14 November 2009

We Have Sand

When I first moved in to this lovely new house, the previous owner offered to leave his sandpit for my children to play in. I thought to myself, "No way! I don't want sand through the lawn, through the house and in the beds!! Accepting this kind offer of a sandpit will only end in regret. Sand Regret." And so I politely declined the offer.

Soon I realised that a four year old boy must play, and if there is no sand, he will play in the gravel that lies on a few places in the yard. And lo, there was gravel in the lawn, gravel in the house, and gravel in the bed, if you can believe that.

And I found that afterall, I had Sand Regret. I began to want a sandpit, to stop the endless playing with gravel.

I thought long and hard about where to put a sandpit and how to do it, being a puny girl myself. I decided that rather than use some prime real estate on the lawn, I'd be better off using a corner of the yard that was already set aside, but being used for nothing at the moment.

I thought so. And if we were going to make the yard a fun place to be in, wouldn't it be good to fix up the old swings?

The problem was it was going to be a big job for a Mum whose hands were often filled (quite happily) with my little Joseph. What to do?

I decided to ask my brother how I should go about the job. I thought he'd be a good Sandpit Consultant. And he was. Last Tuesday morning there was a ring at the doorbell and there he was, having travelled 1700km to surprise me and help with the sandpit. What a champion.

I had offered him a free dinner if he'd help with the job but he was unavailable to collect on that, as he was catching up with some ladies as well (ooh la la.) I had also offered him a free dessert if he would do the job in a hard hat, but he forgot to bring a hard hat, so there goes that.

He got straight to work. First he attached the new seats to the swing set.

Then he started on the sandpit. He completed a frame, took out some little trees, did some thinking about ways I could finish off the sandpit and then he helped me do some other jobs around the garden, like re-planting one of the little trees.

My father helped me work out how much sand I'd need. I can't estimate quantity and he's a mathematician, so I get him to help with things like this. 0.6 cubic metres. Thanks Dad.

Then this morning Mr de Elba helped me finish the job. We went to a sand place, bought our 0.6 metres of sand ...

... and shovelled it into the sandpit.

A few weeks ago I bought these sand toys to help motivate me. Here they are in the finished sandpit. Okay, so there's an eggbeater in there. I didn't buy that specifically for the sandpit. My children use it to play with so often, and I don't use it to beat eggs, so it seemed like the place for it.

The final step was to add children. Very happy children.

And tonight as I walk through the house, I am feeling sand underfoot. Sand in the bath, sand on the floor, sand swept into piles waiting for me to remove it, sand, sand, sand.

And I find that despite achieving this long-term goal with help from the men in my life, when I should be 100% happy and satisfied that the job is done, instead ...

... I have a little bit of Sand Regret.

(I've done the right thing, haven't I?)


The Accidental Housewife said...

What a wonderful brother!

Please don't have sand regret, just look at those smiling faces... go on, I'll wait... see? so happy! Surely that's worth the hours (and hours) of extra sweeping? And won't Joseph have an awesome time eating all that sand in the near future? How could you possibly deny him the opportunity?lol

I think I'll be having sand regret after christmas, too.

Femina said...

Sand in the kitchen is easy on your bare feet than gravel. It was definitely the righ decision. It's a wonderful sand pit. Big enough for several kids and lots of toys... get some plastic to cover it, though. You don't want to find dead birds and possum poo in it.

Heather said...

Ah yes, sand regret. I know it well.

We have had a sandbox since Kiddo was 2. Ours is portable. It's a self contained, large, red, plastic crab with a lid (that makes the shell) like this: http://tinyurl.com/yctwpct

So, while there was a bit less work involved in the bringing of a sandbox to our yard - nary a hot, Australian gent required! - I still have much experience with Sand Regret. When Kiddo would go out to play in the sandbox at our old house (the yard of which had zero shade), I'd feel obliged to slather her amply with sunscreen so after playing in the sandbox, she'd be completely coated with sand like Shake-n-Bake chicken.

We brought the crab sandbox to our new house and set it out on the patio in the back yard. We never did get around to buying sand for it, so I did experience the joy that is a summer without Sand Regret. Kiddo never asked for us to get sand, so maybe that means she's beyond the age of sandboxes...?

