• adventures in babysitting,  Beach Bits,  Bug

    Exploring the Caves

    in a cave!

    I’m sorry I had to drop that last post on you. I know you understand and your comments are so encouraging but I still feel bad about doing it. I really didn’t want to but it had been fermenting in my brain since forever. And you know what happens when posts ferment in your brain. You get a blogging clog and everything you want to say seems irrelevant because you have this big elephant in the room that you can’t talk about. Next thing you know your blog is dying a slow painful death—which would probably be fine with a lot of my family members but unfortunately isn’t fine with me because to me it’s more than just a silly website.

    But anyway! Onwards!

    The other morning I woke up feeling sick. I just wanted to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling contemplating how much snot was lodged in my head. A pound maybe? A kilo? A liter? Who knows. There is no time for such thoughts when you have a toddler who thinks one must pop up and play the minute she opens her eyes in the morning. Resting is soooooo boring. Either you are awake or you are asleep and if you are awake that means you must be playing.

    A long time ago I taught Bug that I wouldn’t get out of bed until I got my morning hug. Of course I invented this stall tactic in hopes that I could sneak in a few more winks while she cuddled with me. It sort of worked. But lately she’s taken to body slamming me and then staring at me wondering why I don’t just hop out of bed. “Get up mom! I hugged you. What’s wrong with you?” she seems to say. As if hugging automatically jump starts my mom brain in the morning. I so wish it did.

    this way Mommy!

    The day before I had promised Bug that we would go to the beach. It was hot then, but I put her off because I had some thing that I wanted to get done that seemed more important than building sand castles in the sun. We often battle over this, she and I, and I feel terribly guilty about it because what could possibly be more important than going to the beach when you have the luxury of living only a few blocks away from it? It really is a shame that we don’t go every single day. But we don’t. Why? Because I have to do stuff.

    I’m just a stuff-doing sort of person. If I could figure out a way to take my laptop to the beach without ruining it with sand, I totally would. Also the glare is terrible on my screen and I need a power source because my battery is shot. Last time I checked, my extension cord wouldn’t reach.

    So, the beach sans laptop it was. Promises are promises even when your head feels like a brick and the weather has suddenly turned cold. It’s not like it was snowing, it was just a little chilly. I tucked my greasy dirty two-days-without-a-shower hair into an ugly hat and headed out the door. Thankfully, there is a doughnut shop on the way to our beach that sells very large coffees for very cheap. A normal person would be embarrassed to show their face at the local doughnut shop looking like this but I’m a mom and I have very little vanity these days.


    And that was the flattering shot. Did I mention I was sick? I looked like I felt.

    around the bend

    We sat on a lifeguard tower while she ate her chocolate sprinkle doughnut and I sipped my extra-large coffee. I have to admit this isn’t a bad morning routine but of course breakfast on the beach was only part of my promise. I promised sand-castle building and that meant I was delegated to fetching water from the icy cold ocean.

    Why do I always get this job? Oh yeah, because I’m deathly afraid she’s going to get washed out to sea. So off I went to fetch a pail of water. Surprisingly, the water was not as cold as it looked. Probably because the air was cold so the water felt warmer. Sometimes that happens.

    We played at making sand castles for a bit and then Bug spied some caves. The tide was way out and great big rocks that are usually submerged under water were standing out in the sand just begging to be explored. I really didn’t want to explore them. What I really wanted to do was go home and curl up under a blanket on the couch but I knew that was a pipe dream. I’d probably get stuck watching Noggin all day and rebounding a kid off my back like I was her own personal trampoline.

    I remembered exploring these very same caves with my brother when I was a kid so I decided to let her venture into them. They were just as magical and claustrophobic as I remembered. There aren’t any really deep caves here but they are low and the surf is right at your back making you feel like any minute a giant wave could come crashing up under the rocks and smash you to smithereens.

    I knew the tide was way out and we’d have hours before we’d have to actually worry about getting wet but that doesn’t stop me from imagining getting stuck there in the rocks under water. I guess it’s just a deep fear that I’ve always had. That, and driving a car off a cliff into water and not being able to undo her carseat buckles in time before she drowns—those are two of my greatest fears. Even though I love the ocean and can’t imagine living far from it, I’m still very afraid of it.

    exploring inside

    The other day, when I was babysitting the kids that I always babysit at their ocean-front house, I for some reason couldn’t stop worrying about what I would do if suddenly a tsunami occurred. If water was everywhere and slowly leaking into the house, what door or window would I escape from? Would I let the house fill up with water first and then swim out a window? What possible escape route would keep all three kids safe? These are the silly worries that keep me up at night. If anybody has any expertise on this subject, please enlighten me so I can sleep better.


    Of course we didn’t drown while we were exploring the caves and Bug thought it was all a great adventure. I survived even while carrying my extra-large coffee in one hand so it can’t be that scary. If you can hike while carrying a coffee cup, I’d say that was a sissy hike. But I will say that I was very happy to be back out of those caves. And even more happy to be hiking back up the hill towards my house and some warm blankets on the couch.

    rock climber

    I never really did get my couch time but I did go visit my mom in the sticks and she let me stare at my computer vapidly while she watched Bug. Moms are so good for that. And yes, I am feeling better.

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay