HowTo:Build the perfect sandcastle

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Hi my names Joshy and I’m four and this is the story of how Daddy told me how to build the perfect sandcastle. Mrs Peterson from nursery thinks it’s really funny and I think this is good because when I grow up I’m gonna be a space comedian, except Daddy says that he has a job for me at his building company but I don’t want to go there because it’s not in space! Anyway here’s my story:

When Daddy First Tried

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Me and Daddy were on the beach because the sun was out and Daddy says that when the sun is out in Scotland you should make the most of it. I was cold though so I was wearing my LazyTown scarf, which has a picture of Stephanie eating cake on it, and Daddy said it’s “a bit defeatist” but I don’t think that’s very nice because if somebody cut off Stephanie’s feet she couldn’t dance and that would be sad!

I dug up some sand and put it in my bucket to make a sandcastle. Daddy looked into the middle distance that was way over my head and into the sea somewhere. I turned the bucket upside down and then lifted it up again, but my castle was just a pile of sand.

“Oh, I made a mess!” I said, hitting the pile of sand which blew back into my eyes.

“I don’t have to change your nappy again do I?” Daddy asked with a frown. I shook my head. Adults are morons.

“My castle didn’t work.” I told him.

“Thank God for that.” I think God is Daddy’s imaginary friend. I have an imaginary friend, he’s called Dandelion, Mummy says this is because he’s dandy and he’s a lion but she’s stupid because he’s a flower that eats people.

“Why are you pleased that God destroyed my castle!?” I cried.

“No, I’m not - really! It was something else… Grown up stuff.” He sat down beside me and took my spade. “Right, seen as how your mother failed with potty training, I’m going to show you another invaluable life skill. I’m going to show you, how to build the perfect sandcastle!” Mrs. Peterson from nursery said that this was not a fair compromise at all.

“Can I have my spade back? You’re always telling me not to snatch things!”

"Come on son, I've done it, so can you!" Daddy said.

“I didn’t snatch it!” He snapped.

“Mummy says that people who shout are just bullies.” I pouted. It’s not nice to bully unless it’s Thomas you’re bullying because he smells of poor and stole my blue truck in nursery last week.

Your mother shouts just as much as I do!” Daddy protested.

“Does Mummy bully you?” I asked. It didn’t sound like the sort of thing Mummy would do.

“Look, do you want me to show you this or not?”

“No! I want to play in the sea.”

“No, Joshy, come on. How you gonna feel if you go on a school trip and you can’t even make a sandcastle?”

“I think I'll want to play in the sea.” I shrugged.

“I’d let you, but your mother’ll blame me when you drown, so my hands are tied.” I hate it when adults lie. He’s still got his hands on my spade! They aren’t tied up at all!

“Spade back!” I demanded, reaching for it.

“No, Joshy, I’m trying to show you this.” He said.

“But I want an ice-cream!”

“Like the fucking pied piper...” Daddy sighed as the music from an ice-cream truck floated across the beach. “No, Joshy, I’m trying to show you this. If you learn then you can enter the sandcastle competition! Won’t that be great!?”

“But I want to play in the sea!” I said, noticing the big boys again. Daddy shut his eyes tight and counted to ten. I can count to fourteen and Mrs. Peterson from nursery said this was very good, but I know people who can count to twenty!

Daddy dug a hole and explained that you need water in the sand in order to make it stick together, but that doesn’t make sense because water makes things less sticky. Daddy turned the bucket upside down and then lifted it up and his castle was made. I knocked it down because I wanted to see if it was sticky. It wasn’t sticky. It was sandy.

“Hey! What did you do that for? I wasn’t done showing you yet!”

“You said it was sticky, but it’s not sticky. You lied! Mummy said that lying’s nasty.”

“But I didn’t lie about anything!”

“I don’t make the rules.” I shrugged. And then I pood. “I know something that’s sticky.” I said. Daddy sniffed and then wished he hadn’t because poo smells disgusting like his cooking.

