Monday, June 9, 2014

Going to the Beach with Children: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Reading through my Feedly, I came across this post on Scary Mommy about going to the beach with kids. I laughed as I read it, but in that laughing-because-if-I-don't-I'll-cry kind of way. The beach is definitely not the fun & fancy free day trip it used to be.

About a week ago, we brought both kids to the beach for the first time. The weather was lovely, we had a great bike ride there, it was fun to hang out with friends, but MAN was it a stressful experience in some ways, many of which were outlined in that Scary Mommy post. Getting four people dressed & ready in between breakfast, diaper changes & breastfeeding is difficult at the best of times. Getting there was fun--we rode along the newly completed Point Grey cycle track. But from when we arrived to when we left, it was mostly an exhausting flurry of unpacking, setting up the sun shelter, then trying to keep the children mostly clean, dry, fed & preventing them from injuring themselves.

When I say clean & dry, I don't mean I'm concerned about them getting sand & water on themselves. It was more about not smearing food everywhere & keeping up with diaper changes & bathroom visits. Sadly, the port-a-johns at our end of the beach were in a disgusting state, so peeing into buckets was our only alternative to walking a kilometre to the next washrooms. *shudder*.

Then there was the sand eating. I'm fairly sure Bronte ate several handfuls, as evidenced by the diaper rash for a couple of days afterward. Linnaeus enjoyed himself & emerged unscathed, except for the sunburns on the outside of his shins. Note to self: always sunblock his legs & try to convince him to stop sitting with his legs in a 'W'.

Bronte had a reasonable lunch at the beach, but keeping her focussed on eating when not strapped down to a high chair is difficult. If she can crawl away, she will--this girl does not stop moving until she's asleep. Speaking of sleep, she had a nap in the sun shade, which was lovely & absolutely adorable... for 20 minutes. I guess the salty breeze was just not conducive to napping?

Our lunch was less reasonable. I thought it would be nice to have fish & chips from the concession, but after waiting at least 45 minutes to get them, they were less than satisfying. then the difficulty of balancing a small child & a plate of fish & chips proved too much, so half of the food landed in the sand & later got eaten by a dog.

The highlight of my beach day was probably the beer we brought along. We shared three: Banana Hammock & Salty Scot from Parallel 49 Brewing, plus a bottle of Central City's Maple Bacon Breakfast Ale. All weird & wonderful in their own unique ways--the former probably the most Maybe because it's not technically legal to drink on the beach, but man did those beers taste delicious.

How about you? Do you actually enjoy going to the beach with your small children? 

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1 comment:

  1. I love beaching with Theo, but only when it's off season or off weekend. We pretty much have it down. He loves running into the water but never goes to far and loves just tooling around in the sand. It's bar none, one of my favorite things to do. I can't speak for taking a baby to the beach, but we've gone regularly since he was in his twos. I know there's sand and muck but I still love it. The biggest problem is getting him to leave (but isn't that the way with EVERYTHING?!)


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