We have been to the beach. I now understand the final implication of having had a baby which is this: that I will Never Be Able To Relax On The Beach Again. This is a calamity of monstrous proportions given that I have spent a large percentage of the time I have been on beaches lying around doing absolutely nothing. And liking it.
Now. I am not completely naive. I realised that I would need to be more alert while near the sea with the spud however I suppose I had blissful visions of him digging curiously in the sand while I kept one eye on him and one eye on the latest 3-for-1 deal from the airport bookshop. The trouble comes in the bit before this vision of litoral loveliness, the bit where you divest your infant of his clothes and spread him in sun lotion before putting him on his roomy blanket, only to watch him slowly but steadily acrete sand. Within three minutes he looked like one of those inside-out maki rolls at a sushi bar which are covered in sesame seeds.
This didn't seem to bother him however. No, because sand has yet to register on the list of Things Which Are Not Good To Eat. In fact, sand is apparently Very Tasty because the Spud spent ages picking up handfuls of it and cramming them into his mouth. Two minutes after picking him up, dusting the sand from his face, force-feeding him water and putting him back on the blanket I found myself repeating the performance exactly only with a MUCH more pissed-off baby who didn't want a drink and who wasn't going to stay on the blanket ever again.
I did at that point what any respectable married Mum would do and handed him over to his father. Dads being what they are (an aside here: I took Charlie to the swings on my way home from the child-minder one day at 6:30, an hour when most children are at home being fed their din-dins. There were half a dozen other parent-children groups in the play park and every single parent was a father. I immediately felt irresponsible and went home) anyway, Dads being what they are, ie, all cute and manly and eager to introduce their Very Small Babies to all the things in life that they enjoy such as chocolate cake, jazz music and cold sea-water, the Frog decided that a great thing to do with his eight-and-a-half month old son would be to take him down to the freezing cold sea to dip his feet in.
The Spud wanted nothing to do with it. One look at those foamy waves and he went into reverse complete with those little 'meep meep' backing-up noises. The Frog tried manfully and unsuccessflly to get him to put his tootsies down on the wet sand, and after much larking about decided to put down the entire child. This, surprisingly, was when I decided they were doing OK and went back to my book in hopes of getting a full page down me before they returned, which they did half a page later, The Spud looking Extremely Satisfied with a face full of wet sand and sandy hands to match. "I think he was eating it" said the Frog, unnecessarily.
While I am certain that a nappy full of wet sandy poo is not going to be very pleasant, the point is not, as I am sure you are aware, that he may suffer any discomfort around the hind regions as a result of this exercise in healthy eating but whether or not anyone else will notice.
None the less, he seems fit and healthy now, happy and hungry and back to normal. Now all we have to do is wait, impatiently, for time to pass the sand.
I'm hoping prunes will help.