Tag Archives: Toddlers exploring

A tale of two puddles

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Muddy puddles

This week was a tale of two puddles. With the rain came muddy puddles and with the low tide came sandy puddles.

Jumping in muddy puddles is such a simple but entertaining exercise for Orbit and we don’t even have to leave the marina! It’s a wonderful adventure searching out for clean puddles but also the best puddles. By clean puddles I mean those that are less likely to have any nasties in them (like run off from rubbish bins). The best puddles are those that are safely away from car parks and frequently used roads within the marina so Orbit can play freely, without me asking him to move because cars or trucks are coming past. But most importantly, they need mud – the higher potential for mud the better. As little boys know, the amount of fun is directly correlated how dirty one can get!


Why I try to find ‘clean’ puddles

Each new puddle would start out with clear water and we would examine if there was anything interesting in it (like a leaf or a stick) before Orbit jumped in, adding to the number of mud splats on his face. By the time we got back to Medina, Orbit had very wet pants and socks and very muddy gumboots and rain coat and I had a collection of ‘interesting things’ from the puddles in my pockets. While I went about cleaning up the mud, there was one very happy little boy who fell asleep contented (if not exhausted) that afternoon.

At the moment I am trying to teach Orbit only to jump in puddles when he has his gumboots on. As we only have so much space on Medina, we are limited to the number of shoes we have, so I try to keep Orbit’s shoes clean and dry. As clean and dry as possible for a 2.5 year old that is!

A few days later Orbit and I were off to one of the local parks. After playing in the muddy puddles, he was determined to wear his gumboots, so off we went to the park gumboots on.

The park we went to has a playground on one side and a small beach on the other. It was low tide and there were ‘salt water’ puddles left on the exposed sand. Am not sure what causes these depressions, someone once told me it was from the stingrays resting on the sand at high tide – but who knows, please let me know if you do.

IMG_4373As Orbit walked down the beach, he started to get really excited started to yell “puddles, puddles!” and ran towards them. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to catch up because Orbit usually takes his shoes off before jumping in the water at the beach. But this time, after examining what was in the puddle and collecting the mangrove seeds, he jumped in – gumboots on!

Although Orbit was having trouble jumping in the puddles because his boots were sinking into the sand, he still persisted, running from one puddle to the next, each puddle getting a bit deeper the closer to the waterline he got. In one of the puddles, his gumboots finally filled up with saltwater and called me over to help him out of his predicament of being stuck in the puddle.

While I was trying to get his gum boots off, which can be quite tricky with wet sandy socks, I wondered why he still had his gumboots on. Then my words came back to me “only jump in puddles when you have your gum boots on”. Orbit was doing exactly what I had asked him to do!

Returning to Medina

After four weeks of house sitting/dog sitting, the time has come to return to our life on Medina.

Working out how the draws work

Working out how the draws work

We have all enjoyed our time living back in a house, it has been a (luxury) adventure in itself. Each of us has our own indulgences, e.g. being able to spread lego out over the floor, long hot showers, being able to walk around a bed when I make it!

Orbit has especially enjoyed his time in the house. Each time we pull up to the driveway, he gives a happy cry and claps his hands. It will be interesting to see his reaction when we pull up to the marina.

There will be a long list of things Orbit will miss, some of them I will be able to replicate (sailing boat style), others … maybe not.

  • Playing ball with the dogs, and being greeted with their kisses. We’ll just have to play more ball with the grandparent’s dogs, lucky they are good a kissing too.
  • Playing with magnets on the fridge. We live on a steel boat, so magnets should not be an issue (I’ll just have to buy some).
  • Space to spread out when playing, Orbit loves ‘dumping’ and spreading out his lego out on the floor. I am not sure how I can create more floor space on Medina, but we can take some lego up to the grassy area at the marina.

    Pushing the laundry trolley in the rain

    Pushing the laundry trolley in the rain

  • Opening and closing draws. Orbit is fascinated with how things work, during our stay he became obsessed with working out how draws work. We have three draws on the boat, so that should keep him busy for a day.
  • Going in and out the doggy door. I’ve got nothing for this one (grandparents don’t doggy doors at their houses).
  • Dancing in front of the television. We don’t have a lot of space and not much in front of the television. We’ll just have to do our dancing to the radio up on deck. Apologies to anyone who will witness my dancing – I am very good at dancing badly!
  • Playing with the buttons on the dishwasher. We had to turn the dishwasher off at the wall because Orbit was kept starting it. We didn’t use it because we’re used to washing up (must remember to turn it back on through). Not sure how to replicate this one, or it I want too (have visions of Orbit playing with buttons on the HF radio etc).
  • Watching the driveway automatic door go up and down. I’ve got nothing here.
  • Flushing the toilet. We have hand pumps for both toilets on Medina, so we may need to incorporate the marina toilets into our afternoon walks. We can also use it as part of our toilet training.
  • Pushing the laundry trolley. Orbit already likes to ‘push’ the marina trolleys, they look a bit different but I think the concept is the same.

Over the past four weeks, I have appreciated how different it is to raise a toddler on a sailing boat rather than in a house. All of the differences can be reduced to two things, space and supervision. On a boat there is less space but you need to have more (a lot more) supervision. In a house, there is more space (especially if there is a fenced back and/or front yard) and require relatively less supervision (compared to a boat).

The centre of our world, lucky she is transportable!


There is more physical effort required to raise a toddler on a sailing boat. We have to leave the boat to find the space we need. This includes finding the space to learn to walk, run, jump, play etc. Orbit doesn’t get the incidental development that comes with having space, so we have to find it. But this can be a blessing, as getting to the space (e.g the local park or beach) just adds to the adventure – its all about having the appropriate head space, which can be hard some days. I try to think of Medina as the centre of our world and the rest of the world is out there just waiting to be explored. We are all explorers and I am blessed to explore with the Skipper and Orbit.