Why do we do it to ourselves? Suffer through hell and high water just so our children can NOT enjoy a lovely afternoon at the beach?
The drive to St. Pete Beach takes us about an hour. During that time, my daughter doesn’t stop speaking for a single second.
“Daddy, are you driving fast? Can you roll the windows down? Mommy, are we on the bridge? Mommy, is this the “up” part of the bridge? Mommy, are we off the bridge? I can’t see the water. Mommy, are we on the water? Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy… are we at the beach yet?”
I thought that was just some silly joke made viral by The Simpsons. Nope, kids ACTUALLY repeatedly ask, ‘Are we there yet?’
“Does this look like the beach?!?”
Eventually, as I felt my blood pressure rising I asked her to please discontinue the use of the word ‘Mommy’ for the rest of the trip. I told her to just start talking, no need to shout ‘Mommy’ repeatedly until I respond.
While I am explaining to her why I find it so annoying, she says… “Mommy?”
We make it to Publix where I end up getting subs from the employee who is moving in slow-motion. He’s meticulously pouring the oil and vinegar, sighing heavily as he cuts the bread, contemplating the meaning of life between each condiment.
At the beach, we spend at least 30 minutes setting up the tent for our Victorian-era pale kids. There are chairs to open, towels to put down, drinks to get out and sunscreen to apply.
My son decides that all he wants to do is kick a pink ball as far from where we’re sitting as possible.
He is walking with sandy feet over stranger’s towels.
He’s grabbing other kid’s shovels.
When I tell him to put them back, he chucks them directly into their sand castles.
Pretty much the second we hit the water, my daughter starts complaining that her belly hurts.
I ask her if she needs to use the potty and she says only “the one at home.” (an hour away)
Then she says, “It’s okay. I’m farting quietly so no one will hear.”
She keeps complaining about her tummy ache, but refuses to use the public restroom.
So, after all the work it took getting to the beach, setting up at the beach, we now have to LEAVE the beach… also no small task.
As I try to rinse the sand off Alma (with my hands because she refuses to get underneath the shower head) she starts to cry and scream that she has to go potty.
I drag her kicking and screaming into the filthy, muddy, stinking bathroom. I hold her hovering, hysterical over the scratched and sickening toilet as she has outrageous diarrhea.
She says she feels better, so we do another rinse off and start to get into the car.
She starts screaming again and says she has to go to the potty. Round two.
We stop at 7/11 for a sugar-free Slurpee. I figure I can distract her from the waves of violent stomach pain.
We head to my favorite Mexican restaurants for lunch and Huck is using my husband as a jungle gym.
Both kids are climbing chairs to see out of the window.
Alma slams her hand in the door.
They start a “who can scream the loudest?” contest in the car.
We take them to the mall park and I instantly smell kid shit. It’s even more intense than the nauseating stench of stale vomit soaked into the padding.
Of course, it’s my kid.
So, my husband takes Huck to the bathroom to change him.
Big kids are beating the living daylights out of each other, slamming into my legs and threatening to topple on top of my children, crushing them.
The highlight of the outing comes when my husband yells at them. I don’t know why, but I think he’s super hot when he’s disciplining stranger’s shitty kids.
That night, I go out and buy sake and beer but we pass out from exhaustion before we can even catch a buzz.
The next day, Alma is HORRIBLE.
She’s furious with me for not letting her wear a long-sleeved shirt because it’s (no joke) 100 degrees outside.
She’s throwing Helen Keller fits because she can’t get her Jesse doll’s hat to stay on.
Huck poops in his undies.
I end up watching The Rescuers TWICE.
There are days when I am astonished by my children’s brilliance, curiosity, humor and even good looks.
Then, there are days AND weekends when they serve as a reminder to take birth control.