Yesterday afternoon, we met some friends at the park. It started off like any other park playdate… the boys were in the swings. The other mom and I were chatting about sunscreens that protect you from the sun, while leaching cancer causing chemicals into your skin that will slowly destroy your body. Pleasant afternoon conversation, I know. Naturally, the boys eventually grew tired of swinging and a new activity needed to be found.
Babies in our arms, the other mom and I glanced around the park in hopes of finding another age appropriate activity. The slides were too tall. Monkey bars are a bit advanced. No way our stomachs could even tolerate watching the merry go round spin circles without getting sick, let alone one of us trying to hold two babies on that wheel of death. We were scanning every piece of equipment… and then we saw it.
It was just staring us in the face… the cesspool of the playground… every mother’s cat poop infested nightmare… the sandbox. After watching Dr House talk to some kid with worms floating around in his eyes… because he played in the sandbox… and ate a cat turd… and watching countless episodes of Monsters Inside Me, where parasites leech on to their human hosts… who I am certain were all playing in public sandboxes, I admit there was a slight hesitation in my step, not to mention red flags flying up all around me.
Then, I thought about it. Modern medicine is pretty advanced… and I’m sure he will have an awesome time playing in the sand… and I can’t overreact to things (that’s Daddy Bish’s job). So, I took a deep breath and plopped my kid down.
Do you know what happened? HE LOVED IT! It was like a giant sensory bin he could crawl around in. He and his friend played and played and played. Munchie was crawling all around in the sandbox, digging with sticks, flopping himself down and making sand angels (it was amazing). He loved the feeling of that sand! The other mom and I were sitting at the edge of the sandbox, just chatting away, while keeping an eye on the boys.
Mid-sentence, I notice Munchie put his hand up to his mouth. Oh, sweet blueberries and honeysuckle… my baby just ate sand… PUBLIC sand. A mini panic attack ensues, but I keep my cool and just stay at the edge of the sandbox. He’s a smart kid, he will spit it out… right?
WRONG! He started chewing. I hopped up from my seat at the “faux beach” (because my imagination is astounding) and rushed across the sandbox (I imagine a Baywatch kind of scene, as I sprinted toward my baby to save his life… hair bouncing in the breeze) and did a quick finger sweep to get the sand out of my baby’s mouth.
What happened next, simply could not have been predicted. What I swept out was NOT sand. It was a mother loving french fry! My kid found a freaking french fry in the sandbox and ATE IT! In my super calm mommy voice, while standing behind him pulling chunks of someone else’s french fry out of his mouth, I said, “Oh, did you just find a french fry in the sandbox and help yourself?”
Another mom, with a truly petrified look on her face really wanted to help, but didn’t know what to do. She kindly offered us some water to wash it out. I was slowly starting to process the situation and find the humor in what had just happened. We crossed the sandbox, drank some water, and the child of the petrified mother came over to offer Munchie some grapes to help was the nasty out of his mouth.
As we sat there with our friends, munching on post-public-fry-grapes, I calmed down and reveled in the fact that most kids would just eat sand… but my little genius passed on the sand and found some food to eat. Harvard, here we come!