As moms, we’ve all got confessions, right?
Okay, I’ll go first. Sometimes, my kids fall asleep while watching TV (pre-tooth brushing). I know, the horror! And I feed them sugar cereals on the weekend. Horrified yet? But when it comes to being a mom in California, what I’m about to tell you is the most shocking of all. I hate the beach. GET OUT OF TOWN, right?! Seriously, I may be asked to leave town if this gets out among my friends. It’s just so taboo to admit this around these parts.
Here’s the thing – I don’t hate the beach from my single days in my twenties, when I’d grab a People Mag, a six back of Corona, and a towel and head on down to the beach, where I’d slather myself with 4 SPF. I hate the beach of NOW, lugging two kids, 17 sand toys, an oversized ball, the CostCo sized bottle of SPF, the umbrella, and the cooler of (relatively) healthy snacks. Come. Freaking. On. Who really enjoys THAT?
And no matter how many times I tell myself I’m going to get better, I’m not good at preparing for the beach. Every single time (without fail) I forget to put SPF on my kids until we get there. At this point, the seagulls have begun to encroach on my bag of Pirate’s Booty, the boys are already knee deep in wet sand, and the winds are 70 miles per hour. You don’t have to be a physicist to realize that sand + high winds + sun lotion = a string of expletives from my mouth that could make Denis Leary look like a pansy. Ugh.
By the time I’ve sat down on the lumpy towel and decided to forgo the umbrella lest I blow another gasket, I’m already calculating how long it’s socially acceptable to stay before I can march right back to the car. It’s not like I can get out that book I’ve got in the bag (honestly, why do I even bring it?), as the one of the boys has usually begun to hang with the teenagers six blankets down while the other thought it would be a great idea to dare the five-foot waves. Awesome sauce!
Of course, they don’t allow alcohol anymore, so I’ve either got to grin and bear it, or drink out of a paper bag like a common hobo (I’m really not above this). At least I’ve got that Pirate’s Booty. Oh right, it’s gone. Damn seagulls!
Okay, now it’s time to attempt the pride-swallowing march to the car while strapping a chair over my already sunburned shoulder and carrying one crying boy and dragging a screaming second. Even with my husband, we usually have to take 25 trips from beach to car. At that point, I whip out the baby powder, which really only gets about six grains of sand off the boys, so we usually have about ¼ of the beach in our car (that I just got washed, of course).
Oh yeah, and then you get home – home, sweet, home, right!? NOT! It’s time to race your kids to the door lest they bring the entire beach inside with them. It’s an outdoor hose-off followed by a sprint to the tub, where the remaining millions of grains of sand deposit at the bottom.
So yeah, I said it. I. Hate. The. Beach.