Andrew loves to dig around in dirt of any sort. Mud works just fine for him, too. I have no idea what about dirt fascinates any child so much. Is it the texture? The sense of buried treasure when a rock or something a little more animate is unearthed? The way it changes the color of the skin and turns white fingernails black? The strange taste of it?
One of his favorite things to do at my mother's house is to help her in the garden. And I'm not looking forward to the day when we finally rake out the remaining piles of rock in our backyard and take away his fun rockslides (that become mudslides after a rain).
Yesterday, while Mark was grilling up dinner and chatting with Brad (D'oh! I think I've completely neglected to mention on the blog that my brother moved to one of the Phoenix suburbs a few weeks ago. It's nice to have him so close and indulge in sibling relationship that lets us talk face to face regularly.), Andrew found a patch of dirt in the backyard and just started digging with his fingers. At first, I think he was trying to pry loose some small rocks. Then it became some sort of mission. The ground was packed too hard for him to dig very deep, so he settled on digging a shallow ditch over a large area, tossing the loose dirt over his shoulder to varying degrees of success. A couple of times, he laid down in his ditch. Or tried to. Cleaning his hands for dinner was quite a task.
I don't mind the dirty clothes and child. One day, when his clothes might actually fit for more than a few months, I might. But it's amazing to watch him dig. He's so determined, so intent. There's a purpose to clawing away at the ground for him. I just have no idea what it is.