My Crazy Hippy Children Go to the Lake...

There are some moments that cannot be planned, avoided, or imagined. It is what it is, as they say, and mama either cries or laughs...

I was at the lake with some family members, my 5-year old (Jellybean), and my 22-month old (Cub). I was not prepared to be at the lake, but there I was, enjoying the moment and trying not to be uptight in any way about the sand or the water. The lake was supposed to be a brief diversion from the day and spending the second half of the day wet and sandy was not in the plans. I thought I might have a change of clothes for the girl and Cub would be fine in just a diaper. And so they played and played and it was wonderful.

When the sun began to dip a little, I gathered the two of them and began the long trek back up to the boardwalk from the water. They were both wet and the sand was sticking to them as we walked. Cub's diaper was so saturated that it hung below his little knees and eventually, it just fell off.

Stand right there, you two. I'm going to check the stroller to see what extras I have and then I'll wash you off in the boardwalk showers. 

Cub immediately sat his bare wet bum down in the sand and began deliberately covering himself in it as quickly as he could. Jellybean danced around him and they both were throwing the stuff at each other and having the time of their lives.

No worries, I thought, as a brief flash of panic went off in my head. There are showers up there. And I have extra clothes. Somewhere. Hopefully. And someone is bound to come along eventually and give me a hand. 


I hoisted my naked sand-covered toddler under my arm and shot a desperate look to the heavens, hoping that the fine people at the neighboring hotel pool would not take offense or call the police or something.

This will just take a minute.

I turned on the water and confidently placed Cub in it, knowing that he would love the shower. Except that he didn't because it was cold and I spent the next several  minutes trying desperately to manhandle my crying, naked child into the water. He's rather strong and quick, that kid, and I was remarkably less effective than I had hoped.

Breathe, mama, it'll be over soon.

He made a dash for it and I caught his arm and turned... and saw a shocking sight. Jellybean was underneath the second shower several feet away, naked as the day she was born, and dancing around like the carefree little diva that she is. And singing.

Two naked sand-covered children on a busy public boardwalk in front of a crowded hotel pool. It may be different where you live, but in my area, this is not a common nor welcome sight. I took stock of my crazy little hippy children and started laughing my head off, hoping that everyone else would start laughing, too.

WHAT are you doing???? As if I didn't know.

I'm taking a shower, Mommy! Of course you are.

I always pack extra clothes for the kids on day trips but I failed to this time so I had to scrap for something... anything. Poor Jellybean spent the rest of the day in an orange polo shirt and kelly green shorts that were extras for Cub. Size 24 months. She's 5. (They were hand-me-downs, by the way... I would never buy kelly green pants for a boy child. Not that green is bad. And if you want to buy green pants for your kids, I have no problem with that...)

I finally got Cub wrapped up in baby blanket and hoisted him under my arm. It took me about 4 minutes to discover that his hand was unintentionally dragging my blouse down to my navel. We eventually found a bathroom to change in. There was no changing table so I laid him down in the stroller and proceeded to use most of a package of wipes to extract sand from every possible nook and cranny. I changed my wet and filthy shirt (because I had remembered a change of clothes for myself) and we emerged slightly less crazy looking.

Mommy, can I have a licorice? Yes. May I have another one? Yes. Can my brother have one? Yes. Can he have two? Yes. Are we going back to the lake? No.

You know, the time we spent splashing in the water really was marvelously fun. And now that memory has been enhanced by some unforgettable chaos. I will not be such a slacker with my packing next time. And I will thank God for the hearty helping of humble pie. It's all You, Lord. I got nothin' without You! 

Posted on September 14, 2012 .