The Beach

Nice place to live near, wouldn’t want to visit….

For reasons aforementioned, I decided to pack the kids up and drive to the beach. I checked online to make sure Toys R Us had an inexpensive pop up tent that I could quickly swing by and grab on our way.   Is there a drive through window at Toys R Us? After slathering sunscreen on both babies, packing a rather lack luster lunch and filling the car with the 14 bags a trip like this requires, we were on our way. With Zachary not having napped and Isabelle suffering through a burning eye which may or may not have been due to my haste in applying sunscreen, we were not off to a chipper start. The car temperature gage read 107 and I can already tell my mood is not of the sort that attracts positive things.
I threw two hot and very bothered babies into the double stroller which doesn’t actually fit through the aisles and headed in for my beach tent. I impatiently asked a sales person where it was and he told me they didn’t have it. Now, here is where I feel it is my penance to admit what happened next. I snapped at him as if it was his fault, and told him he had to find me something with which to shield my children from the sun at the beach immediately because clearly it is his fault that a.) Zachary is terrified of trucks and won’t nap. B.)Its 107 degrees C.) I haven’t had more than three hours of consecutive sleep in two years D.) My children are both under 2. And E.) I’m not handling it well. Really Em?  The poor man deserves to have his day ruined by your negativity and narcissistic insanity?  For someone who truly believes that we can heal the world with positive and loving energy, you certainly just vomited arsenic throughout the San Fernando Valley.
Ok. I needed to move on and try to salvage the day.  There was still time to turn it all around.  It was after all only 3:00.  I made a mental note to compose a lovely letter of apology in classic Emily Smith fashion and send it to the Toys R Us man. They found me a pop up tent that touted a one-step set up and I was out the door before I realized it cost me 70 dollars. Wow. Let’s just go. Isabelle still had one eye streaming with tears from the sunscreen and Zachary had poopy diaper number 5 of the day.  After a diaper change, a quick eye wash with a bottle of water, and a phone call to my husband, Steve, asking to look online for anything suggesting babies have gone blind from sunscreen, we were back on the road.  For those wondering, his answer was no, but apparently it should be avoided.
45 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot at the beach that I had hoped would be the easiest for me to adorn myself with one baby in an ergo, one on my hip, a diaper bag, a bucket of sand toys, a bag of towels, and a 70 dollar tent, and head to the prime sand-castle-making location.  As Zachary was excitedly saying “sparkly water!” over and over, I was cautiously optimistic that this was going to end up being a magical day after all!
The closeness of the water seemed to be an optical illusion and I hiked through the sand for about 2 football field lengths.  But finally, I felt we were close enough to the water and I let my shaking arms drop all of our baggage.  After having a near asthma attack setting up the tent (which is being returned because it was ripped already and served as virtually no shelter from the sand and wind), the lifeguard came over to tell me I had chosen a spot in the middle of the orange cones signaling that the area was off limits. He nicely offered to help me, and this time, still having some pride, I will not tell you what my response was.   But seriously, how many letters of apology would I be writing before the day was through? At that point, as I very awkwardly moved everything over the 6 feet it took to be in the legal zone, I stepped outside myself to watch this completely insane women with 2 babies and felt so utterly sorry for her and even more so for her children.
Once set up a second time, Zachary decided the tent was a sandbox and proceeded to douse his sister, adding more than sunscreen to her eyes.   Hadn’t Steve just read to me that one should flush it out with sand? As I turned to tend to Isabelle, I noticed a group of teenage boys pointing and laughing at what I realized was my son who had somehow managed to plant his face and the whole side of his body into the sand, evidently with his tongue out and was gagging and caked in every crevice. It was then I decided to abort mission.  But, I was determined to get some water in the bucket, force Zachary to make a freakin’ sand castle so I could take a picture giving a false representation of the day and high tail it off of the beach where I was serving as an ad for birth control for everyone within a half mile radius.
Perfect Day at the Beach!
 Apparently the tent’s one-step set up was not congruent with a one-step break down and I could not get it folded and back into the bag. As long and hard as my trip from the car was, it was going to be much harder now with a fully expanded tent. I actually thought for a second of calling my husband and telling him to leave work and come rescue us. This was after all a family emergency, right?  But that would take at least another hour and a half which in our current state was unacceptable.  So, I gathered everything and everyone and heaved my way back to the car. I have a very vivid picture of what we must have looked like making our way back, and harbor no ill feelings for those that offered no help. I’m sure I was a terrifying site, and in Los Angeles, it is always best not to approach crazy people.
By the grace of God, we made it back to the car and after the 17 steps of cleaning, feeding and soothing we were headed home.  I sobbed all the way as Zachary, mistaking my cries for laughter, giggled somewhat maniacally.  I can either take comfort in this, as perhaps he was blissfully unaware of what a scene his mother just made, or take it to mean he understood completely.  In that case, I am concerned about his sense of humor.  How many hours to bedtime?

One response to “The Beach

  1. I giggled madly throughout the whole post! Thank you for starting this blog!

    Love, Heather MacQ…..

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