Drop a bomb
We walked to the beach after dinner, because I was tired of fighting with them about organizing the playroom, because we all needed to get out of the house, because it seemed a fitting end to the long weekend.
We chatted along the way about the events of the weekend, such as the two older boys proclaiming that they have now learned how to snorkel and they want to do it all the time now, and when can we go swimming again so they can snorkel.
We got to the beach and the sun was beginning to drop in the sky, making things more pink and orange than usual, in a nice way . And there were all these birds along the barrier wall in the water, or whatever it’s called, birds of white and grey with long beaks for catching fish, herons maybe. Sort of idyllic, really.
The kids immediately jumped on the playground swings and slides and seesaws. The playground equipment at the beach is a little decrepit and makes me a little bit nervous every time we go. I mean, at least someone thought to nail up a piece of board over the gaping hole in the smaller play structure that my toddler uses.
Oliver eventually requested that we move on to the actual beach, where there were children frolicking in the shallow water, to build a sand castle or something. The toddler took off after him, so I chased closely behind, basically just waiting for him to dive into the water. With Charlie, you should just expect that he’s going to climb something he shouldn’t or throw a toy in your face or stick his hand in the toilet to splash around. He’s a lot of fun.
The small child in front of us appeared to be standing in fairly clean water – she wasn’t covered in slime and we could see the bottom of the lake, but I realized there was a layer of filth between the water and the sand, where the sludge had been brought to shore by the waves; presumably the lake had been attempting to clean itself.
That’s when Oliver picked up the tampon applicator and I freaked out.
“PUT IT DOWN.”
“JUST PUT IT DOWN.
OH GOD. PUT IT DOWN.
GO WASH YOUR HANDS IN THE LAKE.”
“Why? What is it?”
“Just — garbage.”
Charlie decided at this point to make a run back to the playground, so I informed Mark about what just happened as we sped by. I think we both had enough of the sand and feminine hygiene products, so it was back to the playground before we went home, with Oliver still asking me what it was he had picked up, and me proclaiming that it was just garbage and let’s not talk about it anymore. I know, really mature. I just was not ready to explain menstruation to my 7-year-old son while at the beach.
We walked back, and Oliver and I split from the rest of them as I need to follow the main road back up to the house when pushing Charlie in the stroller, while Mark and Callum and the dog took the back path with the stairs.
“What was that thing?”
“Just some garbage, like I told you.”
“Was it a bomb?”
“Oh god, no. I made you think it was a bomb?! It was just some garbage! I was just freaking out because it’s garbage from someone’s bathroom and it’s full of germs!”
He thought it was a bomb. I had freaked out enough to make him think he’d collected an explosive device. I need to find a way to put the fear of beach sewage into this kid without making him think he’s going to blow us all up.