For a week, he had two boys to wrestle and steal toys from. The three of them would line up on the edge of the deck or the coffee table with cars, each vroooooming away in his own specific pitch and rhythm. They spent an hour one afternoon building a dam across a tide pool with the husband. The Oldest, the three-year-old, hauled big buckets of sand while The Boy sat in the water and splashed and shoved sand into a tiny bucket The Oldest emptied every once in awhile into his big one. The 2-year-old, Little Man, stomped around in his own little world, enjoying the baby pool the dam made. The Boy and Little Man observed the animals from the comfort of the double stroller at the zoo, their smooth baby legs tangled together on the way in and out. The Oldest got tackled by The Boy one morning, pinned against the wall as The Boy tried his hand at tickling for the first time ever.
The Boy had a lot of firsts this last week. At a tiny little restaurant in an old gas station, where we amazing burgers on toasted buns, The Boy finally figured out how to suck from a straw and got his first taste of Coke. He slept in a real bed, a little trundle in our room, and only fell out a couple times ... a night. (We created a border of pillows to cushion his falls.) He ran around in a Civil War fort. He enjoyed fruit snacks and mini-M&Ms.
And all the time with adults and older kids made for a big leap in his vocabulary. In addition to ball, momma and da!, The Boy can say "uhp" for up, "bo-oo" for book, "aih!" for hi and a couple times we've heard things that sound like car and bubbles. Today at the grocery store, he tried to scare the woman behind him with a "Boo!" She found him more cute than terrifying.
While I sort through our vacation pictures, a few tips for beach-going with toddlers :
- Buy a cheap, vented plastic tote to carry the sand toys so you can spray everything down.
- Baby Lizard sunscreen seems to smear and run into their eyes the least.
- Kid to sand-toy ratios to prevent fights -- 1:1 for buckets, 1:2 for tools like rakes and shovels.
- Bring an umbrella or something if you're a fretter about sunburns. We forgot our umbrella and I worried and reapplied sunscreen often, setting off mini-tantrums.
Which brings me to a quick question, dear readers: How do you apply sunscreen to a kid without their acting as if you're dousing them with hot tar?