Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shiloh Goes to the Beach

We begin our beach trip to St. Simon's with the rental of a 15 passenger van. I have always dismissed a 15 passenger van on the grounds of overwhelming lameness, but when one baby, one two-year old, one tweenager, five adults, 87 bags, one crab trap, and every beach accessory imaginable needs to go somewhere, only the church van will do.

To commemorate Shiloh's first beach experience, we drop the bags off at the hotel, then quick head to the beach. And by "quick" I mean two hours worth of changing, lathering, packing, spanking, crying, and then videoing.

Shiloh's first beach experience, "Not bad," she decides. "I could use a little sun on my upper thighs, anyway."

The next day we shop. Here, Nana rejoices in the fact that finally the women are outnumbering the men in the Goodwin Family. Since living with three boys and a husband for so long, the estrogen is making a comeback. Our motto this trip, "Uterus' Unite!"

Canaan's motto this trip, "Is this Disney World?" "No, this is just a giant umbrella at St. Simon's."

Disney World: it begs the question of When Is The Right Age Where They'll Remember The Trip Of A Lifetime Yet Still Believe Mickey Is A Real Mouse? And what about Shiloh? Do we bring her, knowing that she'll sleep during the parade and cry during the pictures with The Characters? If we left her with grandparents, is it fair that for Shiloh's whole life she'll have been to Disney World one less time than Canaan? Is Fairness really something to be achieved as a parent??

Should I be constantly tallying up the score, "Canaan got her face painted as a pink fairy, it's only fitting that Shiloh should get her face painted as a purple fairy"?

Shiloh just got two new bathing suits, now to the consignment store to find two new bathing suits for Canaan? A picture of Shiloh, now for the picture of Canaan? Canaan's 6 month picture in the hall, now Shiloh's 6 month picture in the hall?

Is fairness really attainable?

Fairness: since I elected to stay in the van while Shiloh slept for 40 minutes, then YOU get to watch the kids while I lay out on the beach for 40 minutes.

Sounds promising, but who could keep up with that endless score board?

So we decided that the Fairness Motto will be: Fairness Ended in the Garden of Eden. We don't do Fair. We do What's Right.

And right now, Canaan, you'll get another spanking if you throw sand at Shiloh again.

Because Shiloh already has a whole bucket of sand, just waiting to be eaten.

While we did have to manage the occasional sand incident, mostly Canaan loved to show Shiloh everything beach, "LOOK Shiloh! Sand/Water/Shovel/Gum/Dead Crab/Jelly Fish Tentacle!!!!"

Canaan's first time at the beach consisted of what we called "Sand Shooters"--handfuls of sand that made it to the mouth quicker than you could possibly encourage them to think twice about the ramifications of what they're about to do.

Shiloh preferred the "Social Sand Eater" method--occasionally a sand particle or two made it to the mouth, but mostly the sand just hovered around, making it's appearance and causing everyone to think you really know what you're doing when actually, you're still figuring out how to inhale/get the sand off your hands.

Here, the girls discuss various methods for sand consumption, the latest read: Water for Elephants, as well as whose elbow dimple is more pronounced.

Shiloh's favorite part of the beach: playing in the sand. Canaan's favorite part: "The Jelly Fish. You have to be careful so they don't sting you," she advised every passer by as we would sit poking the numerous washed up jelly fishes.

At the end of a day at the beach, the girls loved to snuggle, reading books or watching Blue's Clues. While the rest of us went out for margaritas. Just kidding. Not really.

The guys did enjoy their occasional drink on the beach. By "occasional" I also mean "After this Miller, could you mix me another Painkiller?"

Pictured here: Josh, Dad, Kevin, and Tim, the Goodwin men.

Tim, never too manly to teach his daughter how to fly her Ariel the Little Mermaid kite. He's a good dad. And good-looking.

Nana and Pop-pop proudly hold their two youngest granddaughters before we head to dinner on the pier.

Canaan proudly explaining to her sister how a "Croc-a-la-tor" couldn't possibly crawl through the marshy undergrowth, across what seems to be an actual crocodile/alligator nest, up to the picnic benches to eat us because I have this purple flower to keep them away.

See, that pile of fish heads over there actually deters croc-a-la-tors from coming up here!

Shiloh: "It all makes perfect sense!"

To conclude a fabulous beach trip, the Goodwin's assemble for a family portrait, to replace the one taken years ago when Tim and I were collectively 120 pounds porkier, Courtney was 5, Shiloh and Canaan were simply a twinkle in our fat eyeballs, Sarah still lived with her parent's, and everyone's hair styles screamed, "Help! I've time-traveled from the early 90's!"

This one will now have a permanent place on the wall.

And so will this one: Shiloh's smiley face and Canaan's deliberating her next move to get to Disney World finally.

Or maybe this one: the love between sisters!

Or this family picture: "Are we looking at the camera or are our eyes actually closed?"

This one will definataley make the wall: a tribute to women and the jeans that make them the sassy women they are!

Or maybe this picture of two little pairs of feet that will never be that small again, so enjoy every moment.

Or perhaps I should just put this picture on my bathroom mirror, summing up the life lessons of our Beach Trip: while it would be nice if life was perfectly fair, and I equally divided my time amongst my children and husband, and the pictures of child #1 were exactly the same amount as child #2, and we went to Disney 7 times with each child, and I had 40 minutes of read a book on the beach time and Tim had 40 minutes of throw a football on the beach time, unfortunatley, Fairness Ended In The Garden of Eden. Instead, I'll simply focus on doing what is right. And if my 2 year old finds the sticker box while I'm trying to do some laundry, the right thing to do is just tell her, "Wow! That is one cool sticker leg!!"