WE walked to the beach singing, "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside." The baby was smiling in her pram as the toddler skipped along beside her. She spotted the sea, grabbed her bucket and ran down to the shore laughing, while the baby looked on and smiled. I ran after my daughter in a designer tankini that had absolutely no nipple leak stains on it what so ever (cue Baywatch music) and joined her for a paddle. The baby giggled as daddy dipped her tiny toes in the water. We looked just like a family out of a holiday brochure, we were that happy....
Oh sorry, my mistake, that wasn't us. That was that other family. You know the one I mean. The one with tans and matching surf wear, carrying their giggling babies effortlessly along the beach in one of those backpack carrier things. They have an actual cool box packed full of delicious sandwiches, homemade hummus, carrot sticks and organic ginger beer (definitely NOT a carrier bag containing four sausage rolls from Greggs, half a packet of rice cakes, a banana leftover from the car journey and a jar of baby food). The family who knew that, of course, you can't push a buggy across sand. And who were fully aware that it is best to apply sun cream to the children before you get to the beach to avoid a whole load of sandy, sticky mess. The one whose kids love childreny things like paddling and sandcastles. The Super Organised Beach Family Robinson having the time of their lives...
Definitely not us.
We were convinced that our then six-month-old baby and young toddler would love the beach when we took them last summer. Babies love the seaside don't they?
Turns out that no, they really don't.
Our children hated the sea, and the side, and everything else in between.
Here, they explain why (they are very advanced for their age).
1.The Sea (aka Massive Water Monster). Can you believe my Daddy actually dangled me over this Crashing Pool Of Danger. And, as if that wasn't terrifying enough, he then proceeded to put my feet in it. I am seriously considering calling Childline (just as soon as I have learnt to use the phone).
2. The Sand. WARNING. This delicious looking crumbly stuff does not taste like biscuit. I repeat it does not taste like biscuit. It took me at least ten mouthfuls to work this out but I can now confirm, without a doubt, that sand is definitely not biscuit-flavoured.
3.The Sun. It is hot and it gets in your eyes - what's to like? The slightest glimpse of the sun and mummy makes us 'go outside and get some sunshine'. The strange thing is once we are outside she tries her hardest to 'keep us out of the sun.' Parents are seriously weird.
4. Sun cream. You want me to stand STILL while you smother me in horrible white sticky stuff from head to foot? I don't think so. Mummy says, "let me put this on or we can't go outside in the sunshine." Suits me fine.
5. The facilities. You want to wee in your pants, they secretly want you to wee in your pants (to save them another trek across the beach to the loo). But no one gets to wee in their pants. Instead, I am taken to a very smelly, dirty locked box containing a toilet. Then once in the box my mummy shouts 'don't touch the toilet' every five minutes while she attempts to hold me over the toilet so I can go for a wee. Now, call me fussy, but I cannot go in those kind of conditions. So, I don't. Then as soon as we are back on the beach, I need to wee again. After the fifth try my daddy suggested I could do it in the sea? WTF! Have you seen the sea - big giant splashy loud water monster thing? If I can't manage to go in a toilet box I am not going to be able to go in the sea. Parents are idiots.
6. The Food. This was a let down from start to finish. The cuisine included: Baby food with a sprinkling of sand, ice-cream dipped in sand, sand scraped off and put back in a cone, breast milk with a dash of lady sweat, pebbles, crap found on the sand and just sand.
7. Sun hats. To be honest I don't actually hate sun hats. In fact, some days I refuse to take mine off all day long - which mummy doesn't seem to like, especially at bath time. What I do hate is being told I MUST wear the sun hat and having it tied, yes TIED, to my tiny baby head.
Of course, our next trip to the beach will be different. We will be organised and well equipped. We will have hummus and parasols. Besides, now the girls are a bit older they don't hate everything quite as much. One and three-year-olds love the seaside, right?
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