Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119
Sand is hurting my tender feet

Sand is hurting my tender feet

June 16, 2006

I am entertaining the thought of going to the beach today, since it will be one of the first beach worthy days here this season. And I was thinking about how going to the beach has changed since I have had children.

Before kids:

I carried everything I needed to enjoy the beach in an attractive straw tote bag

After kids:

I need to make two or three trips from the beach to the van to haul all the crap

Before kids:

I brought a good book and a water bottle

After kids:

I bring 40 pounds of pails, shovels, and other assorted beach playing crap, a cooler filled with snacks that will promptly be dropped into the sand, and many, many bottles of water

Before kids:

I tanned to a nice golden brown

After kids

I slather sun screen on approximately 5 square miles of skin, most of which does not belong to me

Before kids:

I relished the quiet solitude

After kids:

I tell people to get their sandy feet off of the blanket more times than one would think would be humanly possible

Before kids:

I cleared my mind of all thoughts achieving a zen like state

After kids:

I count to seven over and over and over again and have moments of panic attacks when I count wrong or fail to count the child sitting right next to me

Before kids:

I would occasionally dip my feet into the water to cool off

After kids:

I stand at the water’s edge shivering in the freezing ocean while trying to prevent the baby from fulfilling his obvious death wish

Before kids:

I looked good in my tiny bikini

After kids:

I look good in my bathing burkha

Before kids:

I spent an equal amount of time laying on my back and my stomach to achieve an even all over tan

After kids:

I am only tan on the front of my body since I have to sit in a beach chair facing forward and supervise the children

Before kids:

I was on top of the hair removal and it required no thought before putting on the bathing suit

After kids:

Well, let’s just say hair removal maintenance has slipped down my list. Way way down

Before kids:

I left the beach relaxed

After kids:

I leave the beach with a searing migraine

Before kids:
I never realized how much one could complain about pefect beach weather

After kids:

I listen to complaints that the sand is too hot, the water too cold, the air too windy, the sun too sunny, the clouds too cloudy…

Before kids:

When I wanted to leave I would shake off my towel, put my book, and water back into my attractive straw bag and leave

After kids:

When I want to leave I begin giving warning half an hour in advance, listening to whining for the next half an hour, shake the sand off of the 40 pounds of crap, drag screaming toddlers off the sand, mutter swear words under my breath and question my sanity

Before kids:

I came home, put my towel and bathing suit in the wash and showered, feeling relaxed

After kids:

I come home, unload the original 40 pounds of crap from the van plus an additional 40 pounds of sand, vacuum out the van, shake out seven wet, sand filled bathing suits, throw away all the sand filled snacks and wrappers, clean out the cooler, shake out the towels, lug the toys and chairs to the basement, organize showers and baths for seven, yell several times at children who have left a trail of sand throughout the house, fix dinner for children who are starving because all their beach food got sandy

Before kids:

I looked forward to going to the beach again soon

After kids:

Much like hair removal, I think why bother

Posted by Chris @ 6:55 am  

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:


  1. cassie-b says:

    What a difference a couple of kids (or more) makes.

    The best part of the day could possibly be when all the beach lovers are asleep.

  2. InterstellarLass says:

    I don’t think the quantities I experience are the same, but I feel ya! Especially the thirty minutes of whining after the warning. A good movie sounds much more relaxing.

  3. maria says:

    Yet again - I think - I “only” have 3 - and yet it sounds the same - only more… Thanks for the perspective and preparation for our upcoming beach vacation…

  4. Melissa says:

    Perfect description of our families trips to the beach, except I only have two. Somehow I still have about 40lbs. of “beach playing crap” to haul. WTF?

  5. owlhaven says:

    This one’s a classic, Chris. I am with you on the vast majority of it ESPECIALLY the heart attack over a ‘missing’ kid who ends up to have been sitting right in front of me the entire time.

    Only difference is I make the kids schlep all the crap back and forth to the van, leaving me to carry only the baby. And as far as the sand in the van I either
    a. make a kid vacuum it out or
    b. ignore it for a week and then make a kid vacuum it.

    Thanks for a fun read.

    Mary, mom to many

  6. Dee Dee says:

    Very funny! When I was little, my parents dragged us to the beach every weekend. My sister and I begged to leave after being there ALL day. Once I got older, I learned to love the beach as they do. Now that I have kids, it’s sooooo much work!

