Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Tale from PEI

...or why you should never go clamdigging with a 1 year old.

We did not encounter the best weather at the onset of our PEI trip. The rain was so terrible on the Sunday after we got there that we debated going home. Instead, we spent the day in Charlottetown and waited to see what Monday would bring. Monday brought, clamdigging weather. This was something I was really looking forward too. I hadn't gone clamdigging since our honeymoon 6 years ago (but that's a story for another time).
So we set off Monday after lunch for a little clamdigging at the beach across the road from the campgound. (I should say, across the road, down the non-existant road across a field and then down a small cliff). Wouldn't you know it, but Jeremy picked that time to fall asleep. Seeing as Elijah had been so excited about this, I took him out of the car, through the path, down the trail to the cliff path, and passed him over to Larry and Luan. (Luan has done her fair share of sitting out of things due to napping children, so she understood completely). I drove back to the campsite, explained to Jonathan what had happened (he was to walk over later anyway) and rested myself while Jeremy slept.
After he woke up, we started the trek once again to the clamdigging beach. On our way, our car met up with Larry and Luan's truck. We collected our now beach weary boy and debated what to do next. Clearly, Elijah was on verge of the rare pre-schooler nap. Clearly, Jeremy was an energised toddler already excited having spotted the waa-waa (water). Jonathan suggested I take Jeremy down to the beach to clamdig and he'd take Elijah for a drive to nap, returning in a bit to pick us up. Sounds good to me. I took the baby, bag of shovels and pails and proceded down the path, realising that it is a lot more difficult to carry and child and a bag of things down the cliff path, than lead an almost 4 year old boy, but we made it.
Oh the beach was beautiful. Jeremy and I found a good spot to start search out the clam holes. I laid out some sand toys for him, grabbed a bucket and shovel and started to dig. I started to collect some clams (not many, but a enough to keep me encouraged). I then started a pursuit of what appeared to be 3 very fast clams attempting to escape my clutches. As I went to deposit one of them into my bucket, I noticed that the bucket was no longer there. It was now at the previous clamhole, where my son decided to put all of my clams back into. Alright, still early enough in the day to take the bucket back, distract him and start over. Nope, no deal. No matter how fast I was at moving the bucket out of his reach, he always got it back when I was in hot pursuit of a new clam. He thought this was great, just part of the game. The game where he was increasingly muddy. The game where he got to sit in clamholes. The game where he got to put his little hands in the hole I was digging out and splash mama. The game where I finally gave in and said, you know what, forget the clams, lets just enjoy the beach. So we did. Eventually, I waded out into the water in an attempt to clean myself up a bit, and dip Jeremy in too. After we trudged back up the cliff path, found Jonathan just pulling in to pick us up, I shepishly explained that yes, his wife, former master-clamdigger had returned empty handed. And I laughed, especially looking at my little guy, looking mighty-pleased with himself. No need to worry about supper though, Luan had hauled her fair share of clams that went very well indeed with the mussels we bought just down the road.

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