Chris took a day off from work last Tuesday. Why? I think it was the "I need to get out and breath some fresh air" kind of situation. So we packed loads of food, a picnic blanket and swimsuits and headed off to Wilmington, NC.
Mr. M was all excited about going. He's been enjoying Berenstein Bears vacation story in which the bears go to the beach and Sister and Brother play in the sand and cover Dad with the sand from head to toe. M wanted that exact experience or as he nicely put it, "закопать папу в песок".
We've never been to Wilmington which is funny 'cause it's the nearest ocean-side town from us. Turns out, it's the loveliest one as well. But first, the beach. We chose Wrightsville Beach instead of Carolina Beach because on the map it seemed that there was a big pier at Wrightsville Beach. Piers are exciting and, in case M refused going into water or walking in the sand (like the entire last season), we'd at least enjoy looking at the beach from on high.
Well, at first things looked pretty bad. I mean, we snagged a great parking spot just steps away from the beach. But M refused to change into his swimsuit or take shoes and socks off. Then he refused to walk in the sand or sit on it or have anything at all to do with the beach and the ocean. He cried and wailed and raised hell about wanting to go home. Not even an offer of snacks helped.
I was in tears. Yet another year without even dipping our toes in the ocean! Well, maybe we could take turns and go for a very quick dip in the ocean before heading back? So Chris went first and M and I stayed in the shade under the pier.
Next thing I knew, M started crab-walking in the sand. Turns out, sand is ok! He kept walking like that for a while and then wanted to dig in the softer sand. But we didn't bring any digging tools or sand buckets. So he used his hands. Found a chicken bone (yeah, the area under the pier isn't the cleanest, I s'pose).
We then moved to the water's edge just to show him that he could draw lines in the wet sand. That worked out great. He kept drawing lines and watching them being erased by the waves. Then we kicked it up a notch by handing him a shell and playing "throw the shell and run for it before the wave gets you" game. Got him in the water alright. Except now M's jeans shorts were wet and heavy and kept falling off of him.
Finally, we pursuaded him to change into swimming trunks (he kicked off the shoes and socks even before then). Things kept getting better and better - walking into the deeper water, jumping in the ways, sitting in the sand and rubbing sand all over us (so we don't get sunburned, M said - such a thoughtful kiddo). 2 hours later, shivering and lips turning blue, he refused to leave the water and kept asking to jump in the waves just a bit more! This was HUGE!
But our parking meter was about to expire and we were getting hungry. So we left the beach, changed, got into the car, handed out sandwiches - turkey breast on a roll for us and PB&J in a pita for M - and drove off toward the Historic Riverfront. Even before we left the beachside, M fell fast asleep, still holding half-eaten pita and smearing PB&J all over his face.