Our new neighborhood has a pool, but that's just not the same. Pools don't have salty air, sea glass, incredible sunsets, friendly dogs and sandcastles. Plus they do nasty things to your hair and skin. And so, as I said before, we've been spending every spare minute possible at our place in the sand across the street. And with two under two, that's not always easy. So this is how we do the beach these days ...
Usually, I'm on my own, exasperated after being cooped up inside all day with an active toddler who doesn't have enough room to run off his escalating energy levels. And so I leave the dirty dinner dishes on the counter, pack up the stroller and lug the boys to the wide-open sand. Most of the time, I don't even bother putting a suit on Jack since he's just going right into his bath and jammies when we get home. And since it's so late in the day I don't have to mess with sun lotion either. I've figured out a way to wedge Jude into the jogging stroller, which is not made for newborns, but which works for the 75 steps it takes to reach the water.
We've got those great beach chairs that also double as backpacks. And the "mommy hook" holds all Jack's toys.
As soon as we hit the sand Jack turns his beach charm on. He starts waving at everyone who walks by, begging dogs to stop and give him a sniff. He's realized that blowing kisses gives him lots of fun attention, so he'll stand at the water, hand to mouth, making smacking noises whenever someone walks by. And then there's the sand. He digs holes, he dumps sand on your feet, and no sandcastle is allowed to stand for more than 30 seconds within his radius.
But the sand isn't nearly as fun as the water. If you bring him one bucket of water to play with you've just signed yourself up for life. He'll play in it for a minute or two, adding some seashells here, a little seaweed there, mixed with some sand. And then he'll hold the bucket over his head and dumps it right down the front. He'll come running back, empty bucket in hand, begging you to help him do it all over again.
And playing in the water is even more fun. We've learned to never expect Jack to stay dry during any beach visit. He doesn't appear to have much fear of the water, which could be a good thing ... and a bad thing. Especially when he runs into the water without an adult around. He loves to jump in the "waves" (which are pretty little at the bay), float around in the deeper water, splash, kick and, unfortunately, drink the nasty saltwater water. Gross! And usually all this activity wears him out completely ...
Of course, while Jack is running, jumping, stomping, and chasing, Jude sleeps.
You think he'd be safe from curious toddlers, perched high in his stroller seat, protected from the sun and wind. But no. Jack has figured out a way to pick on his brother even then. So it's not unusual to find Jude covered in sand, or even cracker crumbs. Poor kid, can't even enjoy a peaceful day on the beach.