And Then Daddy Tried…

When I was all clean and smelled nice again I tried to make another sandcastle while Daddy went to get me an ice-cream. I didn’t want to play in the sea now because the big boys weren’t there and it looked cold. Also Daddy had said there were sharks there that ate little boys. I asked him why he hadn’t said this sooner and he told me that it was because I should do what I’m told because he knows better, but that’s stupid because he thinks water’s sticky and if it was sharks couldn’t swim in it.

Daddy told me about the sharks and that night I had a really bad nightmare and then he told me that it was OK because there were men and women out there fighting the boy-eating sharks. Why doesn’t he ever tell me anything when it’s useful?

I turned the bucket upside down and then lifted it up again, but my castle was just a pile of sand.

“Oh, no, no, Joshy, didn’t I explain? You need wetter sand. Go down near the water.”

“You mean where the sharks are?” I said shaking my head; I didn’t want to be eaten by sticky sharks.

“Well no, but – hang on, here’s your ice-cream.”

“I don’t want my ice-cream right now. I want to make a sandcastle!” Daddy counted to ten again as I tried to make another sandcastle.

“Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen…” I continued until I got stuck.

“Don’t make fun of me please, Joshy…” he said in his sad voice.

I turned the bucket upside down and then lifted it up again, but my castle was just a pile of sand.

“Come on now Joshy, eat your ice-cream and then I can show you how to do it properly!”

“But I don’t want my ice-cream” I said pushing him out of my way.

“But you asked me to get it!”

“Yeah, I wanted it then, now I’m not hungry.” I turned the bucket upside down and then lifted it up again, but my castle was just a pile of sand. I hit it with my spade and sand blew back into my eyes. And then I fell backwards into one of the holes I’d made. “I’m stuck – I’m stuck – I’m stuck!” I panicked because I was stuck.

“Wow, hey little man, don’t panic, it’s not that deep!” Daddy chuckled as he picked me up with both hands. I cried a little because I was scared and he hugged me. I looked down and saw my ice-cream on the ground.

“Why did you drop my ice-cream?” I asked him. “I want my ice-cream now.”

So Then…

Daddy took me to the ice-cream van man, to make sure I could pick exactly what I wanted. I wanted a large-double-chocolate-chip-honeycomb-cone, with a flake but instead Daddy bought me a choc-ice and told me to make do. I didn’t want a choc-ice but he made me sit on the wall and eat it until it was all gone, which gave me a sore tummy.

This is a picture of my shiny red rock. I brought it into nursery one time and Thomas tried to steal it from me so I hit him with it and Mrs. Peterson said this was very bad, but it’s just Thomas so it’s ok.

“So can I play in the sea now Daddy?” We were walking down that way.

“What about the sharks?” Daddy asked. I had forgotten. It was a good thing that Daddy was there to remind me!

“Can I collect some shells instead?”

“Maybe later, I want to show you how to make a sandcastle first, though.” I saw a shiny red rock on the ground and picked it up.

“Can I keep this rock?”

“If it makes you happy, then yes.”

I held on to it really tightly because it was really shiny! Daddy sat down on some dark sand where the tide had been and he said that this was perfect. He started to dig a hole and explain that you also have to compact the sand but I wanted to collect some shells – or play in the sea – or collect sea shells! I didn’t want to make a sandcastle anyway because they’re boring, all they do is sit there.

I got up and walked towards the sea, leaving Daddy to talk to Dandelion about how to make a sandcastle (he could tell me about it later because he’s got a good memory!). I was almost at the sea when a big wave came and the water rushed to my feet – it was cold! So I ran away from it, and then back, chasing the water away. And then Daddy spoiled it because he grabbed me round the waist.

“Come on, champ, I told you not to go in the sea.”

