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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beach Footprints

The Tongginator did so, so well during our vacation last week at Ocean City. Just so you know, it's all due to the stellar parenting skills of yours truly.

Seriously. Not really.

Yes, I occasionally enjoy drifting off into a parallel universe entitled Tonggu Momma Is The Greatest Momma In The World. My trip usually lasts about five seconds before I slam back into reality. The impetus for my sudden return to The Actual World usually involves me embarrassing myself thoroughly, either in public or within the privacy of my own home, by overreacting to some Tongginator misdeed or by making yet another colossal parenting mistake.

Still, the Tongginator exhibited Little Drama during our beach vacation, except for one small sensory moment that shall forever remain etched in my memory.

Do y'all remember me saying that the beach felt HOT last week? Yes? Well, I'm no scientist, but a hot beach usually means hot sand, which always means people walking around looking as if they trod on flaming coals. Because what is sand on a 100 degree day but mini-granules of glowing embers guaranteed to scorch your feet?

Most people will slip on a pair of flip flops or Crocs before venturing forth across 80 yards of the Mighty 78th Street Ocean City Desert. MOST people...

The Tongginator didn't like the feel of sand slipping into her shoes. Nor did she enjoy the smell of burning flesh walking on the hot, hot sand. She didn't know what to do. She couldn't make a decision.

She froze.

I would have helped her... maybe I would have even carried her four-and-a- half-year-old-nearly-thirty-five-pounds-self across uneven terrain and with a bad knee... but unfortunately at the time I carried enough stuff to fill the bed of a mac truck. You think I'm exaggerating, don't you?


Well... maybe I am... at least about the ME carrying part.

But check out our spread:

My sister KitKat with her hubby BLC and daughter M&M

This photo doesn't include our two coolers, BabyRuth's bassinet, assorted tote bags and the two rolling carts filled with all manner of beach essentials like blankets, towels, boogie boards, sand toys and novels which we never did read. Now, I must be honest and admit that the Husband and Tonggu Grammy did 90% of the work. (I know, I know, I'm all about requiring Forced Labor for Senior Citizens.) That didn't mean that I got off Scott Free, however. I carried my fair share a minuscule portion of all of that junk.

Have I mentioned before that I don't "do" exercise, y'all?

Anyways, at the time of the Tongginator's torment, I did have in my hands two beach chairs and my Very Cute Beach Tote. So... cruel momma that I am... I refused to carry her. I did sincerely offer to take her back to the rental house, where we could grab a snack and read books, but - alas! - the lure of the surf proved too powerful.

My poor little Tongginator must have taken off her Crocs and put them back on at least five times. She felt so torn... a minuscule amount of sand in the shoes? or burning flesh? Can you guess what choice the Tongginator made?

I'm not positive that you chose correctly. You might have underestimated the depths of her hatred for sand in her shoes. Because the Tongginator? She chose the burning flesh. And she whimpered the entire 80 yards while she carried her shoes in her hand.

I felt sorry for her, but I also stiffened my resolve. The world will not always accommodate my little Tongginator the way I hope it will. Sensory issues don't matter all that much to those outside the SPD circle. I should know... because I live within the Tongginator's same SPD circle.

To tell you the truth... sand in my shoes?... it makes my skin crawl. But I'd deal with crawling skin over burned flesh any day. I thought the Tongginator might make that same choice eventually... say, after about 20 yards. But she didn't. She walked the entire 80 yards on hot, hot sand.

Moral of the Story:


redmaryjanes said...

Wow girl! You guys know how to set up a little sanctuary there at the beach. It sounds fun(minus the scorched feet). I'm sure that the little Tongginator soaked her toes in the water and had a fab time!

Rochelle said...

Goodness... that's some set up! And my daughter was the EXACT same way a few years ago. Once while we were Guam, Keilani wanted so bad to be in the water. But she didn't want to touch the sand. And she was insistant. And I gave in. I had to hold her in the water the entire time... lol!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Your set up at the beach sounds all to familiar!!! We mine as well bring the whole house with us...I will be posting pictures next week...it is quite the scene!

Cannot believe she chose burning flesh....OUCH!!! She must be one tough cookie!

Love her sign in the sand!!!


Mamatini said...

Hmm, it *is* a tough decision! I HATE sand in my shoes, but I'd have to pick that over burnt soles, too.

Did her feet sizzle when she hit the water?

Briana's Mom said...

I have not had a real beach vacation yet with Bri, but when it does happen - I am packin' the gear!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, we must be in the minority. We take very little to the beach. 1 bag of toys, 1 cooler, a few chairs, 1 towel. Rest of the towels stay in the van for after we shower off. I hate dirty sandy towels. I hate sand. I'm not really a beach person.

Chee didn't mind the hot sand. I did. I'm guessing the Tongginator survived.

We wrote a lot in the sand like that. Chee seemed to "dig" it. ;)

Shawnstribe said...

hey, wait for me ;) i'm comming too!!!!
hot sand, all the gear, oh my sounds like my idea of holls.
So sorry about the sand, i've gotta say i'm with Miss T,no sand in shoes, i'll take the hot coals, i mean sand any day...
ive got them too, them there sensory issues, they just make us extra special ; )

Anonymous said...

oh man oh man oh man oh man....my little man did the SAME THING when we were at the beach back in may. crocs? check. hot sand? check. extreme hatred toward sand touching feet? check. begging to be picked up? check. etc....

Carolina Mama said...

Oh, this is so cute! She is adorable. Thanks for the word at CarolinaMama. I know it is something else and the Chapmans are such a testimony through their hurt.

Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

Wow. You look like you love your creature comforts! Me too.
But I hate carrying all that gear. So I just sit in the sand, put on a hat... and immediately start complaining.
I wish I had a Tongu Grammy to set up camp for me!

Aunt LoLo said...

Wow....I was confused for a minute. I thought that cute, chubby little bum in the cherry-print suit was Miss Tongginator for a minute...it was like a flashback to a time when I didn't even know she existed! And her hair shrank!

That aside, I do applaud her...fortitude! BBJ would have frozen...and screamed...and never moved again. (She hates sand. Even under a blanket. It moves, and it's not normal...and it doesn't Make Her Happy.)

CC said...

I love the writing in the sand!

I had my son wear crocs to the beach, thinking that he wouldn't care about sand in his shoes if they were crocs (and the sand would just come out as quickly as it came in). WRONG. The sand was cold, so we didn't have the dilemma that y'all did, but I think he still would have chosen burning sand over sand in his shoes. Oh, and he screamed the whole way too.