Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life is a Beach? (Part 1)

I want to start out my post today by admitting that I have huge expectations for just about everything; Christmas, 4th of July, birthday parties, painting my nails, etc...  You get the point.  I think that whatever "big" thing we're doing will be like something you'd see on TV.  It will be so perfect and people will look at us and say, "Wow, what a great family.  I wish my kids could act like that.  That mom must really have it together."  That is why when I chose to take the girls to the beach, I had this picture in my head of them sitting on the blanket, digging in the sand, playing in the water when I wanted them to but happily getting out when I asked them to.  What I experienced was vastly different and I'm sure the only thing people were saying about me were, "Look at that hot mess!"

I am a girl who likes to be prepared.  Prior to even getting the beach sticker I had googled what you should bring to the beach if you have toddlers.  This is what the majority of people suggested:  an umbrella, beach blanket, beach toys, swim diapers, extra clothes, extra bathing suits, sunscreen, water shoes, towels, snacks, juice, and beach chairs.  Check, check, check!  I packed all of those things in my car last night.  I was taking my dad with me to help out so last night I called him and we strategized about how to make this a great morning at the beach.  Everything was in place!

I picked up Pa (my dad) at about 8:45 and we headed to Gooseberry Beach in Newport.  We dropped our cooler and our rolling beach cart with all of our supplies at the walkway and parked.  So far, so good.  The girls even followed us onto the sand and didn't wander off.  This beach thing will be a piece of cake, I thought.  Trouble didn't arise until I tried to put up the umbrella.  I had bought it at the Christmas Tree Shop and the young guy there told me it didn't need a base.  And I guess it didn't if you wanted to pretend you were the Statue of Liberty all day and hold it in place!  That went back in the cart.  It was during this time that my father had walked down to the water with Sophie while I watched Lindsay.  I must have gotten distracted because the next thing I knew, Lindsay was almost in the water and my father was screaming at me.  I ran down and rescued my little fish and we started playing in the water. 

After about five minutes, Sophie's lips and even her tongue had turned blue so we went back to the blanket.  This, obviously, was not what my little divas had in mind!  They kicked, screamed, and hit all the way back.  The only thing that made them sit down was the promise of food.  They woofed down a whole bowl of berries like they had never seen food before and headed for the water again.  This back and forth continued for the rest of our time there. 

Now, as my two little pistols were shuttling back and forth, I took a minute to look around at the other mothers and children on the beach.  Surely, Pa and I weren't the only ones breaking a sweat.  Hmm...it seemed we were.  I even started taking a poll.  It went something like this:

Me:  How old is your child?
Unsuspecting Stranger (US):  18 months, and yours?
Me:  19 months.  Your little one seems to enjoy just sitting on the beach.  Did you happen to give her Benadryl on your way here?
Unsuspecting Stranger starts walking away, shaking her head in disgust.  I chase after her, begging for any tips she might have.  Hell, I'm not opposed to Benadryl if it means I'll be able to sit down for 5 minutes!

By 10:30, Pa and I were exhausted so we decided it was time to leave...

To Be Continued Tomorrow

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