7 Things I Did Not Anticipate With My Toddler At The Beach
Last year my toddler hated sand. Would not allow a speck of it on her. Literally would scream if we tried setting her onto it. Our beach towel was like a safe fortress for her; kind of like when I was younger and pretended magazines on the floor kept me safe from the lava (floor). Yeah, I was cool like that. Anyway, this year I didn’t know what to expect with a 2.5 year old; so here are just a few:
1. I did not anticipate my toddler would excitedly toss large handfuls of sand into the air like she was making it rain. And continue to do this until I recovered my wits (and eyes) and had her stop. Burning of a 1,000 suns right there, I’m sure I’ll see again at some point.
2. I did not expect my toddler to stomp every carefully hand crafted sand castle I made for her. And I’m not talking a delicate kick either. I’m talking about Godzilla growling, smashing, stomping to smithereens type of style. Other children were literally fleeing the scene.
3. I did not anticipate that she would at some point get sand in her mouth. Silly, I know, but we’ve been over the whole “this looks interesting, let’s put it directly in my mouth phase” for a while. Alas, when a toddler has sandy hands and their hair gets in the mouth, they will indeed attempt to get it out, and then shout loudly about how “yucky & salty the tiny rocks are”.
4. I was not aware that dipping one’s toddler gently into the ocean (just her feet!) would result in WWIII. The amount of thrashing, howling, outrage and overall panic that ensued after this would have been funny. Except that during this panic her foot snagged the bow on my bikini bottom and I ended up mooning half beach. Lovely times here folks, lovely times.
5. I did not anticipate that my toddler would want to chase the seagulls and any bird that dared to land near us. I think I got my workout in for the entire year from just running around after her and those damn birds. Calves are on fire today. Beach runs are legit.
6. I should have learned my mistake from #3 with the sand hands, as I did not expect her to rub her sandy hands on her eyeball. Rookie mistake I guess? One minute she was smashing a sand castle with her hands saying that she was a dinosaur and the next minute she was yelling that there was a “bumblebee” in her eye. My poor baby. Of course I freaked and dumped an entire bottle of water on her eye to flush it out. Sand? Gone. Water on a howling toddler’s face? Not the best move. But it got the job done because no more sand (bumblebee).
7. I was not aware that we would bring half of the beach back with us. After changing my toddler out of her suit, unpacking our beach bag and towels, I realized that a) that quick rinse under the beach showers did absolutely nothing and b) when I was placing shells in our beach bag that she had picked up for me, she followed my lead and dumped her own contribution of a few handfuls of sand in. Such sweet & well meant intentions, such messy, messy results.
But most of all, I did not expect to see such excitement and happiness light up her face as she ran around collecting seashells & seaweed, squealing and running away from the foamy waves as they crept up by her toes, and pure joy at just being at the beach. Just watching her expressions throughout the day really made everything else so worth it. But at least now I know what to expect!