Taking a toddler to the beach – a masochistic dream 

 The 3 year old Diva was desperate to go to the beach. We’ve been putting it off, hoping she forgets that she’s had this idea as we know the 22 month old Hulk will show his true colours (green) within 5 minutes of arrival. She announces that she dreams of going to the beach, and it could be a dream come true. After we have gathered up the remnants of our melted hearts, we accept that a trip to the beach is inevitable.

We approach the beach and the diva starts whooping with delight and running towards the sea. Mr M,S&FD looks at me with the face of love and goes running and whooping after her, leaving me with the Hulk.  He’s no fool my husband. We make our way down to the nearest rock pool. Progress is slow as we have to stop for an enormous sand in shoe tantrum on the way. I remove his shoes but I might as well have poked him in the eye, as the already monumental tantrum grows in intensity.

I attempt to distract him with the bucket and spade, saying dig dig dig until he grabs the spade and starts to dig. Placated, we relocate to the nearest rock pool. Here he returns to form and shovels a spadeful of sand into his mouth. He cries, looks offended, dribbles it down his chin and then eats some more. I retreat to take some photos as he’s finally smiling and laughing (eating sand really does make my son happy). He’s washing his spade in the water when I see the flash of inspiration across his face. A spadeful of rock pool water to wash that sand down? Don’t mind if I do Mummy. He looks disgusted for a second (long enough for me to take this photo) and then picks a mussel which is growing on the edge of the rock pool and is about to eat it when I leap over and snatch it away. This time I’ve gone too far and he is inconsolable.

It is at this point I turn to my faithful friend the Wotsit for support. He never lets me down. We devour a packet, united in our love of orange snack goods, have a little cuddle and leave as quickly as we can to sit in the car and listen to Disney songs till the madness subsides.

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