Spending the day on Assateague Island, specifically the OSV portion, has long been our favorite way to spend a day.
We like any day spent on any beach, but we have found driving on at Assateague the best way to enjoy the beach without much fuss.
As parents with little ones know, or recall when their kids were younger, there is a lot of stuff required for a beach day with kids and having it all in the vehicle makes it about as easy as it gets.
However, for some reason, the last couple days on the OSV beach have been cut short by some aggravating antics from the kids.
Despite acres of open beach, dozens of sand toys and more food and drink than they could ever want, the boys have become fascinated with our truck of all things.
Rather than playing in the water or in the sand, they have become obsessed with climbing on the truck, throwing sand at it, playing hide and seek around it, crawling under it and even creating some silly sort of tag game that involves them running around it repeatedly until they get dizzy and fall down.
When we rule the truck off limits, they simply mosey over to a neighbor’s vehicle and play similar games.
Beckett, of course, is the ring leader here. Carson, the younger brother by 16 months, will do whatever his big brother does and seems intent on emulating him on all fronts, particularly if it’s something he deems as fun.
This is where the frustrations come into play.
Carson can be as content as can be playing in a big hole, but as soon as he sees Beckett doing something over by the truck, he must join him because he doesn’t want to miss anything. Beckett, of course, relishes the company.
Repeated warnings to leave the truck alone led to threats that we would be headed home if they didn’t listen. Eventually, the blatant ignoring led to us packing up for the day, even though it was only mid-day.
Most frustrating is we have to come accept the days of heading to the beach to relax have temporarily bid us farewell. We still take our beach chairs, but most of the time they sit vacant while we engage the kids.
We simply accept that beach days are going to be exhausting, but we have resolved there’s nowhere we would rather be as a family.
Last weekend, the moment that made us both realize we were done for the day was when Pam and I found ourselves alone building sand castles and digging holes.
When we turned to see the kids, they were trying to use the rear windshield wiper as a prop to scale the truck.
For whatever reason, injuries to the kids happen a lot on my watch.
I call it bad luck, but my wife may have a different take on that.
The latest example came on Monday morning when Carson and I were walking Beckett into school and Carson did a face plant on the sidewalk.
Straight out of a cartoon, a lump on his forehead surfaced immediately and I just knew he was going to have a nasty bruise to show for it.
Because he’s such a tough kid, Carson shook it off with minimal tears, while Beckett was standing in his face questioning why and how he fell with pointed finger. He was about to launch into a 4-year-old’s version of a lecture on how Carson needed to stay on his feet to avoid injuries, but fortunately was distracted by a group of kids exiting an oncoming school bus.
Later, during bath time, Beckett got his first clear look at Carson’s bruise and started questioning it, seemingly forgetting about what had transpired earlier in the day.
At some point, I must have acknowledged that it was my fault that it happened, and Beckett was quick to defend me.
“No, no Daddy, you were walking very, very slow. Carson just fell, he was being silly. Okay? Accidents happen you know,” Beckett said.
I was incredibly impressed with his sensibilities.
The anatomy game is always fun with little ones.
Carson, for one, loves it, so long as we do it without Beckett around because he likes to jump in and answer all the questions.
While he knows all his body parts, it’s the way Carson points them out that I find hilarious.
For example, ask him where his teeth are, and he will open his mouth wide and stick his entire hand in his mouth, laughing all the while until he causes himself to gag.
Additionally, if you inquire as to where his bottom is, he invariably puts his head between his legs with at least one arm to point up. It’s a funny image and surely a unique way to locate his bottom.
When I try to show him an easier way, such as simply reaching around while standing, he shakes his head no in a furious fashion, continuing to stick his head between his leg and steadily tapping on his bottom.
That needs to be put on video at some point.