Bad Mom,  Beach Bits,  Moody Blues

Spring Break Day Four: Grey Bay Day

Due to some heavy surf advisory we had to change our plans from “beach day” to “bay day”. We took a walk in the morning to go look at the beach and it was scary. Huge waves and lots of brown back wash. Not somewhere two little castle making kids want to go. But have no fear, there is always some other place near. We headed over to the peninsula and played in the bay water instead.

The whole concept of a “bay” or a harbor boggled Rapunzel. “Is this a lake?” she asked, looking puzzled at the water that barely lapped onto the sandy shore. “Where are the waves!!?”

“No,” I explained. “It’s part of the ocean. It’s just blocked by a big strip of land. It’s sort of like the ocean slipped into the land.” Then later I heard her repeat my exact words, down to the “slipped” part, to a local boy who probably plays in the bay water every day. Kids are so funny that way. You really have to think about what you tell them because they listen!

The bay was fun. There was a playground there and Rapunzel really liked playing with all the neighborhood kids. She’d been sort of giving me small guilt trips whenever we went on walks and she saw neighborhood kids riding by us on their bikes. She wanted to go play with kids her age but I wouldn’t let her just go out and make new friends all by herself. Even though we live in a super safe neighborhood, it’s still a little too much big city for a kid from the sticks to roam wherever they please.

Of course Baby Bug liked the bay too. What’s not to like? Other kids to watch, sand to eat and water to just walk right out into and give your mom a heart attack over. That kid has no fear. If I let her, I think she would just walk right out into the middle of the harbor and drown herself. I hate this because drowning is probably my greatest fear. It happens silently. You could look away for a moment and the next thing you know, your kid is floating face down in the water. I have nightmares about this all the time. I really wanted to let Baby Bug play freely with the other kids but I couldn’t. My heart was in my throat the whole time.

I just know Baby Bug is going to grow up and be one of those surf rats who goes tumbling around in the surf like it’s second nature and I’m going to be one of those mothers who bites her nails down to the quick and goes gray worrying about her. I will never get over my fear of the surf, even though I love the ocean and would never want to live anywhere else. The ocean is just too big and awesome, it could snuff out a life in an instant.

Enough doom and gloom! You probably want to hear about how I wrecked my car instead! That would be interesting, right? I didn’t really wreck it but it feels like it. I love my car. It’s new(ish) and red and shiny and fast and sporty and way too small and cool for an old haggard mom like me. I didn’t want it ever to get a nick or a ding or a scrape or a whack. It’s my special car.

Well…I was having a rough day. Rapunzel was rattling on a mile a minute like she always does and begging me to play the same old dumb song on my cd player over and over and over again until my head pounded and my eyes hurt and I just wanted to pull over and bang my head against the steering wheel until the world stopped and let me rest for a minute. Baby Bug was crying and carrying on. Snot has been running down her nose (she has a cold) and her rash is so red and inflamed it’s just making me sick over it. All she wants is her pacifier that I keep trying to take away from her because it’s just making all the redness worse. I need to go buy some new pacifiers with bigger breathing holes but I haven’t had a chance with all of our spring break activities. I could go on and on… excuses, excuses…just another day in the life of a mother, right?

With all this in my head, I’m driving down my alley to park in my regular parking spot. There is an old man in a black car coming down the other way towards me. As usual it’s a game of wills to see who will back up and let the other pass since the alley is narrow and there is not enough room to fit two. However, the old man has two choices. He could turn left and go down alley and come around the block to get where he wants to go or he could go the way I am blocking.

Of course the old man wants me to back up. Being the polite citizen I am, I back up. But that’s not good enough. He wants me to back up further and he starts shaking his fist at me. This flusters me and like an idiot I back up further without looking. Crunch! I back right into a cement pillar behind me. The man whizzes by me and the kids yammer and cry like nothing ever happened. I just want cry.

I want to say it was just one of those days. But that wouldn’t be right. It was a beautiful fun day at the bay and this is just one of those things that happens. When I got upstairs (and after I grounded Rapunzel to the couch because no, she could not have some more ice cream for the fifty-ninth time) I pulled out my calendar and counted the days. Yep. One, two, three…. twenty three, twenty-four and I’m right smack dab in the middle of P.M.S! I should have known. I don’t handle stress very well on these sorts of days. Poor Rapunzel, I was just about to have her pack up and ship her back home. Thankfully after counting the days and a brief cool down, I realized a lot of this tensions and stress was my own doing. I shouldn’t punish a precocious and very normal eight-year-old just because I can’t keep my cool. I took a moment to explain why “Auntie is so grumpy” and she said it was okay. I love that about her. She always forgives me.

* * *

In other news, we had the best day today (Spring Break Day 5). We went to the flower fields in Carlsbad. I’d post a post but I have too many pictures to show you. It would just kill my server’s bandwidth to put them all up along with today’s post. I know, nobody reads over the weekend but if you do go online, click over here. It’s going to be worth it. I promise!


  • comfortablycrazy

    Rapunzel and BB look so cute!!! I wish I was there. Us girls here all had Starbucks and got our nails done. We even got Rapunzel’s B-day stuff taken care of, minus food. Can’t wait for her to come home so I can hear all about it, for the next three weeks. :)

  • Beck's Mom

    Sympathies about the crunched car, crunched emotions, and crunched relationships. May the sun shine brightly and bring peace and tranquility to all of the above. (Well – maybe not the car! Treasures on earth being subject to “moth, and rust, and …” )
    Just yesterday my sister S was driving thru the flowers as she talked with me. Her descriptions made me envious – even if she was searching for a Home Depot (that wasn’t where someone told her it would be). Blessings, Beck’s Mom

  • reddirtroad

    Sorry about your car. It’s crappy, I know. But the good days always outweigh the bad days and you can’t have good days without having the occasional bad day. It keeps us grounded.

