Life’s a Beach

11 Jun

Whine: People should not drink Coke Zero at 11pm if they wish to go to sleep anytime before 2am. People should also not leave their 4 year-olds unattended in the kitchen the next morning while they are sleeping off the late night, lest little hands decide to cook their own “syrup toast” in the toaster oven.

Cheese: At least some 4 year-olds come tell on themselves when the smoke from the scorched syrup fails to wake up their mommy.

Let me give you a word of advice: When that nagging little voice inside your brain finally manages to break through your permanent baby-haze and warns you that you are in over your head, be smart enough to stop and listen to that little voice. Or at least grab a life preserver.

So when my mom decided that we should all go to “the lake” (a one-acre man-made glorified swimming pool) for the day when my sister and her family came in town, I should have thought twice.

Then, when Mr. Dad asked if he could go golfing in the morning before our lake day, thus leaving me alone to pack swimsuits and waternoodles, apply multiple coats of sunscreen to slippery little urchins, and somehow get out the front door without causing harm to a child (with or without intent), I should have thought three times.

And when we finally arrived with fourteen bags full of swim diapers, trail mix, arm floaties, and diet cokes to a cloudy, drizzling sky, I should have just stayed in the car.

But, I am a Mommy. I can and will do anything for the amusement of my children. Including, but not limited to dancing a jig in the middle of the grocery store aisle, making cupcakes to celebrate the fact that it’s Tuesday, and checking out 700 books from the library and keeping them two weeks past their due date, thus incurring a fine of approximately 1 million dollars.

So against my better judgement, I got of the car and began to set up camp while the rain sprinkled down, doing my best crazy-lady-who-mutters-under-her-breath-about-life’s-injustices routine. I hid Brother Bear underneath an umbrella and the girls scampered off with their aunts and cousins undeterred by the rain.

Within minutes, the rain had been completely scorched away by the glaring, hateful sun and my preparations were hindered by the fact that I could not see through the streams of sweat pouring down my forehead and into my eyes. I continued my muttering routine, while trying to keep an eye on my children who like to run off and get themselves into mortal danger. (Death by fiery syrup toast, anyone? How about by imbibing three gallons of dirty lake water?)

I finally got settled in, only to realize that it was time to feed Brother Bear (again). Big Sis had also had an unfortunate going under/lifeguard rescue moment and was completely OVER this whole lake thing, which she emphasized quite vocally until I let her lie down in the backseat and read (thank goodness I shoved some library books into one of my fourteen bags) while I sat in the front to feed the baby. Some lake day. It makes me laugh at my former self, whose biggest beach worry at age 14 or 19 or even 27  was the fact that I looked a little jiggly in a bathing suit. Hahaha, I thought that was jiggly?

Eventually, we coaxed both Brother Bear and Big Sis back into the water. I found my happy place in a hot pink raft shaped like half a barcalounger, complete with two cupholders. One for my trailmix and one for my Diet Coke. Brother Bear slept peacefully on my chest, while I scooted us around like an uncoordinated sand crab and watched the girls splash and slide and jump in the water.

But then the reality of potty breaks (or not, I sure hope they clean that water. . .) and hungry tummies and more sunscreen broke into my personal nirvana and I was back on duty.

After hot dogs and chips and de-sanding and changing diapers and clothes and finding missing blankies, we piled into the car and headed home. The backseat was eerily quiet, as everyone immediately slipped into unconsciousness when we shifted into drive. Mr. Dad took the rare moment of quiet to ask me if I’d had fun.

Fun? Well, that’s one word for it.

8 Responses to “Life’s a Beach”

  1. Aunt Linnaea June 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Yeah, been there. AND I brought a picnic supper, so hubby could get off the bus a few blocks before home and join us after work. What WAS I thinking? Oh yes; moms must do heroic things to build memories! (But I think I’m the only one who remembers.)

  2. Sars June 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Hahaha, Aunt Linnaea, you hit the nail on the head.

  3. wee June 12, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Since we are the culprits, THANK YOU for being crazy & bringing yourself n your kiddos so /I/ could have fun with you all!!!! (and my kids & my hubby ditto of course!!)

  4. wee June 12, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    p.s. I think I’m still recuperating from that ‘stage’ of my life. [perhaps you’ll be able to heed your post and plan to have a few less of those ‘fun’ days than i did…at minimum enlisting (yes, militarily) several helpers] but the memories are fun once you get at least 4 years down the road!

  5. rachelle June 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    now i just want some syrup toast 😉

  6. Johanna I. June 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Seriously, though, how cute are diaper butts in swimsuits? So cute.

  7. Cheryl June 18, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    I love reading about your experiences; brings back memories. After attempting a few beach trips with the kids, I resigned myself to using the beach at grandma’s house. It was a lot easier to go in the house for potty or food breaks than to haul all the stuff we would need for the day down to the beach. We saved special beach trips, not to grandma’s, when the daddy could come along. (lazy mom)


  1. Did you see the one about . . . « Homepaddock - June 12, 2010

    […] Life’s a Beach – A Little Whine and Cheese on a family day at the lake. […]

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