Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Family Vacation at the Jersey Shore with Zach

I am just back from my first three generation vacation and WOW! did we have a great time. I was looking forward to it so much and I was sure that Zach would love the Jersey Shore. Zach is just two and he is too young to have anticipation for vacation but I had enough for both of us. Well…the results are in and…Zach loves the Jersey Shore and everything about it.

We went to Ocean City, NJ which is where we have been going as a family since our children were young. Ocean City is “dry” and very family oriented – not the TV type of Jersey Shore at all but the kind of Jersey Shore that has been enjoyed by families for generations. My daughter, Fran, could not wait to introduce Zach to things she remembered as a child and I couldn’t wait to bring him to the beach. It was really nice too to be surrounded by many three generation vacationing families.

We stayed at a motel just a block from the boardwalk/beach which also had a pool and a toddler pool. Fran and Josh like the pool. I prefer the beach and my husband likes to split his time in both places. The Impala Inn was convenient enough to accommodate all of us.

When my kids were young I loved building in the sand with them. My favorite was to build a speedboat that they could sit in. We’d decorate with shells and had great fun as the tide came in and filled the moat around the boat and then finally the boat would be washed away too. I could not wait to build a boat for Zach. At first he was interested in my just filling a pail with sand and turning it over into a “cupcake” which he could smash. I kept making cupcakes until I was tired of it and tried to interest him in my rowboat building. That was taking much longer than a cupcake so I could not be too elaborate. When it was done, he sat in it for a long time as I decorated with shells and built the control panel. He enjoyed touching the shells and being the captain of his boat. Zach then went over to an abandoned fort and enjoyed playing with that too. When it was time to get the wet sand off our hands he bravely came down to the water with me and put his hands in the water. But it was freezing cold and that was as much of being in the ocean that he was interested in.

Zach also enjoyed the pool and jumping in over and over to all the adults – his Mom and Dad, Grandma and Pop. I can’t tell you how much I loved the smile on his face each time he jumped in. We all were enjoying it so much that we didn’t get any pictures of it.

We strolled with Zach along the whole boardwalk and he took it all in. He got to share a frozen custard with his Mommy, eat Boardwalk pizza and chicken fingers and go past the rides at Wonderland. Fortunately, he was happy to just watch all the exciting rides – including the overhead train that looked like Thomas but he didn’t want to take a ride. Mommy and Daddy took him on a Bert and Ernie fire engine ride and he enjoyed that. Mommy bought him an Elmo hoodie and flip flops. Grandma bought a big sand digging shovel and an Ocean City t-shirt.

The weather was good for being at the shore and we all enjoyed the vacation. Another interesting thing happened on this trip – Zach is in the middle of being potty trained – and he really caught on during the trip. Twice at the pool he wanted me to take him to the potty and both trips were successful. He also went right before going to dinner – that was appreciated. But the classic is on the ride home. Fran, I and Zach were on the Garden State Parkway when Zach began to say loudly change, pee pee, potty. I moved from the left lane, across three lanes to the shoulder and his Mom jumped out of the car, grabbed the potty which was on the floor in the back and took Zach out of his car seat and onto the potty. Right away – no problem – a big pee. He walked with Mom to empty the potty and we were back on our way. Whew! And Hooray! Onward home.

What a wonderful first vacation. I am looking forward to many more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

UhOh! Calling 911 by Mistake is Not a Good Idea!

Last night we were babysitting Zach, our two year old grandson, and as usual having a great time with him. My son is usually at work but he was home in the late afternoon and we put Zach in my Ignite stroller – which I really, really like – and so does Zach and walked through the nearby park onto the main avenue and up to the farmer’s market for something for dinner. We had a nice healthy walk and Zach enjoyed the walk taking in the sights – especially the geese – a word he says perfectly.

My husband was with him in his home office where he likes to draw with a tumbler of pens and markers….and play with the phone, computer, etc. I was preparing dinner when the phone rang.

Caller: “Hello, this is the police… Did you just dial 911?”

Me: “Uhoh…I think my grandson did by mistake.”

Caller: “I’ve already dispatched a police car. Would you please go outside and let the police officer know that everything is okay.”

Me: “Of course. I’m sorry. We’ll be more careful in the future.”

I step onto my front porch and there is a police car coming up the block. I go to the street and meet him and explain and apologize.

Police Officer: (With a big smile) I have a one year old and this happens all the time. Its okay.

It is so nice to have a friendly forgiving police officer show up at your house. And we do need to be more careful with letting him play with the phone. As my daughter said. “You were lucky he didn’t call China!”