What could be more pleasant than a quick (2.5 day) trip to the beach with my brother and his family before he moves on to his next posting (army)? Just throw a few things in the car, drive five hours to North Carolina and watch the children play on the beach, right?
Traveling with four small children is never that simple. When you add in the fact that one (possibly two) of them have serious issues with change and things that are unpredictable (ocean waves?) you can figure that a lot of time is going to be spent soothing and helping them cope.
We had gone to the beach one time before when F was about 16 months old. He took one long look at the waves and started crying and wanting to get back in the car. He didn’t cry this time and my brother and I did manage to get him to stand where the waves would splash his ankles for about three minutes, but otherwise he stayed about five feet from the edge of the waves, playing in the sand and having a minor panic whenever one of the other children got close to the water without holding an adults hand.
This meant he did a lot of panicking on W’s behalf as W thought the whole thing was great! He got knocked down at least once but it didn’t really stop him. Su was hesitant but did eventually get to liking the water as long as someone was holding on to her.
We had a good time, but a two and a half day stay was plenty, and we were glad to wander our way home on Tuesday. We took a ferry on part of the Inter-coastal Waterway which the two big children enjoyed while W turned green but didn’t throw-up.
Yesterday continued to be interesting. W developed a bad case of hives for some reason and was peevish all day. Despite liberal applications of Caladryl lotion he was itchy enough not to take a full nap, but by bed-time the anti-histamine had kicked in and he was back to normal again. In the midst of all this my mother suggested giving him plenty to drink, so I started offering him Gatorade. He loves it and will drink cup after cup if allowed. I decided that since he was going to be drinking so much I should get out the potty chair and have him try to use it. Something apparently clicked in his brain and by bedtime he had gone in the potty chair four times and once on the big potty! Looks like a day of potty training is in my future!
And no there are no pictures from the beach. I did take the camera but couldn’t bring myself to bring it down to a hazardous-for-cameras environment with four small children in tow!