Last weekend I had an idea... let's take Aiden to the beach! Yay! So I called my sister up and told her my brillant plan, and after what seemed like hours and hours of convincing, she finally agreed. Man, I have to work on my power of persuasion. I mean, it shouldn't have taken that long to convince her... IT'S THE BEACH for peek sake! So we packed up our beach bags and headed out to the beach.
I was a little worried about taking Aiden to the beach because last year, when other family members and I took him to the beach for the first time, he HATED it. He was cautious of the sand... and rightly so. I mean, if someone took off my shoes without warning (like I did to Aiden last year) and told me to walk on a substance that my feet sank into a little bit, I'd be skeptical too! He was cautious of the water... and rightly so. I mean, if a body of water that I'd never seen before kept moving towards me in a weird and creepy way, I'd be freaked out too! I'm just saying... So I said all that to say this: last year, I did not prepare Aiden AT ALL for his first beach experience. I just took him and expected him to love it like I do. But he didn't... and rightly so!
So this year, I was prepared. I read him a book about the beach so that he can see the pictures of all the fun things we could do there. A good one is To The Beach, by Nadine Bernard Westcott. And while I was dressing him, I told him that we were going to go to the beach. I can't take all the credit though, his teachers started a Beach Unit with his class two days before. But hey, I prepped him a little. Once we got to the beach, I told him beforehand that he would have to take off his shoes before going on the sand. And he did. Once we set our towels down and I rubbed him down with kids sunblock (love it!), I took him to the water and showed him that the waves move towards us. And he understood that concept too. And then the fun began. He initiated a game of running into the water when there were no waves, and back unto the dry sand as the waves were coming. We did that almost the entire time. Man, those tots have endless energy! And we had a blast. So I guess the moral of the story to myself is: proper preparation prevents toddler diasters.