[Note: Web gremlins threw a raging party on the servers where I host my little corner of the web and left things quite a mess. Now ask anyone with little kids, or just look at my lawn, squeaky screen door or busted bathroom ran, things don’t get fixed quickly with kids around. Just making it to 8 pm with your sanity is an accomplishment. So it took a month, but I’m back. Be prepared for a flood of hyperbole, sarcasm and cuteness in the next week until I catch up. On this blog it’s just a week or so after July 4th. Let’s say the 10th.]
The girls (and Dash) spent a solid five days around the fourth of July tiring out and terrorizing the grandparents at the beach house. Despite the amount of obsessive aftermath sweeping by Pop Pop (and obsessive pre-storm weather channel watching by GG), I don’t think many of the adults minded the forced respite that the dear old tropical storm (I did feel like an old friend by the time it arrived) forced on us. We actually made it through most of the day dry, but nightfall brought rain, a loss of power and lots of wind, but it was mostly sunny again by noon the following day and I’m not sure the girls even noticed. Sometimes I envy Ally’s three-second attention span.
For better and worse, Ally is much more independent this year. On the plus side: she sleeps through the night, she’s almost potty trained, she doesn’t think sand is a delicacy, she plays with her sister. On the negative side: she’ll wade into the water up to her neck without a care, she has an irrational fear of dark colored sand, she believes obsessively getting in and out of the pool is a delightful game. Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives. One afternoon, sitting in a beach chair, I watched the girls play together making a sand castle near the water’s
edge and had two sips of a beer. But soon, maybe next summer, I can envision having an entire beer before having to get out my chair to mitigate a dire shovel dispute or pull a hermit crab out of Allison’s mouth. The dream is so close.
When the tide goes out in the tidal flats on the bay side of Cape Cod, it really goes out. Like Cecilia backpedaling from an afternoon nap, the water seemingly recedes backward over the horizon for miles (that’s only a small exaggeration). Walking out on the exposed sandbars early in the morning can often make you feel like an apocalypse survivor. Just you and the horseshoe crabs. All that empty space is heaven for a toddler with energy to burn.
Skype has been great for keeping in touch with far-flung family while living in the wilds of New England, but there is really nothing like meeting up in person to truly appreciate either the heart-melting toddler smile or the ear bleeding decibel level of a toddler meltdown. Cecilia’s godmother visited back in July (I know, I know, I’m behind) to witness firsthand the perils and pleasures of a manic two year old. Behold photos!
The Brewster mud flats are hard to describe, and even if I did, they are harder to really believe until you’ve seen it yourself. When it’s low tide, you can walk out two miles in ankle deep water. When it’s high tide, well, it looks like a normal old beach. Ce thinks its magic and I’m hard pressed to argue. One of our favorite summer activities has been to walk out onto the sandbars at low tide exploring tide pools, making sand turtles and chasing sea gulls. And let me say for a girl deathly afraid of just about any type of insect (or baby hermit crabs), she has a true love of jelly fish (baby ones, or whatever populates the Brewster flats) and will readily pick them up. Toddlers, go figure.
Let’s see. Ice cream, check. Skinned knees, check. Auntie Carrie’s, check. Zoo, check. What else did we need to do for Cecilia’s summer vacation? How about the Jersey shore? Can’t be a Donohue/DiLisi without spending a summer day at the shore, right? We can now put a check against that one. (family trivia: Chelle and I had summer houses a street apart for a few summers)
A few weeks ago, we traveled down to Avon by the Sea and let Cece loose at her Aunt and Uncle’s beach house. She had a blast. She lounged in holes. She chased waves. She made Dad her waterboy. She got Daddy sandy (much to his dismay). She made lots of new friends. Usually by walking up to other people’s blankets, plopping down in their chairs or trying to sample their snacks.
She gave out kisses like salt water taffy. She bossed Lucy, the big golden retriever, around. She screamed like Vivien Leigh in the outdoor shower. She generally ran around like a banshee, or like a little kid at the beach, and then completely collapsed at the end of the day. Perfect for Mom and Dad. And I think perfect for her too.
A big thanks to Aunt Maureen and Uncle Rich for their gracious hospitality. And thanks to Aunt Annette for the parenting hack of using baby powder to get a kid sand-free.