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I was recently talking to a friend about her kid. She has a little boy who is about six months. Since both she and her husband work, the kid goes to daycare during the day. At said daycare, there is a sandbox and she’s realized with some consternation that her child has been eating sand. She’ll find sand in his pants and diaper sometimes.

It’s perfectly normal for a baby to try and eat sand. Babies, especially once they’re mobile, like to get into places and things and experience them by putting stuff into their mouth. If you place a baby in a sandbox, obviously he’ll try and stick some in his mouth.

Well, to make her feel better, or something, I told her that I also ate sand as a child. But I was older and it was an active decision to eat sand. I remember it was a onetime thing and it’s one of the last memories I have of preschool, as I recall that I started kindergarten not too long after that. You see, it was a game of pretend. And I guess since it ended with a bunch of 5-6 year olds eating sand, it may be considered a game of pretend that got out of hand.

My friends and I were pretending that we were at “the movies” or some such. And at the movies, you eat popcorn. So we decided that we would also “eat popcorn.” Now looking back at this, I don’t imagine why I would know that you could go to “the movies” and it was normal to eat popcorn there. I don’t think I stepped foot into a movie theater until I was much older. All the movies I saw were on VHS. Maybe I saw a movie about going to the movies or something. Anyway…

So, we’re at the movies and while watching this movie, we were going to eat popcorn. Eating air popcorn is terribly unsatisfying. You don’t have tactile sensation of popcorn at all. And there’s no taste or smell. Very boring. So, since we were in a sandbox, we decided to substitute sand for the popcorn. That way we were get the crunch of popcorn and the smell of…sand.

In case you’re wondering, we didn’t even eat a handful of sand. Sand doesn’t really taste like popcorn.

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