Last week, I attempted the beach again. In order to increase my chances of enjoying the experience, I used all your suggestions from my post two weeks ago (check out my beach-hating pie chart here).
Namely— waterproof diapers, a two-piece bathing suit (I previously considered a baby in a bikini slightly "Toddlers and Tiaras", I now view it as insanely practical), sunscreen application at home, and going to the beach with as many people/potential babywatchers as possible (thus more chance of diverting my eyes to something important like Star Magazine— for shame, Ashton Kutcher!)
I even took into account some more positive aspects of "bringing a toddler to the beach" that I ignored last time.
For example, if you are carrying a toddler, than you are not expected to carry a beach chair. Also, once it is determined that it is time to pack-up and go home, you can use occupying said toddler as your excuse not to participate in the clean-up. (Genius!)
Beach enjoyment becomes even more possible if your toddler has no separation anxiety and you are not paranoid of strangers. If these two things are true (as they are for me) then you can relax and eat a sandwich while your kid wanders over to a neighboring group of people and holds court for twenty minutes.
WARNING: THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOUR KID IS SUPER CUTE.
So let's review.
• Sunscreen Application Annoyance: Huge improvement when applied at home
• Diaper Changing Difficulty: Waterproof diapers and a two-piece bathing suit make changing much easier (though wind, sand, poop and salt water are still a disgusting combination)
• Baby Watching Level of Alertness: Bringing extended family members who think hanging out with your kid is a novelty means less of your own attention is required
• Set-up and Breakdown: Having the responsibility of a toddler is beneficial since you can use it as an excuse to not participate
All this seems to suggest that my opinion of the beach has reversed itself. Is that true?
None of the things listed above do anything to increase my tolerance or diminish the prevalence of sand. And my agenda (having as little sand contact as possible) seems to be in direct conflict with Mazzy's agenda (covering herself from head to toe with sand and then spreading it like an airborne disease on a plane).
Unless anyone can tell me how to:
a) keep Mazzy from going into the water, rolling around in the sand and then running repeatedly across myself and the beach blanket
b) control my gag reflex when I see Mazzy's sand-covered little hand clutching her sippy cup of milk, or
c) invent a sand repelling breathable toddler beach bubble…
then my opinion of the beach remains mostly unfavorable.
The only thing that will keep me keep going back are potential moments like the one below. I found this video on Mike's phone from our original trip to the beach. It's the first time Mazzy stepped into the ocean.
So worth it. (I think.)