Is Chivalry Dead?

  It seems this summer a lot of my dilemmas and drama stems from trips to the beach. My most recent visit had me asking…is chivalry dead? Here’s the story…For some of us, putting up a beach umbrella is not easy. If you think it is, then good for you. Add a pregnant belly and a rambuncious almost two year-old child and it doesn’t get any easier. During a visit to my local beach, my 16-year-old niece and I fought to get the umbrella in the sand. We dug and dug using our plastic shovels and tried to get it to stay. When that didn’t work we got pails of water to make a “sand cement”. We thought that was the key. And it was….for all of 5 minutes. The umbrella blew away. We ran after it. While this whole scenario was playing out, one guy in his twenties was sitting a few feet away witnessing the whole thing while tanning in his chair. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. There was another older man sitting on the other side. Surely he must have heard me cursing the sand. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. So, we decided not to try again and just surrender to the sun. I slopped on another layer of sunscreen on myself and my daughter. I was more concerned about the sun exposure to my daughter seeing that she already has a better tan than me this summer. Definitely not my genes. Nonetheless, it appeared as though we would never got our umbrella up, so extra sunscreen it was.
   After looking around and noticing I was getting no love while the sun was beating on my daughter, I looked in the horizon. At last…my savior was riding in on an ATV. No, it wasn’t David Hasselhoff from “Baywatch”, but two local cops on the beach patrol beat. They must be itching for something to do seeing that patrolling the beach in an ATV can’t be that hard. Although they didn’t see all the trouble we went through, I thought maybe they would help if they saw the umbrella lying in the sand. Silly me. They were talking to one another, totally engrossed in their conversation when they shifted the ATV in park and crossed the street to get something to eat before I could get my pregnant butt off the sand chair to ask for help.
  I told my niece I would ask them when they got back, as the umbrella continued to protect the sand from the beating sun. But, to be honest, by the time I turned around, they were already revving their engine, still engrossed in their conversation. I felt defeated, but too annoyed to try to rush to stop them and ask for help. So, I did what anyone else would do. I went on Facebook and complained about it. I got some funny responses. All the while, my daughter didn’t seem to mind the sun, but it bothered me that she was there without shade.  Then I noticed a guy who drove up to the shore on his jet ski. He was talking to some women who had kids ( minus an umbrella I may add, maybe they just didn’t even bother with the aggravation). I scoped him out to make sure he wasn’t a wack-a-do. My nutso sensor didn’t ring, so I got up and approached him. I said, “Excuse me, do you think you can help us get our beach umbrella up so my daughter can play in the shade? It’s kinda hard when it’s hot out and you’re pregnant.” Yeah, I played the pregnant card, so sue me. He said sure and came right over.
  I started telling him about my whole ordeal. He agreed that some people are really rude. He also admitted that he had trouble last week getting his umbrella to stay in the sand. He dug and dug, spending quite awhile to get it all ready…(and even used our sand cement idea). Then wa-la…our umbrella was up, there was shade, I was happy! I thanked him over and over again as he hopped on his jet ski into the sound, only to come ashore some other day to help a pregnant damsel in distress.(ok, maybe a little dramatic there) I’ll have you know, while this was going on, the other guy sitting around, the Jersey Shore wanna-be, was still sitting there working on his tan. The older guy had left at this point. Word to the wise…chivalry goes a long way, a tan fades in weeks.

Too Pushy?

  Labor… we all know it as some kind of work, but to women it has a special meaning. For some, labor can be another word for hell. Others will tell you it’s not so bad and a select few will tell you it’s just great. However the experience is for you, do you think you should receive some kind of reward when it’s all over? That is besides the beautiful bundle of joy, of course. Well, it seems a lot of women are getting “push presents”. And we’re not just talking about flowers and a card. There is some serious bling being tossed around. There was a piece on Good Morning America this week that talks about these presents (Check out this link in case you missed it You’ll see they’re not just for celebrity moms. They make it seem like everyday moms are getting these presents. Hmmm…I didn’t get a “push present” the first time around. But, I did buy myself a “pregnancy present” before the labor process. I splurged on a Coach wallet that I normally wouldn’t have bought. I didn’t ask anyone like my husband to get it for me, just went to the store, used my money and bought it. I still love it to this day, two years later.
  This time around, I haven’t bought any pregnancy presents yet, but I still have 11 and 1/2 weeks to go. I do plan on getting a little something. But this time instead of something I can drool over, I may opt for a spa day. A little mommy massage, mani, pedi, and I think I’m good. I’m not expecting a “push present” either. First of all because I know my husband all too well and know he would never buy into it, both literally and figuratively and simply because I’m not a bling kind of girl.
  For those who want them and get them, more power to you. But, I think I’ll settle for a little R&R at the spa (okay and maybe some flowers!).

