I knew it was bound to happen, I just didn’t expect the transformation to be so swift and complete.
Camille has lost her timidity of the ocean. When we first began going to the beach this summer, she loved playing in the tidal pools, but was scared of the ocean waves. Then, gradually she grew to like the waves and was quite content to sit in the shallow water and let them lap over her.
Last time we went to the beach, she seemed relaxed enough around the ocean that I decided to take her with me into the deeper water for a swim. She loved it. But when I was ready to get out of the water, she complained and showed no interest in playing in the sand.
Then Saturday afternoon, it was 96 degrees in Savannah and only 83 degrees on Tybee, so we decided it was a perfect afternoon for the beach. But as soon as we got on the sand, Camille started running toward the ocean, shouting, “Water!” and contemplating a head-first dive. So we took her in the ocean.
She was okay in the water, but the waves were a little higher and staying above water felt like a wrestling match. But anytime we tried to come back to the beach she’d start crying, with big tears rolling down her face. The sand was no longer a fun place to be – the sand was for babies.
She was in a bad mood the rest of the trip, walking from tidal pool to tidal pool without really playing, and without those smiles I enjoy so much. I’m not used to this. She’s usually such a happy, sweet and loving baby, but she was mad at us. She usually says things like, “Mama too!” because she wants me to play with her, but this time she clearly wanted her space. I had visions of what it might be like if she turns 13 and decides to paint her fingernails black and wear heavy eyeliner and become vegan and write poems about being misunderstood by her parents – who, by the way, are totally lame. When she’s in a grumpy mood, I sometimes call her my grump-opotamus. Wonder what she’ll think if I call her that when she’s 13? That would be totally lame, I’m sure.
We finally gave up and went home. She perked up a little at home, and when she got in the bath she even said, “Mama too. Mama. Bath.” I think she forgave us.
Thankfully so far today, our sweet happy girl is back. But we may stay away from the beach for a while until grump-opotamus decides it’s ok to play in the sand part of the time too!