We spent yesterday afternoon on the beach with our boys… and a couple who is expecting their first child. I couldn’t help but giggle when I thought about the differences between a beach trip pre-kids and a beach trip post-kids.
Well, I giggled and then I felt a little jealous.
Packing for a day at the beach
Pre-kids: Not much needed but your suit, sunscreen, and a towel. You might add a beach chair, a book, games like horseshoe or cornhole. Cooler of beer and snacks.
Post-kids: Suits for all kids, changes of clothes for all kids. Every beach towel you own. Sand toys, beach balls, floaties, water toys. Cooler of water and juice boxes. Kid-friendly snacks. Sunscreen. Swim diapers. Regular diapers and baby wipes. The camera. Cell phone in case you need to call 911. Baby powder to remove sand. At least three bags to carry all of it in, plus a trash bag to collect all the mess afterwards. Don’t bother with a chair because you probably won’t sit down.
Activities at the beach
Pre-kids: Reading, napping, chatting with friends, playing games, casual stroll along the beach, swimming.
Post-kids: Keeping all kids from drowning or taking off down the beach. Digging giant holes in the sand. Non-stop counting of kids to be sure you have them all. Jumping in the waves. Running down the beach. Making sandcastles. Doling out snacks and drinks. Reapplying sunscreen to small backs and faces about 10 times during the afternoon. Remembering whose towel is whose. Remembering whose shovel is whose. Playing every possible beach game. Talking to friends while not looking at them because your eye is on your children.
After the beach
Pre-kids: Going for a swim at the pool and then taking a shower. Going out to dinner. Relaxing.
Post-kids: Convincing the kids that yes, we will go back to the beach, so it’s okay to leave. Loading up the minivan. Quick and easy dinner, but not out somewhere nice because those kids are TIRED. Hosing off the kids at the house. Bedtime for kids. Parents pass out before they can even bother getting showers.
Beach days with my boys are a blast and I wouldn’t give them up to go back to those pre-kids days. Though we will make it a point to have Grandma watch the boys a few days this summer so that Hubs and I can do the beach in pre-kids style!