  7. April says:

    That spray on sun screen is the best invention ever. Just line them up and spritz, no rubbing in required and at this house we’ve yet to see a burn yet!

  8. Maddy says:

    So, so true. So VERY true.

    That is the sum of my commentary on your wonderful, true-to-my-experience post.

  9. stacey says:

    Soon enough they grow up and we all wish we had taken more trips to the beach withour kids. Not much fun now though. goodluck

  10. Bryanne says:

    Man, I’m exhausted just reading this, and I don’t have kids!!!

  11. bonnie says:

    Life’s a beach.

    Dear me, I thought Stacey typed “without kids”!

    Great stuff, as always, here!!

  12. Mir says:

    Bathing burka… can I get one in purple??

  13. Heather says:

    I only have 2 with one on the way and I am in southern California where it could be against the law not to go. My mind keeps drifting back to my “I lost my 3 year old boy at the beach last summer” I think I may be willing to get ticketed for not going this summer!

  14. halloweenlover says:

    Haaaaa! I love it. Could you get some leashes to tie them all together? Then you’d only have to count the first one on the rope, right?

  15. Ashley says:

    The kids and I were at the beach yesterday for the first time this season. The four year old was led by the 8 year old onto the rocks and I couldn’t find either of them! Scared the crap out of me! I’m going to tie them to my beach chair next time…If there is a next time!

    Wonderul post!

  16. Mary says:

    We are planning to go next week.

    Well, we WERE planning to go.

    My kids might end up very angry at you.


  17. carrien says:

    HAhaha, so very true. I really wish I could spend the day at the beach with nothing but a book again, instead of protecting babies from obvious death wishes.LOL My husband doesn’t get why I react to the idea of a spontaneous stop at the beach, we live in CA it happens a lot, with a mixture of dread and frustration, sometimes tears. The bonus to spontaneous is that there is no stuff to carry, the downsides are, no sunscreen, sand in everything, soaking wet children with no towels or changes of clothes, sand in everything, hungry people that cry on the way home but are soaking wet and sandy so we can’t really take them somewhere to eat, interrupted nap schedules, sand in everything, sunburns, I get soaking wet too, and all of this for only an hour or so of “Beach fun” on the way home or to somewhere. I know, He is the sane one for sure, I must be nuts to not want to just take them to the beach for a while because we’re nearby.

  18. Paige says:

    Oh, I can’t WAIT to go to the beach, now!

  19. Danielle says:

    Before kids:
    Yeah you had fun but it was only you that was having fun.

    After kids:
    You bring joy and pleasant memories for a lifetime to seven wondeful children.

  20. ben says:

    Last time we went I had a child in revolt since he couldn’t have his gameboy.

    I didn’t care if he sat on the beach and played gameboy, but he didn’t bother to charge the batteries so it was a brick anyway. He wanted to sit in the 120 degree car and pout and I locked him out. Good times, good times.

    I hear ya about the sand. How DOES it get so many places?

  21. Kristi says:

    Yes, the constant counting of the children is what does me in.

  22. Alissa says:

    7 kids. 1 adult. the beach. sounds like torture. The kinda thing i’d only wish on my worst enemy.

    here we have beaches that you can drive out onto. not having to lug 40lbs of crap = a plus… worrying about people hitting your kids with their car = definite minus.

  23. Shelly says:

    I can so relate! But now we have to bring medical equipment to help Sean. Needless to say, we haven’t bee for a long time!

  24. Caya says:

    I don’t do the skimpy swimsuit thing- the only thing I have to worry about shaving is my lower legs. :-) Yay!! If you want a MODEST swimsuit at a reasonable price, with fantastic customer service, this is the place to go: http://www.wholesomewear.com/page-4.html

    No, I don’t work there, I just love their suits- yes, they’re very different- but if you want to be modest, they are awesome-

  25. Jennifer says:

    I could not say it better myself. Today was a perfect beach day….we went to the mall. Sad thing really we live near “the worlds most beautiful beaches”. We go maybe 4 times in the season.

  26. Cathy says:

    Chris, gee. I didn’t see any mention of the rum drink you are supposed to hide in your large bag (or maybe cooler). Perhaps you just aren’t packing the right things.

  27. biz says:

    ONE and only very good reason not to live near a beach. We drove BY the outdoor pool today and I think the whole town was in it. VERY VERY hot here today.

    Wonderful, funny post.

