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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Blogger:
Robin of Farewell Stranger
"Love in a Grain of Sand"

Today's guest is Robin of Farewell Stranger. Robin has struggled with many of the strong emotions that can come unexpectedly with motherhood. What sets her apart from others is her willingness to talk about it. I am inspired by her honesty and I admire her for helping others who need someone to speak on their behalf.


When Robin was 38 weeks pregnant with a breech baby and low amniotic fluid that indicated a need for a fairly quick c-section, the doctor asked her and her husband a question: “Would you like to have this baby today or tomorrow?” Not prepared to be whisked to the OR that instant, they chose “tomorrow”. Their son Connor was born on June 13, 2008, which happened to be a Friday. Friday the 13th. And thus began Robin's journey into motherhood.

After Connor was born Robin struggled with undiagnosed postpartum depression, and through writing about her experience she has found the power of brutal honesty in helping others and a new sense of purpose that's reflected in her goal of living the life she believes she's meant to.

Robin lives in Victoria, BC, Canada with her husband, three-year-old son (Connor) and dog (Finley - he's a Wheaten Terrier).

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Let's get to know Robin better!

My favourite time of day:
My favourite treat:
Chocolate, baby! Especially in ice cream form.
My favourite song:
Right now it's Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw
My favourite book:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
My favourite comfort food:
Roast beef and yorkshire pudding with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum!
Favourite post that I have written:
I think right now it's this one: Valentines

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Love In a Grain of Sand
by Robin of Farewell Stranger

When you become a mother, I’ve discovered, you never quite know from day to day what gross things you might have to do in the name of parenting. Changing diapers was not nearly as bad as I’d been led to believe. Wiping snotty noses I expected. And I figured I’d have food thrown at me at some point, although if I’d known how often that would happen I’d have bought a personal splatter shield.

Some things, though, I just never would have anticipated.

My husband apparently has a sentimental fondness for sandboxes. He had one when he was little, I think, or wanted one, or something. In any case, he figured a sandbox would be nirvana for a small boy, so last summer he went about putting one in our back yard.

Being a do-it-yourself kind of guy, he planned it out, got the wood and other sandboxy supplies, and ordered sand.

A LOT of sand.

The explanation had something to do with not knowing exactly how much is in a yard when it comes to a big pile of crushed rocks that ends up in one’s driveway or a miscalculation on the size of the sandbox or something along those lines. I don’t remember exactly. All I know is that we had more sand than we had box.

Not being one to waste good sand, my husband dutifully trucked it all out to the lovingly handmade sandbox. And put it all in.

The result was less of a sandbox and more of a sand mountain.

Have I mentioned that I have a small boy who’s fond of making gigantic messes? I knew exactly what was going to happen.

Or I thought I did.

Let me first explain that I’m not a huge fan of sand when it’s not at the beach. I thought a sandbox sounded like a great idea but, as it turns out, I’m not so fond of sitting in it in non-beach clothes for many afternoons in a row.

Anyway, back to that messy two-year-old.

He was definitely in sandbox heaven – no doubt about it. He climbed right in and sat down and started picking up sand and moving it around and building little piles.

When we showed him that you could build roads out of sand and bring trucks in and actually drive the trucks on the sand roads, I thought he was going to refuse to ever come back inside.

He spent a lot of time in that sandbox over the next few days, and every day when I came home from work he wanted me to climb right in with him. I generally opted to sit on the edge rather than immerse myself in it entirely, which I figured was better for two reasons. It would reduce the (already large) amount of laundry this very full sandbox was going to create and it would prevent undesired daily exfoliation.

My son, of course, had no such qualms. He evidently didn’t mind getting sand in places that really aren’t meant to have sand in them.

Until he put a handful of it into his mouth, that is.

I’ll never forget the look on his face. Horror, mostly, and get-it-out-right-now-mama.

No problem, I figured. I’ll help him rinse it out and everything will be okay.

Except apparently that wasn’t a fast enough solution.

What do you do if you’re a two-year-old boy who wants sand out of his mouth RIGHT NOW?

You lick your mother.

Because that makes sense, right? The sand goes onto her – who cares if she isn’t interested in incredibly slobbery exfoliation running pretty much the length of one leg – and off your tongue.

It made sense to him, at least.

Having removed the unwanted sand, he went back to playing while I went in search of a washcloth.

A year later, the sandbox is still there and we have sand all over our house. It appears in little trails across the kitchen floor, coats the bathtub and has somehow even managed to find its way into my bed.

Oh well.

At least this year he knows not to eat it.


  1. I can soooo relate to this! All 4 of my kids have eaten sand.
    Great story :)

  2. Robin, thanks for the laugh, and thanks for being my guest today. We used to have a sandbox as kids. I remember the neighbourhood cats using it as a litter box!

    Love your comfort food selection. Yum!!!

  3. Oh my goodness, he licked your leg?? I want to say "too funny" but I'm scared Donut will do the same thing. I thought sandboxes were cute but my husband is against them. Why, you ask? He thinks they are a haven for stray cats to use for their business. Ew.

  4. My little girl loves sandbox too. In fact, she whines or screams if I take her out of it...lol!

    I love reading the interviews and guest posts you present. It is good to know more on 'the mess' around other mothers as well.. :)

    Stopping from VB members to remember. Have a great day!
    Princess Liya

  5. Rach, your husband is right about cats. We used to live in an apartment complex and the little playground had sand and the cats would potty in it. Whoever thought that was a good idea, I do not know!

    This was a great post and a good lesson!

  6. I love the way you write Robin, so fantastic! Sand is awesome, but it is nice if they can refrain from eating it!

  7. A cat litter box?! Oh no. That is all kinds of not good.

    Ick! Really?! I wonder if we have any strays...

    And thanks for the nice comments, everyone!

  8. I'm so glad our sandbox is the playground a half-mile away! I love our forays over there, but I also love knowing they're really forays, versus a daily temptation.

    My son doesn't mind eating sand (or dirt, or licking up water from puddles), but this entry did remind me of a first time occurrence from tonight's bedtime. Instead of just cuddling, he "shared" his stuffy nose by rubbing it all over his Muno buddy. Through our entire bedtime. With a great big grin on his face. :)

  9. Great story Robyn! We have a sandbox also. Whenever my boys play in it they trail sand back into the house. Kinda drives me nuts because I'm a neat freak. But also, they are getting older (ages 5 and 7). So they don't play in it as much as they did. Which means less sand to clean up now, but it's kinda sad, too.

  10. Deb - Ack! Mine does stuff like that too. Except it's usually on my shirt ;)

    Jennifer - I know, the sand trails drive me nuts but I'm sure I'll be sad when he doesn't play with it as much.