Today’s beach excursion was brought to you by the Griswold’s. The breakdown:
7:30am. It’s a gorgeous day. The morning is filled with such hope. Text husband: “Packing up for the beach!” Multiple smiley face emoticons.
10:30am. Pull out of driveway. Hope is fading fast.
10:31am. Pull back in to driveway to pick up recycling pile knocked over by minivan. Swear under my breath. Sort of.
10:32am. Pull back out of driveway.
10:33am. The kids ask about lunch.
10:40am. Stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Order coffee over 4 shouting kids. Concede to munchkins. Pull over to dole them out.
10:45am. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
10:50am. Pull onto the highway. Are we almost there?
10:55am. Hope returns. No traffic.
10:56am. Take sip of coffee. No sugar. Hope turns to anger.
11:25am. Arrive at beach. Troll for nearby parking. Park 3/4 mile away.
11:35am. Argue about who is carrying what. I end up with baby in hiking back pack, beach toys, cooler, bag with towels, beach umbrella. Six-year-old carries sun hat the baby has thrown on the ground. After a few feet, he stuffs it in one of my bags. We walk. I feel like a horse with no name. One of the kids has a blister. He wants the world to know.
11:50am. Arrive on beach. Drop everything in the sand. Two kids ask for lunch. One has to go to the bathroom.
11:55am. Open sunscreen. Kids scatter. Chase and slap it on.
12:20pm. Sunscreen applied.
12:25pm. Kids in water. Baby playing in sand. I sit down.
12:30pm. Kids too far out. (Is that a shark fin?) Baby crawling away. Preschooler poops in swim diaper.
12:45pm. Ahhhh. Nice. All kids digging in sand. Notice tide is coming in. Fast. Beach blanket gets soaked. Move all of our things up against the toes of two elderly women wearing giant straw hats.
12:50pm. Screw it. Despite the fact that I’m wearing cotton shorts and my husband’s old hockey t-shirt, I go in the water with kids.
1:05pm. Frantically check incoming tide every 30 seconds. Move things into elderly women’s laps.
1:30pm. Give kids the 5-minute warning.
1:40pm. Give kids 5-minute warning.
1:55pm. Give kids 5-minute warning.
2pm. Kids get out of water. They belly flop in sand. I tell them to rinse off. They ride the waves for 10 minutes while I pack everything up, give the death stare and whisper yell. Elderly women look on in horror. Repeat 3 times.
2:30pm. Get ogled by less encumbered beachgoers as we make our way to the car at the top of a very. steep. hill. Cooler tips over. Everything spills out of bag. Two kids “are dying.” But I’ve sweated out 10 pounds.
2:50pm. Get back to car. Eat leftover munchkins when kids aren’t looking. Change 2 diapers. Buckle sand-covered kids in car.
2:55pm. Text husband: “FML.”
3pm. Drive off into the sunset. Tell kids we’re never going to the beach again.
At least we didn’t get stuck under a truck.