  28. rachel says:

    funnily enough, i read this just before taking my kids to the beach. Oh, and you can’t take as much crap if you’re walking, so that cut down on some of it. :)

    And I did sit on the blanket and read. We all had a good time, and now I’m exhausted - but thankfully so are they!

  29. Daisy says:

    The sunscreen comment made me laugh — I’ve done that. I have spread sunscreen all over my children and then forgotten to use it myself. Ouch!

  30. Kari says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I have become a recluse since the birth of my sixth four months ago. I am just getting to where I dare set foot out of the house with the whole crew in tow again, and it is just that crazy, although I sure wouldn’t trade it for the last four months of PPD and self-imposed house arrest!

  31. Mary says:

    This is basically the same thoughts I had today when I was wondering if I should bring the kids to the pool. I decided against it and they’re out there on the patio right now being entertained and very happy with the water table. Much easier for me.

  32. Suburban Turmoil says:

    I don’t know how you do it…

  33. Audrey says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I stumbled on it quite by accident and have spent the last four days reading all of your posts. I have been so absorbed in reading your posts that I have almost forgotten to make dinner for my family as a result! Your honesty and humour in everything about your life is so very uplifting and refreshing.

    I come from a large family. I have five older brothers and two younger sisters. I missed out on many dates as a result of my brothers’ vigilant screening process but now I truly feel blessed that they cared so much. They immediately approved of the man who is now my husband.

    Thank you for sharing your life.


  34. Carmen says:

    Chris, this is why we don’t go all that often. But, I do have to say that the spray on, no rub sunscreen is the best stuff evah. As well as the baby powder taking the sand off the kids trick.

  35. Dee says:

    Ya know…I have just three but I think I am almost imagine what it was like…sort of like the last school field trip I went on. 6 13 year olds who think they need no stinking supervision…counting heads constantly..thing is I had never laid eyes on a one of them, save my child, until that day! No lugging of mighty pound of crap though. I do second the spray on sunscreen…greatest things EVER. I hate the feel of the lather on type and the spray stuff works perfectly…not one burn here either.

  36. Zee says:

    Seven? WOW! You are brave! I have 2 and I still remove pounds of trash from my car every time we go to a trip!!!!

  37. Jennifer says:

    Man, I just had flashbacks to my youth growing up in Connecticut. My mother would do and say all those things. Now, I wonder if that is what I will do. Probably!

  38. Jennifer says:

    Amazing isn’t it!

    But I’m sure they’ll thank you for the memories… each and every one of them :)

  39. flipflopmamma says:

    I think you say “crap” about as much as I do! I really enjoyed your post, found you from someone else. Glad I did. I can’t imagine that many kids, I can handle my 2 just fine. We don’t go to the beach though, cuz ours has green water with a bunch of crap floating in it, it’s really gross.

  40. Christine says:

    This is why we live in the Midwest. No beaches. That way we don’t even have to think about it. But we do sometimes get these silly ideas to do other things with all five kids. By the time we get home I need a nap…and a stiff drink. ;)

  41. Yet another Jennifer says:

    Man you are brave to atempt any beach outing by yourself! I am too afraid to go in the water with my one kid without daddy with me…I’m a horrible swimmer!
    I totally second the spray on sunblock!!

  42. mmc says:

    OMG, I am rolling:

    Bathing Burkha!

  43. GraceD says:

    Chris, where can I get one of those bathing burkhas? The swimsuits with the little skirts aren’t enough for me these days.

  44. Karen Rani says:

    What a brilliant post. Chris, you amaze me.

  45. peepnroosmom says:

    This trip sounds like one of mine to the neighborhood pool with four kids, 7 towels, 4 floaties, snacks enough to feed an army, 1 baby blow up pool, all the toys that baby needs to play with (even though he would rather crawl repeatedly to the edge of the pool) and a huge beach umbrella! Fun huh!?!
    I would like one of those bathing burkhas, too!
    Where’d ya get it?

  46. Antique Mommy says:

    Funny! Funny! Funny! That was quite good.

  47. agpie's mom says:

    i have been lurking for some time… and timely or not, i had to comment… i had been dreaming of a beach house. days on end at the beach with agpie. boy, has this made me rethink that dream. i have even emailed the post to my beach-loving, childless friends. they need to know. enjoy it now. start working on the backside tan. it’ll be pale for the rest of your life…

  48. Jamie says:

    I felt this way two weekends ago with only two children on a “relaxing” afternoon at a friend’s pool.