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2. Just kidding. You’ve got this! But you’re going to need multiple adults, mental toughness, and an exit strategy.
3. Start by packing all of your beach belongings. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to pack 3x more stuff than you actually need, including beach chairs(hahaha you will not be sitting), summer reading(see beach chairs), and 20lbs of bottled water.
4. When you’re finally packed up, kids in suits and car packed, the potty trained one will definitely shout, “I HAVE TO PEE!” If the doors to the house are locked, no worries! She prefers peeing outside anyway, with zero hesitation.
5. While driving in the car, you already know it’s coming. Sing all the songs, distribute all the devices, turn up the radio, but you will never distract them enough from asking this question every five minutes, for the entire trip. “Are we there yet?”
6. Once you finally pull in, make sure parking is a fiasco. Drive up and down the beach a minimum of 12 times. Finally, park in the spot you chose originally.
7. After walking six miles to the perfect patch of beachy goodness, it’s time to set up shop. While pulling out 1.2 million sand toys, you’ll notice the kids are sprinting for the water and/or eating fists full of sand. Stop them from doing that, because it’s time for…
8. SUNSCREEN! This is the hardest thing you will do all week. They will scream like you’re setting them on fire. Power through.
9. Now, everyone is lubed up and ready to enjoy the beach, which basically just means you’ll be running back and forth from the ocean, carrying buckets full of water to your children, who will just dump the bucket, and lose their minds, because they just dumped the bucket.
10. It’s time for lunch! Don’t worry about feeding the youngest. She’s full from all the sand she’s already consumed. It is never more evident how many times your kids drop food, than when you’re at the beach. “No, Sweetheart. You cannot eat that Oreo anymore. Stop crying. It’s not going to change anything. THEN STOP DROPPING EVERYTHING IN THE SAND!”
11. After lunch, it’s usually nap time. But, not today, because you’re trying to suck every bit of experience out of your magical day-cation. Everyone will be overly tired(including you), and on the brink of a temper tantrum(including you), but you have to keep on keeping on. Because it’s time for collecting seashells!
12. The first seashell you pick up will still have a living being in it. Forget collecting seashells.
13. Now, look at your significant other and decide you’d rather walk across a sea of Legos than stay at the beach for five more minutes. So, clean up time!
14. You clean up all the beach toys that no one played with, while your partner attempts to wash the sand off the children. As soon as they return, sand free, and ready to head out, two of them will lay in the sand and start making “sand angels.” At this point, you don’t even care. You’ll start taking pictures, and decide you’d rather run your sand filled car off a cliff than try to clean them up again.
15. Once everyone is strapped into their car seats, it’s time to head home. The car ride will be quiet, because those sweet sand angels will fall immediately to sleep. You will reflect on what an amazing time you had, and that you’ll have to do it again soon.
Erin De Boer lives in a world of carefully calculated chaos, where three young children and Type 1 diabetes rule her life. Erin's writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Life of a Diabetic, and The Diabetic Journey. Follow along as she chronicles their wildly hilarious life at accidentalsupermom.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram @accidentalsupermom