It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Diggin’ Holes

Few better ways to spend a day, when you’re a kid.

Over to our favourite midsummer park, which was, with my five in it, a veritable hive of activity. Liam, Kyle, and Adam all dig holes. Liam is aiming for the tarp that he knows lines the bottom of the sandbox, about a metre down. Alice sits in the soft sand at the edge of the excavation, happily scraping rills in the dirt with a yellow plastic rake. Emma is busy making a trap, and Zach races around, surreptitiously dumping shovels of sand back into all these lovely holes. A tribute either to his skill or to the others’ oblivion, he is never caught out!

Emma’s trap is the focus of attention for a while: a hole as deep as her arm is long, covered with a lattice of twigs, layered with dandelion leaves and clumps of dried lawnmowed grass. All the children are involved in finding this stuff. Then she carefully covers the top with sand, and, to the great satisfaction of all, it’s virtually undetectable.

Inspired, Liam decided to do the same. Armed with more energy than focus, however, within five minutes of frenetic digging, he has created not one sizeable hole, but rather nine small holes, which radiate away from Emma’s big one in a gentle arc. It’s quite the sight. Emma helps him cover the largest of his nine holes, and although it is far too small to be functional, makes everyone happy.

Each of the ambulatory children take turns pretending to fall in the holes, one after the other. Being the largest, Emma goes last, and, much to the delight of her audience, stages a spectacular pratfall through Liam’s trap. However, during her recovery, she genuinely stumbles over one of the multiple holes beyond that, so that she ends up full length in the sandbox, with her right arm up to its armpit in her own trap. How about that? It worked – for real! The kids are thrilled and delighted, and the fall is re-enacted many times per small boy.

By the time we are ready to head home, I am the caregiver for a bunch of sand-encrusted child-shaped figurines, each one cuter – and grittier – than the one before. We love sandboxes!

July 10, 2005 Posted by | Mischief, outings | 8 Comments