Tell Me What You Really Think

   Sometimes it really amazes me how nervy strangers can be at times. Here’s the story that got me all fired up…We were on vacation last week and my daughter was playing on the beach. She went over to a little girl around her age and started picking up some of her toys. After telling her to stop, the little girl’s mother invited my daughter to go over and play. Since my daughter is so friendly, (she can become BFF’s with a rock, I think she definitely gets that from her father) we walked over.

  At first, all was well. The little girls were playing in the sand. I was sharing some mindless conversation with this other mom. I can’t even tell you what we were talking about. That’s how unimportant it was. But,then it started. The girls got up to get some more water for their pails. The other little girl had her water shoes on as she walked to the water. My daughter did not. So, the other mom asked me if we had water shoes. I answered yes, but my little one doesn’t really like shoes, so she took them off. I got an “oh” and some silence. I really didn’t think anything of it. But then when the girl got up the second time, the mom said to me “oh, I really wish she had her shoes on.” She was referring to my little one. Strike One. I told her she was fine, if she had a problem, she would be screaming. She made it seem like we were walking on hot coals to hell. It was just a few rocks, toughen up lady.
  I was getting a little annoyed, but decided to stick around because the girls were having fun. Then this uncensored Momma asked me how many words my daughter says. I simply answered “a few.” Then she asked me if “we do” daycare. I answered that I am fortunate enough to have my mom and mother-in-law babysit while I work, so I don’t have to pay for daycare. Then she told me that once she sent her daughter to daycare, her vocabulary grew so much because grandma wasn’t “doting on her.” Strike Two. By this time I wanted to throw her in the ocean. Who the heck are you lady? You’re asking me so many questions and I’ve only known you for five minutes and hopefully we will never see each other again. During this whole time, I’ve kept the conversation light and impersonal, while she’s giving me advice and putting her two cents in…heck…she’s putting in a whole dime.
  I stood there and looked away as she got down on the sand to help her daughter build a “water wall”. My daughter must have sensed my frustration because she started to take her plastic shovel and scoop the wall away. The lady kept trying to build it back up. My daughter kept pushing it down. Build……push. This was getting fun. Normally I would have told her to stop. But, I just didn’t feel like it. Then the mother of the year said ,”oh let’s not push down the wall honey.” Strike Three. You’re out and we’re outta here. I mustered every nice bone left in my body and told my daughter Daddy was calling her and he wanted to go check out the pool. All I had to say was Daddy, and she dropped the shovel and we were out. Although I wanted to kick sand in this lady’s face, I simply said bye and see you later. Peace Out.
  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not so open with my thoughts and opinions with complete strangers when it comes to parenting advice. If some of those words were coming from a trusted friend or relative, I may have listened. I would still have complained, but I would have listened. I just couldn’t believe how high and mighty this lady thought she and her kid were. Mind you, her daughter wasn’t reciting the encyclopedia while playing in the sand or quoting Shakespeare. I wanted to ask her where all those extensive vocabulary words were hiding. In the sand? In her water shoes?
  Although I walked away annoyed, there was a lesson learned. Next time I encounter someone like this on the beach I need to go grab the water shoes and throw one at the mom-zilla!

Time Out

 I love timeouts. Not for my daughter, but for me, and not in the context of getting punished or anything like that. Just a good old time out for relaxing. Which, by the way, needs to happen more often I’ve decided. Easy you say. Wrong I say. But that’s what weekends are for, you say. Not always, I say. That’s what extra days off are for, I say. I finally had one that wasn’t taken over by a “to do” list. The only thing “to do” was to go to the beach. Mission Accomplished.

  It may sound dumb, but the beach day was just what I needed. I packed up my daughter and all our paraphernalia and off we were. I used to go to the beach with just a chair and one bag. Now there’s a chair, a beach bag, a diaper bag, a bag of beach toys, and a cooler for those GoGurts. That may not sound relaxing, but I’m getting there.
  Once we got everything settled and met up with our friends, my daughter and I were in our glory. She played with those sand toys for nearly four hours! She didn’t even know I existed, until she wanted to walk to the water. I really couldn’t believe it. Usually she gets bored with a toy in no time. Her obession with the sand allowed me to get some sun, chat it up, and just relax. There were no dishes in the sink calling my name or crumbs whispering to get picked up. There was just the sound of ocean and the breeze. I definetly like those sounds so much better.
  Listening to the those sounds and pretty much doing nothing took up most of the day. My daughter didn’t want to go home and neither did I. But when we did leave, my head felt a lot clearer on the ride home. I felt refreshed, My daughter felt tired, she fell asleep in two-point-two seconds! I wasn’t agitated and didn’t feel like I was going to scream like a raging female dog (which is usually the case these days, but I’m blaming the pregnancy hormones!). I simply felt calm. Time for another time out!