The other child…

            Los Angeles has been a culture shock for all of us, but for no one so much as Benjamin.  Zachary has taken to the beach and the sunshine, and he is slipping into his new school with the relief of a person who finally gets a hot bath after a very long day.  Twenty-month-old Benjamin, on the other hand, had some  adjustment issues.

            There are certainly things he likes.  The gigantic strawberries that are in season right now are a huge hit, which is a damned good thing because otherwise he was not eating very much last week.  This makes for some remarkable diaper changes.  He is also fascinated by the ocean and the beach.  If we drive by it but do not actually go to it, he starts sobbing.  “Beach, beach,” he cries, often first thing upon getting out of bed each day.  He loves the ocean and the vast expanse of sand.

            As long as none of it touches his feet.

            Yes, our resilient second child, the one who is willing to try anything and the dangerous things twice, is totally freaked out by sand in his toes.  He got it there the first day, and has not stopped talking about it since.  “Beach,” he says, “toes no sand.”  So earnest, so insistent each time, as though perhaps his parents had forgotten in the interim.

            The second time we went to the beach, Zachary sat happily digging with sand creeping up his bare legs.  Benjamin sat on my lap, while I held his feet clear of the terrifying grains, and dug as best as he could from a remarkably awkward angle.  Any time his feet slipped downward for even a moment, he gasped.  “Toes no sand,” he cried, “Toes no sand.”

            Next time, we’ll just let him wear his wellies.

25 responses to “The other child…

  1. Exactly what I was thinking….
    Oh, the beach and giant ripe strawberries. That sounds fantastic.

    I must go rummage in my refrigerator – I think in there there are some strawberries that traveled 3000 miles from where you are to me.

  2. When you can’t control the big things, ya gotta settle for controlling what touches your feet.

  3. oh bless his heart. i hope he learns to LOVE the beach. i grew up on the beach – my favorite beach time is in the winter, when the sand is cold, and you can hear the water because there arent any people…love it love it. hope the adjustment continues well

  4. I know it´s not relevant, but I guess Zachary speaks nice queen English? It´s so sweet, I hope he wouldn´t forget it very quickly. 🙂

  5. Oh, sweet little Ben. “Toes no sand!” That is a kiddo who knows what he wants, right there.

    It’s pretty incredible what little kids like and don’t like, to me. Bean loves the sand and will often rub it thoughtfully in his hair. Same with mud and water. However, if he gets pasta sauce on his hands? He comes running to me with them outstretched, a look of concern on his face, and yells “Wash! Wash!” until I carefully wipe them clean with a warm cloth.

  6. My son doesn’t like the feel of grass on his feet. That’s the price we’re paying for moving from Indiana to Arizona when he was 5.

    I hope Ben learns to like the feel of sand. In the meantime, what about water shoes? (if Wellies become too hard to wear on the beach 😉 )

  7. Now I’m all homesick and achey for the ocean. I do so hate the desert I live in – all the sand and none of the good stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wellies at the beach – in fact they make excellent buckets or improvised molds for castle building once the wearer accepts that sand-between-the-toes is one of the small pleasures of life (just ask Christopher Robin).

  8. Aww – “toes, no sand” must be adorable. My soul aches for the ocean and the sand. Toes *in* sand, please.

    Hope things continue to settle for you guys.

  9. I know is probably not fun to deal with, but he must look SO cute when he says, “Toes no sand!”
    Wellies on the beach would make quite the fashion statement! I love it!

  10. Oh yes! Wellies and a little boy bathing suit! And please post a picture of that!!!!!

  11. I totally get the ‘no sand in toes’ thing (although I love, love the beach). I can’t say I have the same understanding for my youngest’s insistence of sand in mouth. Blech.

  12. i miss the beach, too! but i love sand in my toes. a t least while at the beach. not so much later, in my shoes.

  13. wellies are adorable. also baby powder (or cornstarch in baby powder form) is the very best remover of sand in the world. it might be worth showing him just how good it is – it did LP a world of good and you can imagine how he feels about sand on his toes – and always has since birth – but now that he has complete sand removal technology at his disposal he takes it a little more in stride.
    yum, strawbabies, as my little ones say.

  14. My son loves sand – but hates grass on his toes. Funny.

    Hope he gets over the icky-ness and starts to love it there.

    How are you adjusting to life in the sun??

  15. Oh, he sounds like MY Ben. Just like him at that age (well, just the part about him not liking weird stuff on his feet).

  16. oh, damn, that’s cute.

    though i have to admit i don’t quite get it. i would thrill for sand in my toes right now instead of this eternal ice and snow.

  17. Beach and ripe strawberries? I’m packing the car to come for a visit…

    Poor little Ben. We know all about sensory issues around here, where all three children convulse about unwanted SOCK SEAMS. Hopefully Ben will make peace with the sand by the end of summer.

  18. My oldest hated the sand the first few times too. Thank goodness he got over that.
    My, the things your little ones will experience with this move. Very exciting stuff!

  19. You know, I need a good pair of wellies….

  20. my second was like that with the sand. needless to say or last trip to the beach was full of tears! sorry i haven’t been a round much–gonna try and catch up now. . .

  21. I never thought much about sand texture until I traveled. I used to think all sand was like FL beach sand until I visited San Francisco, Oregon and Wakiki. Maybe Ben will discover a variety of sand he likes.

    I think I’ll have strawberries and yogurt in Ben’s honor for breakfast.

  22. butterflyspointofview

    Now I am even more homsick for moving home to the US. Man I miss CA, even if that isnt where we are going to end up moving.
    Good bye dismal England, hello sunshine is all I can say.

  23. LOL….that’s hilarious.
    Monkey was the same way with sand at first.
    Now she’s gotten used to it.

  24. I can relate to the no sand between the toes. I don’t like anything that is squishy.

  25. Oh poor little thing! He’ll get used to it of course and then he’ll love it!

    I’m glad Zach is adjusting so well!