Single parenting, days 8-10.
The final days.
The finale, if you will.
What’s a mom to do to cap off all this excitement? (“All this excitement” referring specifically to cows. There hasn’t really been much other excitement, but, around here, cows are usually enough to hold us for a long while.)
Why, I added a 4th kid and took ’em all to the beach, of course.
‘Cuz the beach rocks!
The beach rocks:
(Not at all.)
(Not even a smidgen.)
Sun, surf and sand!
Ignore the skeptical look on the short one’s face. He’s still not sure how he got stuck with us for the weekend.
I kept telling him how lucky he was. A whole weekend at the beach with his cousins!
He didn’t really buy it, but that didn’t keep me from insisting it was true.
Now, Aden on the other hand…
Aden agreed with me.
Aden though the beach was awesome despite the fact that the cuffs of her white coat were the kind of brownish-yellow that makes a mama want to bow her head in shame.
(Aside: Why did I buy Aden a white coat? What was I thinking? What in my bevy of experience with children made me go, “A white coat! Perfect!”? Someone please check my brain for leakage.)
Aden also thought the beach was awesome despite the fact that she wore her Tinkerbell PJ pants because, um, I didn’t pack her any pants.
So her one pair of pants… the pair she wore in the car to the coast… was in the washing machine while Miss Aden played in the tide pools with Tink.
Nevertheless, Aden managed to have fun.
Well, she managed to have fun after she glared at mom for a bit.
‘Cause sometimes, a no-pants-packing mom must be punished.
But after that, the beach was awesome!
It was even more awesome for me, because I brought my friend Leanne.
Why would Leanne come to the beach with me and four little kids?
I don’t know! But I’m so glad she’s nuts and did it anyway.
Now, Leanne actually managed to avoid the camera except for one shot I got of her butt while she was leaning over helping a kid with something.
I want to keep my friendship with Leanne, so I’m not going to put that shot in here.
Here’s the only other photo I have of Leanne:
She’s that peach speck of at the top of the photo.
Then, in the absence of any reliable photographic evidence, I offer this proof that someone exists in the world who’s crazy enough to join me and 4 kids for a relaxing, care-free coastal vacay:
- I brought all the kids home in one piece.
OK. That’s all I’ve got. But I’m sure you’ll agree that I couldn’t have accomplished that by myself. Therefore, Leanne exists. She’s my friend. She’s nuts. And, like the beach, she rocks.
Among other memory builders like breaking up fights and visiting the post office (doesn’t everyone spend vacation time finding the post office?), we went to the aquarium.
We saw fish!
We saw jellyfish.
We posed enthusiastically for photos with mama.
(Now there’s a kid who wanted his picture taken.)
We saw super cool art made out of ocean trash.
Yep. That’s a fish made out of ocean trash.
I’m pretty sure its purpose is to make me feel horrified at all the garbage in the ocean. I mean, I’m not happy about that on principle, but this fish made me go, “Wow! Cool! A fish made out of trash! I wonder what the artist could do with the stuff coming out of my house?”
Pull-ups, mac and cheese boxes, and bread crusts. What can you do with those? If anyone wants to find out, let me know. I’ll be your supplier.
Turns out, Mr. Cael was as inspired as me.
When we finally made it down the long and winding path to the kids’ play area…
… and while sleepy Cai took a little rest on the bigger-than-life aquatic animals…
…or under them, as the case may be…
…Mr. Cael perfected his own art medium.
The other parents at the play area were extremely impressed with Cael’s gravel angel.
I could tell by the way they kept saying to their kids, “No, you can not lay there in the dirt.” And, “No, just because that little boy is doing it and his mommy is taking pictures does not mean it’s cute.”
Well, maybe they didn’t say those exact words, but the rolling of the eyes and the hushed whispers at their kids were fairly telling.
Just think. When gravel angels become all the rage, you can remember that you saw it here first.
And you’ll never, ever wonder again how my kids’ jackets become so incredibly filthy. Asked and answered. That’s why I’m here.