Sunday, August 2, 2009

Animal Instincts

Most animals are born with a survival instinct. They naturally (and rightfully) fear annihilation and death. And consequently, enact behaviors to protect themselves from any potential danger at hand. Puppies, kittens, babies (and pill bugs!) curl up into the fetal position when frightened. And adults? Well, we run like hell in the opposite direction! It's natural. It's sensible.

So why do we question that behavior in our young, when we place them in situations that we know have a bit of a danger factor, and that, consequently, they might instinctively view as detrimental to their well being?

Why do we question it when, instead of being content and happy and going along for the ride, they scream and protest and try to high-tail it away from the perceived danger? Hmmm...

Maybe we should celebrate the fact that these children have a deep-seated survival instinct.

Maybe instead of thinking, "Oh, why is my child not as easy going as Baby XYZ?"

I should be thinking, "If a big, hungry bear showed up tomorrow my child would probably do something wonderfully instinctual and survive, whereas Baby XYZ would just crawl on over and offer themselves as the main course for dinner!"

Or....

...maybe I'm just trying to come up with an excuse as to why it took soooooo long for my child to enjoy (sometimes, periodically, on occasion) being thrown up in the air, jiggled and bounced around. Or why, after watching everybody have wonderful beach experiences, ours did not go exactly the way I had imagined it would.

I haven't had many preconceived ideas where Dashell has been concerned. I had no dreams of a perfect, magical, natural birth experience. (Thank goodness!!) I had no fantasies about when he would crawl or walk or talk or even what that would be like. (Or, for that matter, what he would be like.) But, I did think that the boy would like the beach.

I mean, all the pieces were there... Dashell LOVES his sandbox. And the beach, well, is just a really big sandbox, right? And he LOVES water. All water. The kid isn't picky in the least. (Unless you count not liking wet grass. But who the heck likes wet grass?!)

So, it definitely took me by surprise when this was his reaction to the beach...


I'm not sure if it was the loudness of the waves breaking, or the size of the breaking waves in relation to his size, or the general size of the ocean, but the beach was definitely not where he wanted to be and he made it very, very clear.

And, just in case you are wondering... no, it did not get any better longer we were there. I don't think Dash could have pointed toward the exit more times in an hour than he did! We did get him to play in the sand by himself for a few brief moments...



















... before he quickly demanded to climb back into my lap.



















And proceeded to cling to me like a baby monkey while being tempted every so often by his overwhelming desire to crush Dave's sandcastles...














...and then coat me in sand.

































We tried to show him the planes and the birds and the boats to get his mind off the fact that the ocean is obviously (given his reaction) a scary, scary place that would love to gobble up little children for breakfast, lunch and dinner! (Ok, I admit it, maybe there is a grain of truth there.)

But looking back at the pictures I don't think he ever really, truly relaxed the whole trip.















































Well, maybe that is not entirely true...

On our way home from the beach we stopped at a very well known Tiki restaurant that Dave and I use to frequent quite regularly before Dashell was born. This particular restaurant is known for their ribs, their potent tropical drinks (the accoutrements of which definitely helped Dashy get into the spirit!)...














...and their fish... tanks, that is. They have tanks of fish everywhere. One on both sides of every booth...



















...in the waiting area (where their star attraction is Rufus, who has been featured in a lot of movies)...














...in the bar, behind the bar, in the hallways, on the way to bathroom. Like I said, EVERYWHERE. And Dashy loved it!

So I don't know how soon we'll be back at the beach, but I think we might be dining out again in the very near future!

4 comments:

Marcela Beatty said...

Loved the post! I'm sorry Dash wasn't feeling the beach. The first time we took Audrey, she sat in the sand looking confused... I don't think she knew what to do with so much sand around her.

Great pictures too!

Anonymous said...

Dashell, I understand; Nana isn't overly fond of the beach either.

Diana said...

:(

Joyce said...

He's a California Baby! He'll get used to it eventually. The closest beach we have is Lake Erie and Magnus didn't really care to be in the water, but he did love playing in the sand!