Friday, August 14, 2009

How to survive the beach with small children, in 28 easy steps

1. Decide, why not. It will be crazy, but let's join friends at the beach.
2. Make sure friends are going. Because you can't supervise everyone on your own.
3. Bring another child. Because 3 definately isn't enough and what's one more?
4. Let kids watch more TV than normal in the morning while you prepare to go to the beach. Between all the "mommy I need's" and preparation, it will take a few hours.
5. Pack light. The kids can share one towel. You don't need a chair, because you won't sit down at all. Germs? Who cares! We can all share one water bottle.
6. Stop at the gas station to pick up the food/beverage items you didn't have at home. You can park right in front, and leave the kids in the van, just like would do if you were getting gas.
7. Try a new freeway combo to get to the beach, and go the wrong direction, even though you've lived in the same city for over twenty years.
8. Unload children and belongings. Throw baby in the sling, and pile the stroller with your stuff.
9. Once you get to the sand, pull the umbrella stroller behind you. MUCH easier than trying to push it through sand.
10. Field 5,345 requests while trying to nurse the baby
11. Get baby to fall asleep in stroller so you can frolick with the toddler in the water.
12. Try not to cringe at how sandy all food gets before it makes it to the toddler's mouth.
13. Cringe again as the loudest Navy jets you've ever heard fly over because you're next to a Naval Air Station.
14. Bury head in hands as baby wakes up screaming due to loud jets.
15. Decide to leave early because "Baby Interuppted" won't be consoled by anything.
16. Feel thankful that you have friends to help clean up sandy children and hold fussy babies while you prepare to leave.
17. Secure screaming baby in sling, begin trek back across the sand and to the car.
18. Decide against showering children off. It will give hubby a reason to use the new Shop Vac.
19. Load sandy children in the car. Remove now sleeping baby from sling, waking her as you secure her in the carseat.
20. Be thankful for the DVD player to entertain tired sandy children on the drive home.
21. Drop off extra children
22. Arrive home. Make sure no one sits on the couch. Leave baby in the infant seat.
23. Quickly shower the toddler and put her down for a nap, while baby cries in the infant seat, and sandy 5yr old watches Disney.
24. Nurse sandy baby. Decide to put sandy baby down for a nap and bathe her later.
25. Get 5yr old cleaned up. Realize as you are brushing her hair out, it's still full of sand. Be thankful it's dark hair, so no one can really see it.
26. Finally shower yourself. Resist urge to climb into bed and nap the rest of the day,
27. Feel grateful you live in a great city with great beaches and that your kids had a fabulous time. Even though you still have all the stuff to clean up.
28. Plan to lather, rinse, repeat all these steps next Friday with the same bat-friends, at the same bat-beach.

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