Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sandman

Yesterday my grandson Jayden begged me all morning to go in his sandbox. I told him that if he behaved himself and was a good boy I would let him go play in the sandbox in the afternoon.
We were taking my friend Barbara out to lunch to celebrate her birthday first and I figured that would be a good bargaining chip. Jayden is usually a perfect little gentleman when we take him to this particular restaurant, but yesterday he had ants in his pants, and the service happened to be slow.
But to his credit he did occupy himself with the few toys I brought along for him. There were a few fires I had to put out ( he was insisting he had to horde everyone’s utensils, insisting he could use a knife, and trying to double-dip his bread into the oil), so the promise of the sandbox came in handy, and for the most part he listened to me, he ate well, and then after lunch he busied himself with coloring so Barbara and I could relax, drink our coffee in peace, and have some quiet conversation.
We came back to our house so Barbara could open her gifts, and once that was done Jayden had run out of patience and ordered Barbara out of the house! She had to run some errands anyway and we said our good-byes and I scolded Jayden for his rudeness. He seemed sincerely contrite and I took him outside to his sandbox.
I went through the rules with him (no throwing sand outside on the deck, no putting it in your mouth, no getting it in your hair, etc.) and his response was, “I know, I know, I know all this already, Umma!”
Okay, good, I set him up and then I settled myself on a chair next to him with a magazine to read as I knew Jayden could occupy himself for an hour or so in the sandbox. I saw him empty the box of every toy and I asked him what he was going to play with now that he had no toys in with him and he said he just wanted to relax, and he laid on his stomach, pretending to ‘swim’ through the sand. I went back to reading. I looked up and all the toys were going back in, I decided to try and straighten up the deck and clean outside a little for the nicer weather that was promised, I had just started when I got pelted with sand. I look over and Jayden is flinging sand left and right! I told him to stop, and then Jayden looks right at me, he holds up a fist full of sand and dumps it on his own head! And then he licks the sand off his hand! “That’s it! Get out! No more sandbox!” I yell. I also told him that now he needed a bath and I had to wash his hair (he HATES getting his hair washed), Jayden says, “Oh, that’s okay, Umma, you can wash my hair.” All very sweet and pleasant.
After his bath and hair wash I asked him why he did such a thing and he said, “Well, I forgot about not throwing sand outside. And then I put sand on me so you wouldn’t be the only one with sand on you.” And then he hugs me tight and says, “Oh, Umma, I just love you so much!” I’m wondering, was he really trying to even the score or is this four year old that good at manipulation already?!

Last night before he went up to bed I said to him that if he was good maybe we could try the sandbox again and he said to me, “Oh, no, Umma, I’m not going to listen to all that yelling again!” I protested saying that I wouldn’t have to yell if he would just follow the rules and he rolled his eyes at me and said, “That’s what you always say but I don’t like rules!”


  1. I absolutely love this story and thank you for telling it so well! Anyone around little ones can easily relate! I also love his logic (about putting the sand in his hair) and his sweet I love you so much...he is so hugable!

    blessings always,


  2. Your story brought back a flood of memories. My older daughter (28) used to drink all of the little creamers that they put on the tables at the restaurants.We let her do it because it kept her occupied.By the way she often did this under the table!Also the sand box.I don't know if it was me or what but I absolutely HATED washing the sand out of their hair.Just the feel of it on their scalp bothered me! Your such a good grandma!

  3. Rule #1: No having fun.

  4. Hey! I'm not that bad!
    And that was You-Know-Who's Rule for the kids in the pool! Remember when Ann said that?
    Oh, wait a minute, I just told Jayden to stop spinning around and around, remembering how when you were little and did that you fell and hit your head on the end of a table, and guess what he just said? "Umma, you never let me have any fun!" Oh well.

  5. What a very bright energetic boy he is! I can tell I am really going to love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine.