It is an entirely different story when son, daughter-in-law, three grandchildren and their friends – another family of five - descend for a few days of fun beach time.
The six kids range in age from almost-two to eight; there are three girls and three boys.
The morning routine goes something like this:
The kids awake between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and head downstairs to the TV, Lego pile, puzzles and assorted other indoor distractions for some relatively calm playtime. Attempting to keep them in their rooms later is an exercise in futility. The 5:00 a.m. risers are supposed to stay in bed until daylight.
Parents descend an hour or so later, and the commotion begins.
The kids need to brush their teeth, get dressed, put shoes on and head out the door for breakfast. Everyone either piles into two cars, or a procession of adults, kids and strollers walk the couple of blocks to a local restaurant.
Returning, the pack moves indoors searching for bathing suits, towels, water bottles, snacks, and assorted other beach paraphernalia. Everybody changes into beach attire, then heads outdoors to collect beach chairs, beach toys, boogie boards, strollers and anything else adults or children decide is essential for a day at the beach.
|Loading the wagon with beach chairs, toys, towels...etc.|
Then children are collected – not an easy task. The two-year-old is running up and down the sidewalk, trailed by assorted older kids. The older boys are running around the back yard. The girls are hiding next door. One Dad goes back inside to go to the bathroom. He returns, and one of the kids has to go. The boys are fighting over the boogie boards. Brother hits sister (or sister hits brother, or both) and parents scold. The group starts walking and one girl falls, screaming, her knee bleeding…
It is amazing the crew actually gets everyone together and marches the couple of blocks to the beach. Here are a couple of pictures of the parade:
But despite the turmoil, the commotion, the fights, the yelling, the mess, the meals, the birthday cakes (we celebrated four birthdays in two weeks)…it is wonderful to see everyone enjoy the great summer outdoors.
I just hope we (hub and me) and our house survive.