We started out by stuffing the car with chairs, toys, buckets, towels, shovels, changes of clothes, baby necessities, snacks, a cooler, and a tent. I waited until the last moment to slip on Alex’s Little Swimmers diaper, knowing they always bite me (oh, and him) in the a$$.
We sat in beach traffic for a good hour, paid $20 for a sh*tty spot that required us to drive on an unsuspecting man’s lawn; demanded our money back (which included me running after the attendant–it’s okay, I have always been a Charlie’s Angels wannabe); broke up backseat fighting (Alex pinching Ashley and her screaming “ow!” every single second); sat in more traffic; called/texted everyone we knew who lived near the beach to beg for parking mercy; experienced epic fail finding anyone who remotely cared about our plight; circled around a few more times with Alex yelling, “Up! Beach! Uuuuuuppppp!” repeatedly; and, finally, paid $7 for a spot that really wasn’t a spot, but Scott’s a master at maneuvering.
I got Alex out of the car and, sure enough, he was soaked with pee. My brand new, overpriced cover-up I was going to debut in Puerto Rico was also soaked with pee. Stupid Little Swimmers strike again. I checked my iPhone quickly for a mental break/pee escape, and saw Ashley live-tweeted the entire car ride. First tweet: “Backseat bonding with Alex. #SiblingBonding.” Second tweet: “I am constantly getting beat up.” Third tweet: “He’s stronger than you think for a two-year-old.”
And then we had to unload everything.
By the time we got there, it was high tide.
It was awesome.Ashley and her friend bailed on us, as teenagers do, and had a ball swimming to the “wall” to scope out boys. When they returned, Dad slipped them a $20 to get some pizza and Vitamin waters by themselves. Alex was lovin’ life, running at full speed into the ice-cold water and swimming until we dragged him out, shivering with blue lips. He played with everyone’s toys but his own, forcing himself on every group of kids trying to build sandcastles along the narrow beachfront plagued by rocks. I kept reapplying Alex’s sunscreen like a neurotic freak, afraid he would burn, and Scott kept trying to de-sand him as best he could, but the kid delights in getting every grain in every single crevice of his body every single minute. Neither of us sat down once. We looked at each other, with knowing smiles, pretty much saying this sucks for us, but it’s great for them, so that means it’s great. That means we’re good parents, standing up all day, sweating our faces off (it would have been worth it if I could literally sweat my a$$ off), doing the best we can to give our kids a good time. After Alex skipped his nap, officially going off the grid–joy, joy!–we took fifteen trips back to the car; sweated some more; piled all of the necessary beach sh*t into the trunk (this time, it was completely disorganized, sandy, and smelly); listened to more backseat fighting before Alex mercifully crashed for a half-hour; got home; unloaded the car; and loaded up the washing machine.
All on one hell of a hot day.
So, tell me, what’s the magic age where beach trips become fun for all? Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing seeing the smiles on their faces, but it was definitely more work than fun!