As I’ve mentioned before, my family has a place a block from Bradley Beach, NJ. JD and I go down most weekends. I love the beach. In fact, this past Saturday I actually got to relax on the beach, thanks to Uncle Carlo. I had a kid-free day that I totally needed. But this doesn’t mean life’s a beach when you’re a parent. I absolutely love the expressions on random parents’ faces as they attempt to apply sunscreen (and scream “no lotion, no ocean!”) on their sandy kids, drag a haul of crap off the beach while their child screams, “I’m not leaving!” and then there’s the parents who force lifeguards to retrieve their kids from the ocean because they refuse to come out. It’s all so comical—and admittedly annoying. I’m right there with ya people. It’s like how many Capri Suns do I pack today? Oh, the pretzels, cheese crackers, chips, berries and fruit snacks aren’t good enough? Today you want “brown crackers?” What are brown crackers!!!??? And here, some more not so fun, yet laughable beach things that I endure most weekends.
1. JD loves the sand. He loves to dig to China and make sandcastles. But when he’s sweaty and wet he hates that sand sticks to him. I bring him back and forth to the ocean to wash his hands and keep a spray bottle in my bag, but for whatever reason, “My hands are too sandy, feed me mommy” always comes out of his mouth at lunch time. I feed him his turkey sandwich and veggie sticks.
2. JD is not fond of the ocean, but when it’s 100 degrees on the beach he needs to get wet for health reasons. Dunking him in is never a blast, but it must be done. Hearing him scream, “You tricked me. I’m mad!” is never a good time. But, hey, at least he cooled off. And I’m chasing him down the beach. “Get back here, now!”
3. Sometimes I just want to veg out. I did on Saturday, but on Sunday JD and I walked a mile, collected shells, played football, splashed in a sandbar and went up to Lobster Fest for ice cream and lemonade several times. We also went to the bathroom several times (hence the lemonade runs). It’s so much fun, but it’s also exhausting.
4. The great exodus: This is when we have to collect everything, but we’re hot, sweaty, tired, hungry, thirsty and sandy. Uncle Carlo takes thirty minutes to collapse his beach chair and strap it to his back. The whole time, JD is saying, “hold me, mama, I’m too tired to walk. My feet are burning off.”
5. The showering: Before exiting the beach we access the outdoor shower. I’m the mom with the kid who wants to spend twenty minutes getting every grain of sand off his body. “Did you bring soap, mama?” And then steps into fresh hot sand with his wet foot and freaks out. Mom drags child off beach. Threatens no ice cream after dinner.
6. Having every intention of going out to a bar or club while grandma babysits, but falling asleep in bed with your kid at 8:30 PM. That was me on Sat.
7. Returning north and realizing there is no one to help me carry the bags and laundry upstairs. Oh, and doing the beach laundry on Sunday night.
Tell me about your days at the beach with kids. xo
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