A couple of weeks ago, i decided that the best way for me to enjoy a Daddy day with Sophie and Harry would be to spend it on the beach.
Setting aside the fact the nearest beach was 60 miles away (ish), I packed lots of things, bundled the little ones into the car and headed off.
Looking out of the rain-spattered Windows as I joined the M56 out towards North Wales, I wondered if it was really such a good idea after all…
The seaside is such a special place for me. I love the water, the sand, the sunshine (when it comes) and all the smells and sounds that come with a trip to the coast.
Rhyl was our destination- I’d never been but it struck me as somewhere that’d be family friendly and easy enough for me to cope with a 3 year old and a 10 month old should anything go wrong.
We pulled up about lunchtime- Harry had had his baby class first thing – and set off to find some food.
In the end we settled for a dodgy promenade fish and chip cafe which was ok – you could sit down at least and I could get Sophie a huge portion of sausage and chips.
The toilets were less successful: I’m yet to master taking a little girl to the toilet with a baby in a sling on my chest carrying a changing bag and beach gear.
More practice required.
The rain had fluctuated from monsoon to spitting and as we left the restaurant it was coming down quite hard.
Undeterred we crossed the road and headed for the wide expansive (and empty) sands.
Amazingly, as Sophie ran happily onto the beach the sun emerged and windswept trippers suddenly decided to follow us on after all.
I let Harry loose to crawl around which was instantly a problem when he made a beeline for every tiny pebble on there and duly attempted to eat them. Stop!
About 45 minutes of Harry trying to get stoned was enough for me and I persuaded Sophie to walk with me out to the sea.
The tide was so far out, almost at the wind farm or so it seemed, so we walked across the many different types of sand before finally reaching it.
She was excited to dip her feet in but clung onto my hand tightly while Harry sucked his thumb and cuddled in sleepily.
We’d been there about ten minutes when I looked back to the shore and saw a lifeguard frantically waving.
He was worried our little section of beach was getting cut off so we had to go back, wading across a water inlet that was threatening to cause us some serious grief.
We found another way of paddling and walked along for a bit before deciding to head back to shore
Rhyl beach seems to have a thousand types of sand and our feet got filthy ploughing through a quicksandesque bog. I’m not ashamed to admit I half dragged Sophie through, praying neither of us would get stuck.
We washed our feet in an ocean puddle and played on the park.
Finally, one last toilet hunt. Unfortunately as we approached a shelter which was masquerading as a toilet Sophie tumbled and cut her knee. Disaster.
All that good work and happy memories shredded due to one totally avoidable incident. We were within 20 minutes of the car.
I bundled my tired toddler and baby into their car seats, blood dripping over her shoes and cleaned her up thanks to a local Morrisons.
Exhausted we set off home.
60 miles in rush hour.
It was worth it.