Sunday, May 19, 2013

Emmett Versus The Crab

Some weeks ago we went on a preschool field trip to Carkeek Park. For those who have not been there, it is a park that overlooks the Puget Sound. The parking lot and play area are up on a bit of a hillside, and then you can take a footbridge over some train tracks and down onto the beach. My kids loved being there. Emmett saw the train tracks right away and made a beeline for the footbridge. He stood excitedly over the tracks and I hurried to catch up to him. We waited for only a few minutes before we saw a train heading our way. Emmett was so excited that the train was going to pass right underneath us. It ended up being much noisier and windier than we expected, and that made him a bit nervous when we had the chance to see another train pass under us later on that day. He actually started to run off the bridge to the side, but when I called him back and one of the other moms in our group offered to sit on the ground with Emmett and her little one, he happily (and skittishly) returned to the center of the bridge. I couldn't get down quite so nimbly because I had Edison strapped to me in a baby carrier. Otherwise, I would have offered to sit or kneel with him myself. After seeing the train pass, our group worked our way down to the beach. It was a very low tide, so we were lucky enough to catch a peak at some crabs and a sea star, among other things in a rocky tide-pool area. Our little group worked its way towards the water's edge and Emmett decided to start wading - shoes, pants, and all. I called him back and we removed his shoes and rolled up his pants and he went back to wading. I noticed he was working his way back to the rocky tide-pool, but didn't seem to want to get to close without his shoes on. I kept scanning the beach to help keep an eye on all the kids - while keeping Emmett in my peripheral vision. All of a sudden I heard Emmett screaming and crying hysterically. I looked over to see he had taken several steps into the rocky area, near where we had seen the crabs, and appeared to be panicking about something, picking one foot up and down, and yet unable to move away from whatever was hurting him. Now remember, I had Edison strapped to me and was surrounded by rocky beach myself. I started to hurry towards him, but two other moms in our group without the extra weight and balance challenge of a loaded baby carrier beat me to him. One of them scooped him up and brought him toward me as I hurried their way, too. She said, "I think the crab got him. He was standing right next to it and that seems to be what he was scared about." Once we calmed Emmett down a bit, he let us examine his foot. He had a bloody gash on the inside of the arch of his foot and seemed to have a couple punctures near the gash. We used fresh water from a water bottle to rinse it off and put his wet socks and shoes back on him. He was still uncomfortable, but until we could get him back up across the footbridge and to the car - where my first aid kit was - I couldn't do much else for him. Our group climbed the stairs up to the train bridge and then my little train nut decided to wait for another train to pass - even though his foot hurt. We finally made it to the car, where we could more thoroughly clean and bandage his foot and where I had a change of socks for him. On the ride home, I asked Emmett to tell me about what had happened. He said, "The crab pinch me four times. Pinch, pinch, pinch, pinch. Really hard!" I asked him why he went back by the crab and why the crab wanted to pinch him. Emmett said, "I walk on the crab and I kick the crab." At this point I was trying not to laugh. I knew Emmett was still in pain, but the thought of him trying to pick a fight with a purple shore crab was pretty funny. In as un-laughing a voice as I could muster, I asked, "Why did you kick the crab and step on him?" Emmett told me that he didn't like the crab and that it looked scary. "Do you think the crab liked being kicked and stepped on?" I asked - still trying not to chuckle. Emmett admitted that the crab probably did not enjoy that kind of attention. He promised not to harass crabs ever again. It appears Emmett has a bit of an obsession with crabs as a result of this experience. When we went camping a few weekends later, we went down to the beach and found little tiny crabs under some rocks. Emmett couldn't help but look under every rock and in every tiny tide pool he could see in search of crabs. He wouldn't touch them though, so maybe he has learned his lesson.

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