There are many things I said I would never acquire, do, or witness in my child as a parent. Before I started a family! Now? Well, I’m a lot more open-minded. But it turns out to be a slippery slope. Case in point, the turtle.
I hate the plastic turtle sand boxes. Even though they’re turtles and could possibly qualify as cute if I squinted, I banned them from my yard. My plan was to create a natural sand box for our yard with beautiful, locally-sourced rocks and a midnight run to the beach to acquire some virgin, chemical-free sand. I was going to create an interesting, organic shape that blended in with the rock garden and looked like it had always been there. Not a green plastic mound that screamed “day care center!”
Time went by and my daughter grew more and more interested in playing with sand and yet, our dream sand box had yet to be built. No rocks had been sourced, no sand had been hauled, no recycled plastic toys had been purchased. A shovel and pail were gifted, along with a few more dollar store sand toys. But no sand box.
A month or so later, a friend casually mentioned that they had an extra turtle box if we wanted it. Ewww. I made a few excuses for why we didn’t want it at first, but then one day I somehow found myself at her home, happily throwing it into the back of my car. My only thought at the time was, “Wren will get to have a sand box this very afternoon!” A quick run to our local Home Depot for a car load of sand and home we sped. She and I were both very excited about it. While she napped that afternoon, I unloaded everything and within an hour, she had a new-to-us turtle sand box. Just like that!
I still sometimes look at it and think, “ugghh,” but mostly when I look at it I am reminded of all the time she’s spent exploring the sand while I was grilling or setting the table for an outdoor meal, or mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. It was worth it, but like I mentioned earlier, it’s a slippery slope…
Again, somehow, shortly after the turtle made its new home in our yard, I saw a little plastic slide that I thought for $10 at a second-hand store was a great deal and would be perfect with our kiddie pool. And it is. Fast-forward several months anda hand-me-down Cozy Coupe car finds its way through our fence. And then a week later, a plastic wagon. Now it really IS looking more like a suburban day care center. Sigh. But she loves all of them and funny thing is, they don’t really bother me either anymore. This is unnerving and also comforting.
Oh, parenting, you continue to baffle me.
Ashlea Walter is a working-from-home-part-time and full-time Mama to a 2.5 year old little birdie and is expecting another little birdie in the next month. She posts about creating a nest worth sharing in the bustling metropolis of northern Michigan and can be found at besquirrely.com, otherwise known as "Squirrels in Wren's Nest." She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with squirrels and is worried about what the squirrels might do this fall with her newly-planted orange tulip bulbs. She wants everyone to be squirrely. Find her on Facebook and Twitter, too!