Old Hat But Not Really
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Great Storch Family Tornado of Destruction Summer Tour 2013 Photo Recapalooza

So. The beach. The beeeeeach! We got back on Saturday and it already feels like a hojillion years ago. Okay, maybe not that long. Just a lot longer than four piddly little days, though. But you know me. It's all zero to hyperbole, all the time.

I didn't really plan to go the full week without posting; it just sort of happened. I realized I've blogged daily or at least semi-regularly through every single vacation or trip I've taken for the past 10 years and decided that I was tired of doing that. Though to be fair, I would not have taken quite a few of those trips if it hadn't been for this here double-u-double-u-dot-website-thing. I have not completely misplaced my gratitude, by any means, it's more like my posting fingers came down with a heady case of laziness and a slight laptop allergy. 

Besides, there was so much to DO besides sit on the couch — a rather uncomfortable wicker couch with craft-store-foam cushions covered in that same nautical striped fabric that every beach rental in the world has, along with the same seashell accessories and ocean-y sayings all over the place. Did you know that an ocean breeze puts the mind at ease? It's true. Read it on a throw pillow. Deep shit, man. Changed my life.

Anyway. Let's recap what today's modern beach vacation with three children looks like:

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I took this photo while we were still sitting directly outside our house, clearly insane with some first-day intention to document EVERY THRILLING MINUTE. I believe I even instructed them to yell something like "BEEEEACHHOUSE!" Noah and Ezra indulged me once, then immediately began pestering me to turn the minivan's DVD player on already, dear God, we've been in the car for 45 SECONDS. 

Ike = not impressed.

Mama = about to relearn the lesson about offering too many liquids during long car trips. 

Jason and I had two modest goals for this trip. First, we pledged to not be so goddamned yell-y and uptight about the kids' general behavior. We weren't going to let them throw massive bratrums in public or anything, but...you know. It's not like we were attending library book readings or dining at Le Cirque or anything. Let the little things slide, dawg.

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Second, everybody was going to get as much ice cream as they wanted.

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And because of goal number one, they were totally allowed to forgo spoons and fingerpaint with it.

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I admit I wasn't always as chill as I wanted to be as the days wore on, but we really did kick ass on goal number two.

 

 

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The boys were absolutely THRILLED that our rental came with its own oversized sandbox. It was technically just a patch of sand under the clothesline, but no matter. It was our own private beach. We were living like kings. Damn hell ass kings!

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Noah spent a lot of time standing around looking huge.

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Ezra too.

(And I just now noticed that he picked out clothes that matched Noah's almost exactly. OMG, that child makes me all acksplodey in ways I cannot put into words.)

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And finally, yes, the beach. We spent an awful lot of time there. 

The thing about going to the beach with small children is that it is wonderful. And it is also sort of terrible. You don't ever get to really relax — forget about powering through a good beach read, even sneaking a peek at Instagram puts you at risk for completely losing track of a child — but the more times you GO to the beach with small children the more you forget that there's any other alternative.

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You dig them a million "pools" down at the water's edge and take one child after another swimming and then take them on a similar rotation back to the potty and you dole out the snacks and the drinks and sandy peanut butter and jellys and Ike Ezra Noah headcount headcount headcount but then there's finally this one trip were your oldest can swim by himself and your middle doesn't dare go past the shallow edge and your youngest is still really amused by a bucket of water and a shovel and knows he needs to ask before going in the wahwah. And that's when you get to sit down for a few blessed minutes and watch them all, so happy and joyful and covered in sand, and you think: Yup. This is awesome.

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Not to mention the fact that the beach makes them all tired as hell. 

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The beach also has a way of keeping kids naturally in check, it turns out. Towards the end of the week Noah was starting to get awfully, alarmingly brave in the ocean, swimming out farther and farther and befriending older and older kids. He figured out how to bodysurf and would be at it for hours, not even caring how many big waves knocked him over. Back up, back out. 

Until...

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The ocean stole his loose tooth, you guys. A wave knocked him over and punted him into the sand. His loose-since-forever tooth fell out and was immediately gone forever. He was devastated

We managed to convince him that the tooth fairy knows how to swim and would find his tooth — fish and whales and sharks have teeth, after all, so SCIENCE — and a five dollar bill under his pillow helped further heal the trauma. 

But that did mark our last day at the beach proper. We took the kids to a water park for the vacation grand finale.

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(Grand finale for THEM, anyway. My grand finale was going out for dinner one last time and ordering a ton of blue crabs and eating every last bite, ignoring my family's whines of "I'm donnne" and "Let's goooo." Quiet you, Mama's eatin' the innards of these bug-eyed sea monsters.)

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Ezra rode a water slide for the very first time. And loved it.

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I just realized I don't have a single decent picture of Ike at the water park. He's the third baby on the last day of vacation. Poor kid never stood a chance.

Though I do have this one, which was taken during the panic of dashing to rescue Ike from a giant bucket of water that was about to tip and drench everyone underneath it; a bucket I'd already witnessed had enough force to completely wipe out an unsuspecting preschooler.

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Memmmmmries!

Also kind of fitting, as it was around this time that some other small frightened-of-the-bucket child mistook me for his mom and buried his face in my generic, comforting mom-butt for a minute before realizing his mistake. Moms! We all look the same. Mostly from behind. 

