I'm not sure why, because we have to pack a metric ton of stuff, the inside of the van ends up looking like a sandbar, it takes an hour to bathe everyone once we get home, and I still find sand in crevices I didn't even know the baby had at diaper changes! But we still go, often.
Here are some of the things that go through my mind when we spend a day at the beach... how about you?
- Awww, the baby's so cute playing in the water — no, he's not playing, he's DRINKING it! Stop! Stop!
- If they let that pool noodle float away again, I am definitely not buying them another one. No way.
- Is this even real life? I asked ten times before we left the house if anyone had to go to the bathroom.
- Look at that other mom's beach bag. *Drool.* It's huge. Would it be weird to ask where she got it? And she has a rolling cart! I want that. I need that. Wait, am I listening to myself? I am so uncool! What happened to me?
- Oops, guess I should have put the sunscreen on the kids before they all jumped in the water.
- Hmmm... does that other family look upset that my son is playing with all their sand toys and staked out a spot under their umbrella? No? Well then, I see no problems here.
- Who got sand in the water bottle?!
- Are they screaming because they're having fun, or...? Nope, that is definitely unhappy screaming.
- We have one rule: only splash people who want to be splashed. Was I not clear enough on that when I repeated it seven times on the way here, put it to music and a choreographed dance, and had the kids chant it in unison after me?
- I really don't want to get in that frigid water, but she's asked me three times now... good thing I brought distractions. I mean, snacks. I brought snacks.
- I thought I told you not to put your towel in the water. No, you cannot have mine.
- I'm about five minutes from done with adjusting goggles, finding sunken goggles, and detangling goggles from hair for today.
- What are these crab- and starfish-shaped pieces of plastic, anyway? What child in the history of children has ever played with these things? And why do I keep bringing them here?
- Please do not announce that you are peeing in the water, please do not announce that you are peeing in the water, please do not announce — crap.
- Oh yeah, like your kid never pees in the water, lady. Enough with the stink-eye already.
- I don't like the way those seagulls are eyeing our bag of Goldfish. I'm not afraid of birds but... I'm sort of afraid of them now.
- We probably should've labeled our toys before coming here. It's time to go and I have no idea how to tell our crap from everybody else's crap.
P.S. If you're at the beach and a small child approaches you saying they have to go to the bathroom, always seek confirmation on whether it's #1 or #2 before whispering, "Just go over there and quietly do it in the water." Don't ask how I know.