So about a month ago I was raving about the beach (especially the Santa Monica one). Well......after today I may never see sand and waves again.
It all starts around 11 am. I'm by myself, mostly because I want to see if I can do it alone (first mistake). I push the double stroller, like a mule, packed with all your typical beach-going gear toward the beach. I attempt to hurtle a curb by tipping the stoller back and rolling over it. As I make my desent on the other side my water bottle goes flying and disperses its contents onto the boardwalk. It was a sign. I should have turned around and gone right back home. But no..I'm a pioneer woman... a trail-blazer ... I can do anything! (mistake #2) I continue toward the beach on the wooden walkway, which stops mid beach.
Just for a visual I want you to imagine a double stroller, 3 year old in front, 1 year old in back...me with a tent/canopy bag slinged over my shoulder (which I intend to set up, by myself, at the beach) and stuffed in the bottom basket of the stroller is a life jacket, blow-up swim thing, towel, lunch cooler and a huge bag with a ton of crap. Stop laughing. I turn the stroller around (because you can't push it through the sand) and drag my brood across the barren wasteland, shoes off, feet burning because you can't walk backwards in flip flops.
Cut to 4 minutes later, we've arrived, the location, the spot, our claim. Time to set up and sprawl out. I unpack the canopy, spread it out, put the poles together and start raising the barn one leg at a time. (mistake #3) It's amazing how the slightest breeze can turn nylon fabric into a full blown sail. Scrap the shade, I've got sunblock.
Ok.....at this point the kids and I are in the water and we're having a good time (for about 15 minutes). The kids get cold and we go back to sit on our towel only to realize we all have globs of black tar stuck to the bottom of our feet like leeches. Oh well...whatever...moving on.
Get out the food, lets eat. Hot dog and yogurt for Mason. Chicken nuggets for Charlie and.......... the whining begins. I turn to Mason...."what's wrong?"....he's freaking out about the sand stuck to his skin and is frantically rubbing and rubbing trying to make it go away. Another whine.....I turn to Charlie..."what's wrong?" The problem was obvious. Those deliciously breaded chicken nuggets she's shoving into her mouth are now breaded with a thick coating of sand...yum. I take the food from her (mistake #4) and wash it off in the ocean. I try to give it back to her, she'll eat anything..right? Nope. That's one pissed-off hungry 1 year old. Charlie...here's some juice.....whaaaa.....here's some yogurt....whaaaaaaaaa. A now desperate sobbing bundle of goo decides her life is ruined and the only action to be taken is to plunge herself face down into the sand. You remember those art projects where you put some glue onto paper and then sprinkle glitter onto the glue. Imagine that, but with sand, and Charlie's face as the canvas.
I rush her into the water, dunk her, splash her, wipe her. I arrive back onto the beach and finally decide...ok...I'm done. Pack it up, haul it out, babies shivering and crying, throw them in the car, step on something sharp, slice my tar-laden foot, start the car and peel out of there. This is the point that the unavoidable, guilt-stricken, "I'm such a bad mother" tears start flowing...wait for it.....wait for it....convulsing sob convulsing sob.
Will I ever go back...at this point my answer, of course, is...... NEVER AGAIN!!! But just like the woman who contracts that aweful disease of pregnancy-amnesia, forgeting all the ickyness (the list is a mile long) of being pregnant, I'm sure I too will forget how terrible this day was, and find myself again, driving my car to spend a day "making memories" at the beach.
Your fellow motherhood survivor,