Oh, one last thing for my traditional, epic-length comment: When I was a kid, we had a homemade sandbox (thanks Dad!) that resided under a crabapple tree in our back yard. It had a rather ill-fitting lid (thanks Dad) so the various cats that dwelled upon our farm could easily manage to get into the sandbox, which of course resembled nothing more than a ginormous litter box filled with the softest kitty litter ever to their feline minds....... Made for some exciting surprises to be discovered as we dug through the sand.

CynthiaK said...

You are the best mom. Your kids will love you for having that. And nice of your brother to come help!

I think you will have no real substantial sand regret. Only sand energy and sand gratefulness and sand happiness.

Tracy P. said...

They are rock stars! You have done the right thing.

Joy said...

Perfect play place. I would find a cover maybe so it won't turn into a litter box for roaming cats. What a nice bro. to come do that for you and his niece and nephews.
Also, babypowder will help loosen sand on legs and hands.

Swift Jan said...

Sand... yes it does get everywhere!

Here's what I do, i keep a dust brush in the sand toy box... they have to dust all the sand off before coming inside... it hasn't stopped the sand from coming in, but it has certainly reduced the amount by heaps!

Your brother is GREAT!

Crazy Sister said...

Wee Bro blows me away. He was always such a skinny little bookworm, and now look at him! Strapping, tanned, and useful.

When I can forsee a sandy day coming up (though you can't always predict them) I leave a large nappy bucket of water and a towel at the back door, and they come inside clean.

The majority of the sand that comes inside our house gets tipped out of Harpo's school shoes at the end of every day, so whether or not we have a sandpit at home is moot.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Sweet. I have Saxophone regret. But the child is a teen

Hippomanic Jen said...

I can't believe that your Wee Bro is all growed up! Where have the years gone?

Wee Bro said...

How goes it big sis?
The sandpit is choice?
Were you surprised
At the sound of my voice?

Or the unannounced sight
Of me at your door
To stop this problem
Of gravel on floor?

I rang on the doorbell
You opened the door
I said “What’s goin’ on?”
Holding tools galore

Forgot my McHardhat
So gave up dessert
Remembered the mattock
So could begin work

It gave me some things
To do with my time
Rather than sit here
At work writing rhymes

Was a good week to come
As 2 cousins had
Their birthdays together
That wasn’t too bad

I got to catch up
With heaps of old friends
(Mostly the girls
Wish I could see how that ends)

One lovely lass
From high school was here
Back in the country
After more than a year

Too bad she’s going
Back to UK
After only a month
Of sunny holiday

One beautiful blonde
Is leaving next year
To join our fine Army
As an officer, I fear :(

A third gorgeous girl
I’ve known 10 years
Found me on Facebook
We caught up over beers

Strange though but true
I knew her through school
And yet never spoke to
I thought she was too cool

But she’s the nicest of ‘broads’ -
Turns out I was wrong
(She taught me that term)
Shoulda been mates all along

I went down the road
To see Mr. Trent
And helped him and Rachi
To move house contents

Was a good trip
4000k’s round
I saw heaps of stuff
In air and on ground

There were bustards and brolgas
And ‘roos of all sorts
And eagles and emus
And wide load escorts

So many a job
Got done on that trip
But none as important
As your garden sandpit

I’m glad it turned out
As well as it did
I hope it’s enough
For you and the kids

Don’t be afraid
Sand pits are not boring
And sand’s better than gravel
On that floating flooring

Sand regret's bad
But it’s better than staying
Sandpitless, and the kids
Having nothing to play in

When the bairns do outgrow
This fine sandpit of ours
You know that wee Joseph
Will use it for hours

Thanks to your readers
For their kind accords
(Are any of them hot,
Single decent young ‘broads’?)

I can’t believe I
Just wrote that in prose
In a public comment
But that’s how it goes

Bottom line is
You’ve done the right thing
Well, third bottom line
‘Coz this is the bottom line here.

Givinya De Elba said...

You're amazing,

Wee Brew said...

I know. It's hard, but somebody's gotta do it. Jen: yup - I'm all growed old... which is mandatory. Growing up is optional. Aunt Debbi/Kurt's Mom: Saxophone regret comes and goes... violin regret is forever. And sax players get some cool after not long. Other sister: Your memory's going - I was never a book worm. And I was always useful. The nappy bucket seems to be the way to go.