July 4th at Mema’s House

On Fourth of July weekend we went to visit Puddin’s Mema at the beach. He doesn’t realize how lucky he is to have all his grandparents living at the coast. As a married couple with no children the beach was not really a priority place to visit. For one, I married a guy who loves freezing cold temperatures, planting his feet on a snowboard to go flying down the side of some mountain at warp speed, then goes to find a ski lift and do it all again. Me, I’m scared of heights and I only barely tolerate the cold. The second reason it’s been low on the priority list is the whole swim suit season thing. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. After having Puddin’ a few years ago this has changed (except for the swim suit part). Going to the beach now revolves all around our little guy, and we love that.

When we arrived at the beach we planted our umbrella put beach towel down with all our stuff and staked our claim for the time we were on the beach. All this, while holding on to a wiggly two year old dying to go face first into the ocean. One of my sister-in-laws always refers to the beach as “the world’s best babysitter”. Maybe for her, but for us it’s like being a life guard on duty with a high seas alert. My Puddin’ doesn’t calmly walk to the water’s edge and splash or collect water with his cute little bucket to build a sand castle. Nope, my little puddin’ goes sprinting towards the ocean ready to go in head first. After several trips to the beach last weekend we finally managed to teach him how to play in the sand which made our excursion much more relaxing. I can only hope that he will remember how much fun playing in the sand can be on our next trip.

 

Now that I’m older and traveling to the beach with a little one, I realize the amount of stuff that is required for a family day at the beach. Even in our case, only spending an hour or so out requires a fair amount of equipment. When I was younger all I took was a beach towel, boom box and baby oil. Baby oil gives a better searing effect akin to steak on the grill. Now, it’s towels, umbrella, life jacket, 45 SPF or greater and a watch to make sure we are not in the sun too long.

While at the beach this weekend, I noticed people pulling wagons filled with chairs, beach toys, and beach towels. These wagons seem to hold everything needed for a successful family day out on the beach. Once set up, all the umbrellas looked like tiny little islands across the sand. I also noticed a large number of tent set ups. The tents are usually set up closer to the dunes father away from the water allowing plenty of space for the changing of the tides during the day. The tents looked little houses all in a row much like a neighborhood you would find just outside the city limits. I prefer a smaller beach umbrella as it is much more mobile for a little one on the beach. I you want to stake your claim for the day go with the tent.

The whole beach scene just struck me as funny as I watch people pulling their wagons on the beach to stake their claim for the day. I imagine it to be much like the early pioneers staking their claim during their land grabs; except at the beach, the pace is much slower with everyone in brightly colored beach wear.


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