Jolie just turned two and her big birthday gift was a sand castle play table. We’d recently been to the Ultimate Play Date where the kids “dug for fossils” in kiddie pools filled with rice and dinosaur toys, so I was pretty sure another sensory play gift would be a hit.
All I needed was something to fill the play table I bought. On the box kids are depicted playing with sand, beans, balls, and rice. I was set to buy some rice in bulk and make it an indoor toy. This is Phoenix and it gets too hot to play outside, unless it’s the middle of the night and even then you need a heat survival kit. Do they actually make those? They should. It could come with Gatorade, cool cloths, a tent/canopy for shade, and a plane ticket from Phoenix to Seattle. (I won’t take credit if you decide to market that product.)
Lucas decided we should buy sand, thus making it an outdoor toy, because he wants our kids to die from heat stroke. Or, he just thinks it would be more fun. Yeah, probably that. Because he was busy that afternoon, I offered to be the one to go to Home Depot for sand. I mean, it’s JUST SAND. How hard could it be?
An employee directed me to the aisle that had bags and bags of sand. I had no idea there were so many varieties. I figured there were two: 1) beach sand and 2) other sand. Finally, I found a bag marked, “Play Sand: ideal for children’s sand boxes!” But it was in a 50 lb bag and you have no idea how heavy 50 lbs is until you try to dead lift it. I got another employee to come help me put it in my cart but just as he was about to I noticed how much prettier the sand in the bags next to it was. It was tan-colored, soft and fine. So much better than the gravelly, dirty brown play sand.
The pretty sand only came in 100 lb bags so after I checked out yet another employee had to help me load the heavy bag inside my car. At home Lucas carried it inside before he realized it was silica sand. He explained it’s dangerous industrial sand that can cause silicosis, which is a disease with NO KNOWN CURE that causes your lungs to form nodules and fibroids. I’m not even sure what nodules and fibroids are but I know I don’t want them on my lungs. Oh, and silicosis can KILL YOU. So, it’s not exactly what you want to put in your child’s sand box.
Lucas had to lug all 100 lbs of deadly sand back to Home Depot and return it. And he politely but pointedly told the manager that two employees had specifically asked what project I wanted the sand for and were told it was a child’s sand box. Still they let me buy silica sand. Hmpf.
I’m not actually mad at Home Depot. In fact, I can use this as a legitimate excuse to never have to go shopping there by myself again. And, I learned something from this. There are two kinds of sand: 1) deadly sand and 2) non-deadly sand.