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A story about rocks. And boogers.
Every few weekends the wee one and I get in the car and drive the five minutes to “the ocean”.
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It’s not the ocean exactly - but we do live on an island so I figure it’s close enough. Besides, why ruin a good story by telling the truth?
Where do we go if not the “ocean”? Why the Niagara River of course. Buckhorn State Park to be exact. But don’t tell her please as I get an hour or more of entertainment on a Saturday morning out of this little adventure. Sometimes more and she thinks it the “ocean” so we’re going with it for now.
It does take a little bit to get out the door though. We have to:
Pee. You would think that this would be pretty easy: pants down, do your business and go. But alas, no. There’s always a detour along the way. That stuffed animal that’s been ignored for months is now the most interesting thing ever seen before. Thus, distractions are plenty on the road to peeville. But we do “go” eventually.
Then there’s the snacks. We need snacks.Lots of snacks. We need so many snacks that we won’t need lunch when finally get backThe last time we left with 2 bottles of water, sandwiches, cookies, fruit and more. We’re going about a quarter mile deep into the trail. We will be able to make our way back, I promise.
Up next: shoes: Shoes are hard. First, there’s the finding of said shoes and then there’s the fact that the dog thinks that if there’s shoes going on they must be about her because OMG there’s shoes. So I get my hands licked to death by a 40lb dog while attempting to shod by child who weighs less. Shoes can take 10 minutes.
Then there’s the accessories. What if it rains? We’ll need an umbrella. Also, a jacket. It won’t rain and we don’t need any of those but okay, I am a pushover so here’s the paw patrol umbrella because you know - just in case. Also: Lets Go!
Finally we’re in the car and then we comment that we’re driving by her daycare and that it must be closed as all cars are gone. Also, there’s some concern about the umbrella - we still have it, yes?
Finally we arrive at the “ocean” and get out, grab snacks, my 20lb cooler and umbrella and we start our walk on the trail to the good spot where we can throw rocks into the water
But even that’s a trip because there’s a question or two:
“Why are there logs here?”
”Are we there yet?”
”Are there frogs here?”
”Are we there yet?”
and so on..
But we’re lucky to have such a resource to us that’s free entertainment so close to us. I mean where else could you find so much interest in a leaf?
And then after some more walking we want to pick the flowers we see for mommy but I talk her out of and say the flowers need to stay here as that’s their homes and we don’t want to take the flowers from their homes, and she seems to buy it so there’s that avoided.
Finally we get to our “spot” where the attraction is the water. And the waves. And the boats.
Also, rocks. Rocks must be thrown into the lake. All the rocks We have been to the ocean on more than one occasion and it’s always about the rocks. And snacks. But mostly, the rocks.
Speaking of snacks, sometimes we bring the nice little old lady that comes and visits and makes us pies: It’s always nice to have friends and family come along too. They can help with the snacks, and the pie-making and carrying of all the things needed for our quarter mile trek into the wilderness.
and sometimes we stop and blow off the seeds on the dandelions:
or just have a seat and pick your nose while sitting on dad’s lap:
Because after all the prep work and packing and planning and rock throwing: When you’re four years old, boogers are the best snack and so much fun!
Boogers aside, I wouldn’t change this time for anything. Yes, it’s a lot of work and OMG is it slow to go a quarter of a mile but we get a good hour together and usually it’s just the two of us where we can hang out together and toss rocks into the water like there’s no other care in world.
This assumes of course - that we actually get out the door in the first place.
We would bring the dog with us but the dog is a disaster on a leash and then acts like it’s never seen a squirrel before and needs to chase all the things and I’ve got the snacks to take care of - so the dog stays home.