  • familymclean

    Oh, so feeling for you right now, smack dab in the middle of PMS and dealing with an eight year old. (Which usually is really fun)Today I had one of those days. Emily (the 8 yr old, and my little sister) woke up with a cold and testing my limits, or so I thought, till I found 3 tell tale pimples and realized what time of the month was about to hit, somehow I get short and don’t cope so well. I have to remember I’m dealing with my own thing and not vent on the kids. Mom comes back from her 3 weeks in Toronto in the morning and Em and Phil go home, sigh, I have enjoyed their help with the babes, but my emotions need a break.
    Your day looked awsome otherwise, well except the car part, that just sucks (been there a few weeks ago). Am trying to catch up on all your blogging, man, I go away for the weekend and have a ton to catch up on when I get back….Your trip the the gallery looked awsome, I understand about the college thing, I never studied art history or anything either (I studied teeth instead-am such a dork) wish I had followed my heart not my head, but it payed the bills.

  • BeachMama

    Despite the cruchy car, it does look like you had a wonderful day at the Bay! If only I had choices of which beach to go to :). he surf advisory reminds me of our trip to the ocean last year and our tropical storm.

    I was just thinking about the ‘old fashioned’ parks of our childhood just yesterday. We don’t have any parks left with those merry go rounds and I realized that it is too bad because that is exactly what J would like to play on. I am sure there might be some outside of the City but all our parks are made of wood and plastic. Looks like it was fun.

    And how wonderful that Rapunzel is so understanding, that’s the sign of a great eight year old.

  • mosker

    Nobody reads blogs on the weekend? I wish someone had broken that to me before, because that’s when I get most of my blog reading done.

    I am so sorry about the car. It always feels worse when you hit something instead of something hitting you. I’m glad everyone is okay and that it didn’t ruin the entire day.

    SAJ says: Sorry about that dumb blanket statement. I read on the weekends too and I’m not nobody either! I should have said something like, my stats drop by half on the weekends… and I’m worried half of you are going to miss my cool colorful flowerfield post because I’ll probably post it over the weekend and roll it off on Monday.

  • OMSH

    I listen to the same 3 songs on the Laura Berkner, “Under a Shady Tree”, cd over and over and over.

    1. Under a Shady Tree (of course)
    2. I’m A’gonna Catch You
    3. Boody Boody Ya Ya Ya (because they LOVE to say BOODY!)

  • gretchen

    Sorry about the rough spell in your day! We all have those.

    Baby Bug is so lucky to be growing up near the ocean (although I understand your constant fear). We will be going to the (east coast) beach for a big family vacation this summer, and it will be my 3-year-old’s FIRST time seeing the ocean. I feel like I’ve failed him when I see all your photos!

    Your blog is one of my very favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  • Angella

    Sorry about the hormonal day. I’ve had a few of those myself lately :)

    And about the water – Nathan was the same when he learned to walk, and even last year he would think he could walk out to see. I understand your fear, but you’re always close by, so Baby Bug will be fine :)

  • Marissa

    Bummer! Well, now your car has a battle-scar and you won’t feel too scared about dinging it up. But it is pretty heartbreaking when that first bump comes into your car’s life.
    Also, what about getting little baby bug a small life vest to wear at the beach? That might make you feel a little less worried about her playing near the water, and it’s totally acceptable I think to have a toddler wear one while playing at the beach. Like you said, kids run off and disappear in an instant.
    This one looks cool:
    (But don’t get the arm-thingies, those are for swimmers.)

  • Jennifer

    Looks like the girls are keeping you busy and having a great time. You’re such a good Auntie. I have your same fear of water, especially the ocean. I respect the power of the ocean so much. Sorry about the scraped bumper. I’ve had wacky in the car moments like that before with both my girls in the car and I can see how easily such an accident could happen. What a rude guy though. I hope BB’s rash clears up soon. Audrey has this horrible rash on her chest (drool induced also) that I’ve tried to get rid of. Every time I see it I cringe. The flowers are beautiful. I need to go check them out!

  • Sheree

    Oh, that so sucks about your car!!!! :(

    You need one of those floaty suits for BB. I just got one for Monkey Boy and they’re great. Speedo makes them and I got mine at Le Tarjet….they have pockets in them where you insert inflatables so the kids can float. Monkey Boy can ‘swim’ as he’s been taking lessons since he was 8 mos. old, but the flotation suit makes me feel better.

    BTW I was driving in CDM the other day and watched the sidewalks for you and BB! LOL We’ll have to do a beach day sometime this summer. :)

  • Gramma

    I’ve always had a healthy respect for the ocean…probably because I am so near sighted and can’t see limits. I worry about floaters too, because they tend to give yougsters (and their moms) a false sense of security. Nothing beats the watchful eye of mom. This mean old mom would not allow fun floaties until her little crew could swim, then they didn’t want them. If you can jam three or four days together this summer. I’ll teach BB to swim. Rapunzel could use some polishing up and Glitzy Gal needs to remember. Sorry about the crunch.

  • Mary O

    Sorry to hear about your car! It looks like you girls have had lots of fun this week, though. Cute girls!

  • irish mistery

    OOH PMS! At least you are aware of that- cut yourself a break! Too bad about the car though…grumpy old man. Don’t let him ruin your day! Looks like you are all having a blast this spring break..I am jealous that you can go to the beach in swimwear already…

  • Kuky

    Sorry about the car! I bumped my car backing up when it was new. Sucks!

    And so good that you’re a kind polite citizen. If I were hormonal I would have been the one waving my fists at the old man. Oh hell I would probably on a non-hormonal day too. ;-D