Anyway, that about sums it up. I hope you enjoyed this blogging equivalent to forcing people to sit down on your uncomfortable wicker couch and watch your vacation slides. 

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I'm glad to be back, but I also kinda can't wait until next summer, when we get to do it all over again.

Comments

Olivia

The beach without children is, for me, pretty meh. I get bored and the sand is just annoying. But, the beach with children is the bomb! I love how much they love the sand, and how the first summer or two they are not fans of the water, but then one day they are bounding out into the waves before I can get a life vest on them. For them, the sand is worth it.

Melissa H

ok, so now i'm feeling really bad about taking my kids to the beach exactly zero times this summer. We like in California! (granted, the middleish bit of California but there is still ocean within 2 hours). I am lame.

Hannah

This is just sweet. Thanks for sharing.

sarah

Mom-butt: I actually laughed out loud and scared my kid!

JenVegas

There's a post on HuffPo about how it's not a vacation with kids, it's a trip. And the author made it sound really awful and difficult to take family "trips." I think this entry bookends that quite nicely. You seem to have managed a vacation and this has washed the taste of fear out of my mouth.

Stephanie

I also laughed out loud at Mom-butt. What a great vacation.

We're finally going to the beach this weekend. We, too, live in the middle part of California, but Northern California, where the water is way too cold for swimming. But we're heading to my parents' on Saturday, and they live in San Diego. Woohoo!

Cara

Bhahahaha, mom butt!

And seriously, even though vacations aren't maybe as relaxing as before, your kids will have such fond memories of these times. I can still remember going to the beach and how that meant Pringles and Coke and floaties and all sorts of rainbows and happiness.

Maggie

That picture of Ike asleep at the table slayed me. He is too precious.

Tricia

WHAT THE CRAP $5 FOR A TOOTH!?! Inflation's a bitch yo.

Catherine

These pictures are so sweet. Where do you guys go to the beach? (I mean, I know you can't say *exactly* where you go, but maybe more generally?) I grew up in New England and went on beach vacations there, but now live outside DC, and would love some ideas about beaches that are a little closer.

Lauren

1. Who is that teenager and WHERE is Noah?

2. Ezra makes me happy. (He's very much like my middle boy.)

3. Ike's curls. Bites fist.

That is all.

BeccaLynn

I don't know if you realize this... But Baby Ike? Is HUGE. Why?? Not possible. He's Baby Ike. WTF.

Also, he's like Jason's blonde clone. Srsly.

flybigd

Road trip to Virginia Beach this weekend with a 5-year-old, holla!

mamalang

As a resident of Delaware, I have to humble brag first that our beaches are pretty freaking awesome.

And then I have to tell you, the beach with older kids? You get to relax a little bit more. And still have fun. So there's that to look forward to :)

Josephine

Love your pictures! We've been taking our girls on a yearly beach vacation since they were wee tots and we live for that week. (Lest you think we are boring, we have done other stuff but always in addition to the beach). They are 17 and 15 now and are still planning our annual trip for next summer. I hope it doesn't end! We go to South Bethany (DE) btw and love it!!

Coastinganon

I grew up a mile from the ocean on the Jersey Shore and spent my summers at the beach club...side note - a beach club (among many) that is no longer there thanks to Sandy. My sister (in PA) and my my family (in MA) have now pilgrimaged four years in a row to LBI so that we can give our kids just a taste of the awesomeness that is the beach in the summer.

Kudos to you for your ice cream triumph! My kind-o mama.

PS - you didn't happen to see my ridiculously long comment on the Ezra/camp post did you?

huh? huh? Did ya?? huh?

Beth

Comforting mom butt!!! Ha! It's funny because its true! From the waist down we all look the same.

Amalah

@Catherine We were in Dewey Beach in Delaware this year. We've also done Rehobeth and Ocean City, MD. I think the DE beaches are my favorite, mostly because we've had nothing but great times there, every time. There's a ton of stuff to do (both walkable/driveable) but you can still stay in an area that's really quiet and not too crowded.

Amalah

And @Coastinganon I did! Just now, actually, since I kinda forgot to keep up with comments last week. (I AM TEH WORST.)

Thank you so fucking much. You got me in all the feels, really. EVERYBODY HUG NOW.

Jacqueline

Family beach vacations are the best! We stayed with family in Hawaii for 2 weeks at the beginning of summer. For 2 solid weeks, my kids were bathed in outdoor showers, changed into pj's, and fed dinner at a beach park on the north shore. All 3 of my boys were usually out cold within minutes of loading into the car. We'd do it that way every day of the year if we could!

Tess

That picture of Ezra asleep on Jason just kills me dead. So sweet!

Coastinganon

hugs :)

kris

@Catherine - I'm from New England and currently live outside of DC also. I have to agree with Amy, I like the DE beaches. We go to Rehoboth every summer and we have talked about going elsewhere yet we end up right back there every year.

Meeshie

Oh my god. So cute! I live in Ft Lauderdale and you still officially go to the beach more than I do. I should get on that.

Still terrified of bringing kids. You make it look so easy! ;)

Jessica

Looks and sounds like all kinds of awesome - thanks for another fabulous story!

jelourai

"Did you know that an ocean breeze puts the mind at ease? It's true. Read it on a throw pillow. Deep shit, man. Changed my life."

This killed me. Killed me dead.

Also - crab innards and mom-butt. Thanks!

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