“Oh because of the sharks!?” I had forgotten again and I looked at the sea. They weren’t going for the big boys, that didn’t make sense because surely big boys would be a better meal than me, I’m only four! I hoped they wouldn’t eat Daddy because he’s a really big boy!

“And you can’t swim.” He said, I had forgotten that too!

Daddy took me back to where he was making his sandcastle and he told me that it would impress judges if I dug a moat and made walls but I wanted a large-double-chocolate-chip-honeycomb-cone, with a flake, because my tummy wasn’t sick now. Daddy was digging a moat for his castle, so I walked off to find the ice-cream van man again. Maybe if I found him a shiny rock too he’d give me an ice-cream.

This is the rock that I found for the man, I wonder if he still has it or if Thomas stole it.

When I was walking I did find another shiny rock, it was smaller and yellow and I don’t like yellow so I decided that I would give this rock to the man for an ice-cream.

I walked up to the ice-cream van (it was really far!) and I showed the man my rocks.

“Do you like my rocks?” I asked him, with my hand stretched up so he could see them.

“Oh, wow!” he said reaching for the little yellow one. This was good because I didn’t want him touching my shiny red rock with his sticky fingers. If he tried to touch my rock then I’d have to tell him to wash his hands in non-sticky water. “This is really quite a find, young man.”

“I’ll give it to you if you give me a large-double-chocolate-chip-honeycomb-cone, with a flake.”

The man frowned, “I’m afraid that there isn’t any such thing… but I’ll give you whatever else you want for this rock.”

“Can I have a choc-ice with a flake then?” They’re actually really nice.

“Absolutely.” He said handing me down my ice-cream. “Pleasure doing business with you.”

I turned around and I saw that Daddy was running up the beach towards me so I took a few bites of choc-ice and then I had to throw it away because Daddy would be mad if he knew I had another one. My head was cold and sore now.

God, can’t you stay still for five seconds!?” Daddy asked me.

“My name's Joshy, not God.” I said, but he wasn’t listening. He was talking to the ice-cream man now.

“He wasn’t harassing you, was he?”

“Harassing, no. Not at all.”

“My Brain’s cold.” I complained. Daddy noticed the ice-cream on my mouth.

“I hope you’re not expecting me to pay for that.” He told the man.

“Nope, just a little present.”

“Mmm. Well, that’s nice of you but he’s gotta learn the value of money.”

“I understand; it won't happen again.” The man smiled and waved me goodbye as Daddy took me back to his sandcastle that was starting to look like a fortress!

It had a tall wall around it and stone bridge over the moat – that had water in it! I thought it looked really good but it would look much better with my shiny rock on it. So I toddled over and tried to put my rock on top, except it crushed the castle. Daddy was a little bit mad and I stepped back into the moat and fell over crushing everything! I didn’t mean it!

And Then We Went Home

"Come on son, I've done it, so can you!" Daddy said.

I think it was because Daddy was tired. He gets grumpy at me when he’s tired. It wasn’t because I was tired like he said to Mummy when we got home; I wanted to make another sandcastle like Daddy’s because his was really cool! Except I don’t remember how Daddy built his. I tried asking Dandelion about it but he couldn’t remember either because he was busy playing with the PSP that his Mummy and Daddy bought him for his birthday.

I was in bed just after Daddy had finished reading me my story. I was only pretending to be asleep so I could hear what Mummy and Daddy were talking about. Once I heard them talking about “loan sharks” – which is a different type of shark from the boy-eating sharks – this type of shark is lonely and needs to visit the house and sometimes borrow my DVD player. Tonight they were talking about today.

“So I gather you had an eventful day then?” Mummy said.

“Yeah, don’t think he took much of what I said in though.”

“Oh you mean he can’t make a sandcastle? Shame. How will he get through school?”

“Hey, there’s no need to be like that.”

“I’m just saying, how about tomorrow I try building a sandcastle with him and you can do potty training.”.

Oh no! I don’t like potty training because it’s cold!

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