Usually the birthdays I blog about are for our kids, but a few weeks ago we celebrated another special birthday: Frandy! If you haven’t heard, Frandy is out newest sub and the first male nanny at COTP. Even though it was technically a work day, he was so honored that we took him to the beach for some fun with three of the kids. We typically only take one child out at a time, given the challenges of travelling with our kids in particular, but we got brave and took L, M, and J. I had a bet with Wilson which of the kids would fall asleep on the way home and I’m pretty sure he won because I fell asleep! These are our three highest functioning kids but still require one to one supervision and assistance and almost constant hands-on care. Picture, if you will, a 5-year-old and 8-year-old in diapers with nothing even sort of resembling a changing table. We were done swimming for the day and needed to rinse off and put clothes on so we could eat in the restaurant. The 5-year-old can stand, so as long as I can keep him semi-still for more than a second, it’s not too tough to get a clean diaper at least covering the most important bits. The 9-year-old cannot stand alone, and we were at the outdoor shower pad since the little bathroom stalls are slippery and icky, but modesty is important so I tried to maintain a shred of it while doing a crazy balancing act and not getting either of us too wet or dirty since he’s so squirmy and jumpy, and even if I thought I could just lay him on the cement for a second to change him, the people already staring at the spectacle would be horrified at my obvious disregard for the health of my child.
There really isn’t a place to change kids anywhere we might go. We took H to the eye doctor a few weeks ago and she had a BM while we were there. Most bathrooms are super cramped with just a toilet and a pedestal sink. H is 3 and has very little muscle control, but big involuntary muscle jolts. Wilson held up her head with one hand with all her things in his other hand while she was draped over the lid of the toilet seat, feet flopping around off the other side while I tried to clean her up without getting poo on her flailing feet, myself, or the room. I’m just saying, the next time you use or see a little koala care changing station, say a prayer of thanks don’t take it for granted.
But back to the beach. M has a great time no matter what we’re doing, and the beach was no different. Getting splashed was all part of the fun! If you remember how cold and shivery J was from the trip to the pool for his birthday, imagine more of the same. He clung to me like the most adorable chattering monkey you ever did see. He loved toddling around on the sand, though! L just likes to do whatever we are doing so he played in the water with us, played soccer with Wilson and Frandy, and thoroughly enjoyed his lunch with a bit of Wilson’s Coke to wash it down. It was a really wonderful day together!