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an afternoon at the beach, in numbers

an afternoon at the beach, in numbers

July 8, 2006

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly made by me

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly wrapped in tin foil by me

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly placed in the cooler by me

8 is the number of large bottles of water that were jammed into the cooler on top of the sandwiches, not by me

1 is the number of diet cokes I need for beach time sanity that were taken out of the cooler and left behind on the table to make room for the sunscreen, because everyone knows that chilled sunscreen is refreshing

7 is the number of face sized chocolate chip cookies I packed for a snack

6 is the number of face sized chocolate chip cookies eaten by the children

1 is the number eaten by me, the baby wanted me to have his when his back was turned and he was playing in the sand with some other family I allowed him to harass until I finished eating my cookie

1 is the number of bags of Lime Doritos, mostly eaten by me until the wet sandy handed children got at them

3 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches that were dropped in the sand immediately after being unwrapped

20 is the number of times I had to hear, “It’s a SAND-wich. Get it? SAND-wich? SAND-wich?”

19 is the number of times I said, “No, I don’t get it.”

8 is the number of beach towels dragged through the sand, water, and sand again until they each weighed at least 100 pounds

2 is the number of beach towels left in the van overnight to fester

1 is the number of picnic quilts I tried in vain to keep sand free

1 is the number of beach chairs I brought for myself and refused to share

14 is the number of arms, ears and legs I made sure were covered with sunscreen

527 is the number of times I said stop throwing sand

527 is the number of times I told children they were out too deep in the water

1054 is the number of times they didn’t listen

1054 is the number of times I decided the children were trying to passively kill me

4 is the number of extra children who decided to be part of our family for the day while their mother sprawled out on her blanket reading

2 is the number of flaming daggers of jealousy I shot out of my eyes at her

1 is the number of mothers I had to ask to discipline her own children who were throwing water at my children and wouldn’t stop despite my repeated requests that she couldn’t possibly have NOT heard

2 is the number of times I rescued my toddler after he threw himself into the water

1 the number of times I wished I had put the baby in a swim diaper instead of just letting him wear a bathing suit because I falsley believed he wouldn’t poop a third time in one morning

35 the number of times I thought that the beach would be more enjoyable with a glass of wine… and a nanny who would swim with the children… at a different beach

4 is the number of hours spent relaxing* on the beach

425,987 is the number of hours it felt like I was relaxing* on the beach

7 is the number of times remaining that I need to visit the beach this summer to break even on my season pass

*if by relaxing we mean yelling, brushing sand off of blankets, eating sandy food, mentally willing children not to drown themselves, and developing a nervous tic

Posted by Chris @ 6:00 am  

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  1. Kim in MI says:

    You know, I am glad I’m not the only mother-of-many who has beach/pool experiences like that and doesn’t really find them fun or relaxing. I always end up feeling like there’s something wrong with me, that those days are stressful rather than relaxing or fun.

    What I wonder is, in 20 years (assuming I don’t still have a nursing baby or toddler then) will I look back and remember them as fun and relaxing? Or will I still have a tic?

  2. Jennifer says:

    Do you ever get sick of hearing “I love your blog!” “You are so funny!”. In case you don’t, I love your blog, You are so funny.

  3. Caroline says:

    Been awhile since I’ve left a comment so I thought I’d say I’m still reading and still … as always … laughing … with you, that is, not at you ;-)

  4. Damselfly says:

    Dern it, now I want a face-sized chocolate chip cookie. I am so swayed by the power of suggestion.

  5. jody says:

    “8 is the number of beach towels dragged through the sand, water, and sand again until they each weighed at least 100 pounds”

    I am so in touch with this!

    In an effort to reduce the pounds of sand we introduce into Bill’s new, beloved truuuuuck, he has now banned the use of towels on the beach. They stay nice and dry in the utility storage in the bed, and are only distributed at the end of the day, after all the chillen have rinsed in the Gulf and are somewhat cleanish.

    Yes, this is the reality of my husband.

  6. lipstickface says:

    You know….this is the stress level I remember when either my mom or my stepmother would take us to the beach. And there was only my sister and I.

    I guess maybe that’s why I hate the beach. I’ve never liked it. Of course I’m an adult now with no children but I seem to subconciously think that going to the beach requires that I need to bring 25 pails and buckets and seaweas and foaties and sandwhiches wrapped poorly in saran wrap and warm diet cokes. Omg. That is why I totally hate the beach!

    Well…that and Im fair skinned and freckled and hate the sun.

  7. Karen says:

    Curse the season passes and our need to feel like we got our moneys worth! You know I get ideas like this and think it will be fun. I usually end up saying - What was I thinking?!

  8. Gigi says:

    When my last child became old enough to swim without supervision I swore I would never again go to a pool OR put on a bathing suit. So far, I’ve kept my word. And I’m so HAPPY!!

