We took the kids to the beach on Saturday. Maren, who is seven months now (I know, waaah!), loved crawling in the sand. She'd get up on all fours, rock back and forth, and take off towards the surf. But then she'd sit back up, fill her fists with sand, and stuff them in her mouth. Over and over, I'd take her into the water, rinse off her little hands, and set her back down. And within a minute or two, her mouth would be full of sand again. She didn't like the sand in her mouth, but she just couldn't resist putting her sandy hands in there, either.
Eddie and I were laughing, because she's got the hand-mouth motor skills down, but she's still lacking the thought process that tells her that she shouldn't. Sort of like me when there's peanut butter brownie trifle in the house.
So we've entered the clean-floor stage of parenting. I'll freely admit that under normal circumstances, my floors are likely to be a mess. I'm much more likely to make beds or clean counters or scrub toilets than I am to sweep floors. And most of the time, it's not such a big deal. But right now, Maren looks like a dust-bunny half the time. Annie had a red-haired Annie wig from her halloween costume last year, and I'm finding red haired strands wrapped around Maren's fingers four or five times a day.
And so, for the next few months, until she gets over her oral fixation, I'll be sweeping and vacuuming and mopping the floor a lot more than usual. I'm sure the kids would say that getting a dog would be the best solution to the problem, since a dog would eat all of our food scraps and stray goldfish. But who needs a dog when you've got a Maren?
--originally published 8/2/07