Wednesday, 11 January 2012
The Beach Boys!
I am not sure when kids develop a love of the ocean, but I can confidently say, after today, that mine have not reached that place yet.
The weather dawned beautiful for the first time in the whole time we have been on holiday here, and it seemed a perfect day for the beach. But from the first second, when we set foot on the sand, it seemed as though there were a lot of challenges for our little ones to overcome. Sam immediately acquired a heretofore undiscovered phobia for the beach sand, and went into hysterics when his feet touched so much as a grain of the stuff. This, coming from a child who happily digs in the sandpit at playcentre for hours, with sand smeared up to his eyebrows and beyond, was a bit much. After much encouragement, we managed to coax him away from the carpark enough to actually be able to see the ocean. We set up camp in the shade of the dunes, and peace reigned for a few moments.
Then the Sweetpea persuaded the boys that they might like a swim, and also that they could take their body-surf boards into the water and learn how to catch some waves. The water was really calm, with lovely little waves meandering slowly towards the beach - a perfect set-up for learning how to surf. The Sweetpea strode confidently into the sea with two little ones hanging onto his hands for dear life. At each wave, one or the other would moan: "I don't like it, I don't like it!" Eventually we had coaxed them far enough into the sea so that their shins were under the water. It was time to try out the boards. With great patience, the Sweetpea lined them up in front of the perfect waves on their boards, and then we let them have a gentle ride to the beach on their boards. They did it almost perfectly each time, and I could almost see the start of enjoyment dawning on their faces. If they would only relax a bit, they would really start to have fun. The disaster struck. We lined Paddy up, but failed to take into account the fact that there were two larger waves following the one we had sent him out on. His sedate little ride towards the beach began to pick up speed, and eventually he was speeding along at a rate towards the sand. He controlled his board like an expert, but that didn't stop the fright he thought he had got. He hit the sand at a run and hared up the beach, his board trailing forlornly in the sand after him all the way.
Trying to get either twin back into the water after that was an impossibility. Every time we were knee-deep in the water, one or the other would break away and flee up the beach back to the shelter on the dunes. It became quite ludicrous as we took turns to race out of the sea to fetch them, because we wanted them to develop a confidence in the water again. No such thing! Attempts to try to get them to believe that it was fun by jumping up and down in the sea like imbeciles and splashing were surveyed with deep suspicion and ignored outright. We even tried to catch a few waves on their boards, but these attempts backfired a bit when the board the Sweetpea was riding shot out from under him, dowsing us both with water from head to toe. Oh well, there is always next year, I suppose...