wonderful activity for Michael. He will play with it for hours. And, in the end, it did achieve our goals. It keeps Michael out of the neighbor’s mulch, and I do get to sit down while we are playing in it. That’s good enough for me.

7 comments:

-Bridget said...

Didn't you read any of those sand and water table posts on the boards? You can put sand in them OR you can put water in them. Put both in and you just have one muddy table and one muddy kid. Oh, but you already know that part.

Karen said...

Your post details the exact reason why we don't have a sand and water table! I can't stand the messes and Michael doesn't like them either.

Zoey's Mommy said...

We thought about getting Z a sand/water table, but this is EXACTLY what I was afraid of! Sorry you had to learn the hard way!

Zoey's Mommy said...

Oh, by the way, I'm excited to see that you started a blog! Bout damn time! LOL!

Beth said...

Great posts so far Joanna! You're a great writer. I'm glad Michael's enjoying his sand and water table. William loves his sandbox, but would rather play with the hose and a bucket than his water table. But when I add bubbles to his water table--that's a whole 'nuther story! Bubbles are a big hit.

Mama Mia said...

Joanna, it's Jocelyn...
I am cracking up bc we live in a townhouse too, and Braeden LOVES our neighbors mulch much more than ours....

MrsMoma said...

Well hello Joanna!! I didn't know you had a blog :) Anyway, i'm so thrilled that we bought Cami the plain water table. I can't imagine keeping the sand clean!!