Ah, Springtime. The weather warms up, and my kids act like they’ve never seen their outside toys before…or the yard, for that matter. Lucky for us, the fun doesn’t stop there…we have a beach at the end of our street…full of all kinds of things to discover.
For my little one-year-old, this means a new menu. Yep, she’s one of those. One of what, you ask? She’s an eater. And, I don’t just mean food. Instead of exploring things with her hands and eyes…she has to dive in for a taste, too. Sticks, sand, grass, rocks…all things I’ve swooped out of her mouth. She’s big on the rocks. It’s seriously gross.
The walk down our street to the beach is a tasty adventure all in itself. Four houses down…that’s all the farther it is to get to the end of the street and the beach. Just four. It feels like 40 with a four-year-old and a one-year-old. My older daughter bosses me down the entire street. I’m either walking to fast for her, or not walking fast enough for…to keep up on her ‘big girl bike.’
“Mom! You’re not racing me. Pay attention. Ready, set, go! Boom! MOM!!!!!! Why aren’t you running? You a-pposed to be racing me!!!!!”
“Mom!!!!! WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re going to fast! You’re not supposed to beat me! MOM!!!”
No one wins…literally.
Meanwhile, little Lo is interested in studying everything that she stumbles upon. Stones, grass, the dandelions, sticks…the whirly birds….well, not everything. She’s definitely not interested in racing Brianne. Not even when Brianne get’s off of her bike, and physically tries to force Lauren into the starting position to race her. Nope. Not having it. Nothing trumps whirly birds. Sorry, big sis.
When we finally stumble onto the beach, I’m ready to zone out and look for beach glass and let them dig holes and throw rocks un-bothered for a little bit, breaking in once in a while to acknowledge a find.
“Cool rock, Brianne!”
“Nice Stick, Lo!”
On one particular afternoon, I asked Lauren to come show me her stick, so that I could get a picture of her running towards me. (I have to get creative…she turns on her heels and runs away every time I want to take her picture.) Little Lo bobbled across the beach holding her little discovery proudly up in the air. It was a whole lot of fanfare for a stick that was 3 inches big, but it doesn’t take much, right? I snapped a couple of pictures and then went on ‘bubble patrol,’ making sure she didn’t drink the bubbles.
Obviously hankering for a snack, she picked her stick back up and went for her mouth. Ready with a motherly swipe to block her, I then noticed something about that stick. It had eyes. And they were staring at me as if to say, “nice going, Mom. Hope you got a good picture…”
It was not a stick. It was a little fish. A little fish, now covered in sand and rolled up like a stick.
Not knowing whether to puke or laugh, I tossed the fish back into the lake and then let her get messy in some bubbles. I mean, bubbles are technically soap, right?
My stomach turned until I got her hands scrubbed back at the house before lunchtime…which, of course, Lo had no interest in. Man, I hope she didn’t eat fish at the beach today…