  9. Daisy says:

    When the kids grow up, they’ll take their own kids to the beach because they’ll remember how much FUN it was. And then, and only then, you’ll sit back with your book on a different beach and think, “Ah. Sweet revenge.”

  10. JustLinda says:

    Oh, yeah, “relaxing” on the beach. I recently spent a vacatoin “relaxing” with the children. And in a few weeks, my husband and I are going to have a “relaxing” weekend without the kids (where by relaxing, I mean catching up on all the ways I’ve deprived him over the past months).

    It’s funny how there really never is such a think as true relaxation when you’re a wife/mother.

    Bugs the crap out of me when parents abdicate their responsibility to watch and discipline their kids in public. I swear I would have made that kid go sit time out since his mother obviously wasn’t interested in paying attention.

  11. Suburban Turmoil says:

    Oh my. How “fun.” ;)

  12. Susan says:

    3 is the number of copies I need to make of this post, and permenately attach to my husband’s brief case, the sun visor in his car, and the refrigerator door, so that the next time he asks me “what’s for dinner?” after we spent an entire relaxing day at the beach that HE suggested (to the kids, not to me), I can just point and reply, “Chicken salad SANDwiches.”

  13. Kristie says:

    Yeah, there are beach people, and there are lake people. I, am a lake person. Unfortunately, now that I live in Georgia, we actually make it to the ocean every now and again, where I experience “fun” times very much like your own. That remind me, more than ever, of why I can’t wait to move back to my home state of Oklahoma. Which is land-locked. No beaches anywhere. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. :)

  14. rachel says:

    LOL! Thanks for making me laugh.

    I relaxed in bed yesterday (sick) while my mom “relaxed” at the beach with my girls. I think she had just as much fun as you did. The kids had a blast at least.

  15. Renee says:

    We’ve been camping with our 7 girls for 17 straight years, and your post had me laughing and reliving the early days.. I still find it hard to “relax” at the beach, although it certainly gets easier in many ways. 7 girls in 7 bikinis, with our 2 pairs of eyes keeping watch..

  16. liz says:

    I’ve just got the one, and we’ve seldom been to the beach, but I certainly feel like this at the pool where he thinks, just because he’s had 5! Swimming! Lessons! and can blow bubbles (but not float) that he can go in the deep end. By himself.

  17. Nicki says:

    This post makes me soooo glad I didn’t get that season pass to the pool!!! It does however remind me why I will not be going back to the public pool again, or by myself….and I only have two kids!!! Bless you, you give me a laugh everyday!!!

  18. Lilly says:

    What do you do when the ice cream truck comes around?

    We go to the beach often these days but luckily we’re closeby so we can go for just one hour which is all I can stand. When I was a kid it took over an hour to get to the beach so whenever we went we stayed wayyy too long to make it worth the trip. Not surprising that we only went once or twice a summer.

  19. jen says:

    If I had your address, I would send you a medal. Weekly.

    Love your blog!

  20. Jennifer says:

    I’m with you~down with watery summer “fun”! Love the “Story by Numbers” idea. :-)

  21. Maddy says:

    and number 1 ….. is your blog.

  22. onetallmomma says:

    I sit there the time whole counting to 4 over and over again. And I am always coming up short. That is how I get my aerobic excercise at the beach…running like a madwoman across the sand to locate the missing child. It is a miracle that any of them are still alive…

  23. Pastormac's Ann says:

    I really really love your blog.

    Luckily we’re land-locked.

  24. Zookeeper says:

    12…..number of therapy sessions it will take to recover.

    My 12 year old asked to go to the beach this past week. My response: “Are you nuts?! Because I will be! “At least this year I have the excuse of ‘what would I do with the baby (5 months old) on the beach?’.

  25. Katie says:

    In theory I like the idea of the beach. In practice it turns out like your day. Screw the last 7 visits, you need your sanity.

  26. Zookeeper says:

    At our little league- or softball league as we are now wrapped up in- each game has a snack parent who brings juice boxes and a snack for the girl. I think a Margarita parent would definitely be very popular!

  27. Jordana says:

    And I thought taking my three children to the pool was a lot of work! You are a brave, brave woman — and clearly insane.

  28. Maliavale says:

    Only two flaming daggers? I’m disappointed. She deserved at least two per child, it would seem.

  29. david says:

    thats pretty good
    im worn out from seeing you go through all that.

  30. mary says:

    Yeah, I try not to complain too much about our “relaxing” beach trips…we went the other day with 9 of our kids…you captured the experience, but you forgot the ever irritating family with one spoiled child, complete with more, newer, shinier toys, pails, boats than all of mine put together, protected from even TASTING that delicious sand by those loving, doting parents who wonder HOW we manage…Let them be kids….!!!

  31. gst says:

    And 2 is the number of beach towels from Terry Rich you should pack when you’re heading to the beach this Summer!

  32. Towels says:

    Very unique blog you have here… funny thing about the towels being so heavy with water.