Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Yes" Mom Challenge: Days Ten, Eleven and Twelve

I have one word for you.


I hate it. Unless, of course, I'm at the beach. And, who doesn't love the sand at the beach? And the salty sea air, and the waves of the cool ocean, and the boardwalks, the fresh seafood....

I digress.

We own this little guy. Do you know him? We call him Mr. Turtle. I filled him up one summer....

....and I regretted doing so almost the entire summer. Colin was just shy of two years old, and he could not go near that little turtle without somehow, someway covering himself in sand from head to toe.

The turtle moved to the new house with us....but has remained empty for the last three summers. I just couldn't bring myself to fill it.

Friday morning, I had a change of heart. You the name of "yes" and all.

The boys and I loaded up and we all headed to a local store. They knew nothing of what was going on, and were certainly very curious. I went to the aisle that I knew contained the sand toys.

I was immediately flooded with questions.

"What are we doing, Mommy?"
"Are we getting some new toys?"
"Can we get some goggles?" (Swim gear is in the same aisle as sand gear.)
"Are we going to buy some stuff?"
"Mommy, what are we doing here?"
"TRACTOR!!" (That was Ethan.)

The questions continued while I priced some buckets of sand toys. I finally chose one, and I also found some mini dinosaurs that they could bury in the sand and then hunt for. We headed up to the front, and, as much as I was trying to carry out this mission all stealth-like, little Colin just wasn't having it.

"We're getting sand toys, Cameron! Sand toys!"

It was officially all over when they heard me order three bags of play sand. Their screeches could be heard throughout most of Big R, I'm fairly certain.

So, we went home, and I grabbed Mr. Turtle, gave him a good cleaning--he needed it, after being so neglected for three consecutive summers--and filled it with the sand and toys we had just purchased. The boys cheered loudly, and started playing as if they had never seen sand before in their lives. They were gloriously happy.

I won't lie. I wasn't so happy.

They were covered in sand in no time. Within 10 minutes, we had already had two, ahem, sand dumping episodes, wherein my two smallest littles had each taken turns covering the other one from head to toe in the icky stuff. *shudder*

And, of course, it was 85 degrees out, and they were all sweating profusely--so the sand was stuck everywhere. No dry-wiping this stuff off. Water, and most likely soap, was definitely going to have to be involved.


I found myself questioning whether or not I should have gone through with the whole sand idea. I wasn't cheering myself on for being a great "yes" mom....I was kicking myself for creating a monster. A major, messy, daily-and-possibly-twice-daily-shower-inducing monster.

Do I really need this? I just added even more work onto my day. Now they're going to be asking every 17 minutes to go outside and to play in the sand....and they're gonna get messy and drag sand all throughout my house. There's no way to stop that, after all. I'm never going to be able to get it all off before we go inside. Oh, why on earth did I do this? I've taken this challenge way to far. I've totally gone off the deep end. What is wrong with me?

Do you hear that?

As much as I try to be conscious of it, that selfishness just has a way of creeping back in. It is, seriously, a daily if not hourly battle.

I thought it over. And I remembered that this challenge isn't about saying "yes" all the time. It's about being conscious of your reasons for not saying "yes".

There are times that are not going to be so good, for various reasons, for the boys to play in the sand. I am not committed to saying "yes" any time I am asked to do anything, and therefore, I am not committed to letting the boys play in the sand any time they may want to. I want to go to the pool everyday and lay on a float for hours, remember? But we don't always get what we want, for many reasons. There are and need to be limits and boundaries on every good thing, because too much of a good thing can be, well, not so good.

I believe I came to good compromise for both me and the boys. We'll make one or two days a week 'sand days'. These will be special days where we open the sand box and the boys can have free reign. This way, hopefully, the sand will not get 'old' to the boys, and I can pick days that are hot and sunny--so we can do the slip-and-slide or the sprinkler afterwards, and ward off most of that pesky sand before it ever enters the house.

And, we all win. Me, the boys....and Mr. Turtle.


Grandma Nette said...

Sand is wonderful!!!!!!! Enjoy boys :) They are creating memories for you to enjoy in the future.

Julie said...

Ah nemesis. LOL. I actually don't mind the kids playing in it, though. We have a sandbox that the girls LOVE to play in, and there's been more than one occasion in which I've scrubbed sand out of little girl hair multiple times in one day!!

Keep it up, Momma! Yesterday I said "yes" to blowing up a bunch of balloons and then letting the girls draw pictures on them. They LOVED it. Even the big kids got involved.

Anonymous said...

Sand is the worst. You are a better mom than me for sure--I won't let my kids near the stuff.

Leanne said...

I think you made good compromises with only playing in Mr Turtle a couple of days a week, then doing the slip and slide or sprinkler afterwards.

My girls looooove to play with flour and bowls and baking equipment.

Yeah. I know the pictures running through your head! And yes, it is soooo messy......

So flour and baking tools is my nemesis!

But I said yes today, and the other day when Sofia, who's three, wanted to play with a bowl full of dried lentils, then snuck into my flour and made soup!!!! Yes, it was a huge mess and tons of clean-up for me, but she made memories and it also let me know that in the end, it isn't too painful to say yes to some things!

Mamasita Chimichanga said...

Just an idea Dev...

We do sand in our sandbox sometimes, but most of the time we go to Big R and buy corn. You know the kind you can feed to the squirrels...

It's waaayyy less messy and can be picked up and put back into the sandbox if it gets "accidentally" dumped out. My boys LOVE it. They play in it with their tractors all day! I think they actually prefer it over sand!

Maybe next can skip the sand, but still be popular!

Just an idea....
Kacy =)