This was baby Manni's first 4th of July. We drove down to Bradley Beach during the time allotted for her morning nap (Manni naps twice a day. The first starting between 9:30-10:15 and the second around 2:30-3:00). Baby Manni loves sleeping in the car sometimes falling asleep the second the car pulls out of the driveway. This trip despite there being no traffic (No shore traffic? I know, blasphemy!) Manya refused to sleep and spent her time alternating between her patented "do do dooo!" and her unoriginal and desperate screaming. Any chance we could make this stop and get some rest? A/C? Wind through the windows? Perhaps a pacifier or some white noise? None of those tactics abated the issue and Rhianna only made it worse (as it always does).
This is what I see when I check if she's sleeping.
Once we arrived at the shore Manya had slept a maximum of eight minutes and as soon as she caught glimpse of Grandma and Great Aunt Ruth she was too excited to calm down.
Onto the beach!
Holy crap was it hot! A mind sweltering 97 degrees with 160 degree sand. But the baby (who was carried through the lava sand) loved it. Loved the sand, loved the baby pool filled with salt water, loved the hundreds of people waving and smiling at her. Mostly Manni loved the salt. If she could talk Manni would have said, "Wats Dis? Salty! Salty! Salty! I Luv Salty!"
Between the thousand attempts at drinking the Atlantic Ocean, freaking out with excitement over waves splashing her legs, having her eyes pop out of her head every time a sea gull walked by "Doo!" and digging in the sand, Manya fell asleep. At the beach. Sound asleep with forth of July chaos all around her.
When she awoke we watched the sea gulls destroy a poor family's half open cooler filled with cookies and sandwiches. Two dozen gulls wreaked havoc on the impromptu picnic as Manni giggled and skrieked with each hop of a mischievous gull or jittery wing flap. Soon the fat white gluttons took flight and began bombing the beaches from above. Manya had no idea of the stinky danger being dropped on us innocent beach goers but I was quite certain to quickly retreat away from the bombing zone. Grandpa was not so lucky and had to take a rather serious dip in the ocean.
It was a good day.
With the Fourth of July on a Wednesday the scheduling of fireworks varied by town and date. Due to this there seemed to be new fireworks every day of the weekend AND on Wednesday the 4th as well. Pretty cool.
For our 4th Firework display we made the short walk down the boardwalk to Asbury Park. No, we did not see Bruce Springsteen on our jaunt but we did see hundreds of Jersey peoples eager to see some explosions. People watching the Jersey Shore is so good there could be a show about it.... wait for it... wait for it... yep.
The fireworks were scheduled to commence at 9:15 which was after Manni's usual bedtime. We hoped the excitement of the people on the boardwalk would energize her enough to push through and see her first firework display. By the time we made the twenty minute walk down the boardwalk and turned up the Pier to get a nice angle on the Asbury Park beach front, Manya was quite upset and was in no mood for remaining in the Bugaboo stroller.
Under normal circumstances Manni is dressed in cloth diapers but when we go on vacations or long day trips away from the home we tend to use disposables. We love our cloth diapers but when you're a long way from home its easier not to lug around a bag of poopy diapers. The fourth of July was no exception. We did use a cloth swim diaper but opted for disposable regulars.
With Manni growing to full blown hysterics we pulled her out of the Bugaboo only to find a MASSIVE poo tidal wave of horror. Shirt, pants, diaper, stroller, demolished. The diaper was filled to the brim and had overflowed onto everything. The most incredible part was it was totally solid. This wasn't baby poo, it was ordinary grown child poo, just somewhere are 15lbs worth of it.
No wonder she was so upset.
We went into full Jack Bauer mode for the clean up. Hands flipping the baby, tearing away clothes and tossing around wipes. Flipping portable changing pads and scooping up rogue chips of shit. I must admit I was in shock at the amount of waste that came out of this cute little baby.
-One full diaper (and when I mean full I mean you could do curls with it)
-One fully covered shirt
-One pair of pants that held enough that it could be considered a second diaper
-One Bugaboo fleece cover (thank god we had that on top of the Bugaboo canvas) with a full human sized poo on it
-Four to Six pairs of hands that needed full scrub downs
-A chip of shit on the boardwalk
Yes, that's right, a chip of shit.
During the premiere of Cirque de Soleil Asbury Park, a chip of shit had flown off one of the poop covered items and landed on the wood Pier. We all spotted it but in our haste no one had actually cleaned it up. Being that it was 9:12PM by the time the baby was cleaned and changed and there was no light remaining in the sky, the chip of shit disappeared as the sun dipped behind the horizon.
It was there, in the darkness, hiding, stalking us like an assassin.
A chip of shit.
An assassin of poo.
Lying in wait, ready to be stepped on, or sat on by the first family member who forgot about its existence.
Yes, it happened and I'm not proud of it. I left my child's chip of poop on the Pier by Asbury Park.
The fireworks were amazing. Yea remember that we were going to see fireworks for our nations birthday before we were horribly sidetracked by the poo-nami (credit to Josh once again) of the decade? Well the fireworks were great and despite our reservations over a the possibility that the explosions might be scary for a 10 month old, Manni had no fear. On the contrary. She was SOOOOOO excited. With every explosion the clapped and giggled and whipped her head around to smile at everyone. "You see Dis?". "Look at Dat!" She made tons of "Oooooooo" and "Dooohs!"
And just as the finale began she crashed hard. The Ergo got strapped on (as the Bugaboo was a poop zone now) and Manya was out.
The walk home was crowded with sugar crashing children racing around like lunatics. I think children after 9 at night play games where their only goal is to chop block adults by throwing their bodies into the back of your knees as hard as they can.
In other news there were at least 60 Muslim women going to the beach at 10:00 at night. I know the lifeguards are done at 5:30 and the sun went down at 8:45 plus these women are wearing burkas covered everything except their eyes and its all black. If a rip tide gets 'em they're done for.
Sarah made the astute observation that I might be Ramadan and they were cleansing themselves in the pure open water after the sun went down but I looked it up and Ramadan doesn't start until July 20th.
So I have no idea what we stumbled upon but I sure hope they swim as safely as possible in the pitch black of night.