Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Beached Betty

Betty, Tom and I have recently spent a week in Tenby. On the afternoon that we arrived, I excitedly threw Betty into the pushchair and went charging down to the beach, whilst Tom was finding somewhere to park the car. I practically ran down the concrete slip-way leading to the beach, building up momentum as I went, and went whizzing off across the sand towards the sea, Betty squawking like a baby dinosaur all the way.

We got to the water's edge and watched the waves, and I pointed out Caldey Island, and told Betty how it was a very special place to me, as, coming from a Catholic family, it is where we used to stay as guests of the monks every Easter. I am in no way Catholic, but I did have great aunts/uncles who were nuns and monks. I went into a dreamy daze, and felt myself relaxing, breathing in the sea air, and feeling nostalgic and safe. Betty humoured me for a while, and smiled at the waves, and Caldey Island, but pretty soon she started sighing and giving me that ‘I’m bored with this malarkey’ look. So I turned the pushchair round and started heading back towards the café, which was on the edge of the beach.

Once we had gone across the hard wet sand and reached the dry sand we got stuck, and still had a good 25 metres to go. I frantically pushed, but the wheels just dug into the sand further and further. It wouldn't have been so bad, but there were lots of people watching me, who had also witnessed me thoughtlessly running onto the sand in the first place. I pushed, and struggled, and puffed, and sweated, and all with a false grin on my face so that people might be fooled into thinking that I was enjoying myself, and that I wasn't really stuck at all.

Betty started to fret, so I gave her a breadstick to try and keep her happy until we made it off the sand. Betty wolfed it down in record time, just leaving a tiny crumb that she decided she wanted to play with. Of course, she kept dropping this bloody crumb and each time, unless I found it really quickly in amongst her chewed holey blanket (that I had lovingly knitted for her when I was pregnant), she would have a massive tantrum. She kept this going for a good few minutes, but then unfortunately she decided to eat the crumb, and then got very upset because it was no longer there to play with.

At that moment, a big hairy tattooed bloke approached me and asked me if I needed help getting off the beach. For some weird, stupid reason I refused his help and told him I was fine. He gave me a slightly amused look and then walked away and sat back down next to his family, and they all continued to stare at me. I gave them a big smile and wave, and at the same time I noticed that they had a toddler sitting in the sand, drinking, what looked remarkably like tea from a bottle.

I bent down next to Betty and pretended to point out some seagulls to her, biding my time, and trying to work out a way out of this embarrassing situation, whilst at the same time trying to get over the whole 'toddler drinking tea' thing. I discreetly got my mobile out and tried phoning Tom, with the intention of telling him to get down here right away and rescue us, but his phone was turned off. I started to blame him for the whole situation.

Eventually I figured out that I should pull the pushchair backwards. This was slow work but eventually I got us off the sand, to the applause of the ‘tea’ family, and made it to the café. I was too stressed out to actually go into the café though, and instead I ran back to the holiday cottage, through the streets of Tenby, with an angry Betty, who had still not forgotten about her beloved crumb.


Shellie said...

Such a great story! It reminds me of
more than one personal experience. It really made me smile :)

Suffolkmum said...

Oh God! That could have been me. And I would have had the rictus grin on my face too, airily dismissing offers of help. Apparently my husband was always given tea to drink in a bottle! Your childhood holidays sound fascinating. I've never been to Tenby, or to Wales at all I'm ashamed to say.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh you are so funny, I do like reading about your adventures. I was mouthing, 'pull the buggy, PULL IT!' at the screen. Hope the rest of the holiday picked up.

She's like the wind said...

Why do we do that, refuse help from people, is it because we are women and we believe that we can do everything! great post hope yo uhad a good time x

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Another very funny post. I want to know more about your monk holidays as a child!

What conclusion did you come to on the toddler tea front? I have a couple of small nephews and remember being really surprised when we went to visit one of them (aged about 2 and a half at the time) and his mum plopped him down with a cup of tea and biscuits. It just seems really alien to me!

Hope you enjoyed your hols!

Stay at home dad said...

Hilarious and horrible in equal measure...! The stuff of nightmares.

I don't know why toddlers would like tea. And chocolate contains caffeine too, although tea has more, I would think.

Louise said...

I missed your posts so it is great to have you back!
Hope you had a great time on holiday. A friend of mine has a mum who tried to give her little girl a cup of tea... aged 7 months. My friend was horrified!

New Mum in Town said...

What is it that makes us refuse those offers of help! (apart from the tattoes and tea that is!) I had a similar offer the other week in the tube station at Pimlico when the escalators were broken and Iris was whinging and hungry and the platform might as well have been 5 miles away. I politely resisted, "no thanks that's fine, ha ha, I can manage". Then had to concede and managed to offend the first person by accepting someone else's offer instead! ah well, the flapjack sounded very nice!

Frog in the Field said...

Oh dear! Hindsight is a fantastic thing.
I absolutely love Tenby, all those fantastic Italian Ice-Cream Parlours.

Unknown said...

Hi Shellie, thanks for coming by and for the lovely comment.

Hi SM, that's interesting about your husband, can you ask him if he knows why he was given tea to drink? It totally baffles me! I totally recommend Tenby for a weekend - the beaches are stunning - The town is lovely too.

Hi Pig, yes it took me a while to work it out but got there in the end! The rest of the holiday didn't really pick up - i tried to write a post about it but couldn't. Mainly because poor little Betty was ill, which meant grisling, sleepness nights etc. Not the most relaxing holiday.

Hi SEM, I know, it is weird - we are so proud aren't me. bloody stupid too!

Hi Beccers, i might write about the monks one day. I tell Tom that we spent so much time on Caldey when I was little, that I was practically brought up by the monks! That's not exactly true but I did used think they were totally amazing (and a bit weird!). I just don't get the whole tea thing either. WHY GIVE TEA? WHY?

Hi SAHD, I do not get it at all. I wish someone could explain it to me. I didn't start drinking tea until I was about 28, and still I felt like it was slightly too grown-up for me.

Hi Lou, right, you've got to find out from this mum why she thought that was a good idea, i need to get to the bottom of this. Am I being really thick about all this?

Hi NMIT, oh no, poor first bloke, you probably gave him a real complex! it is strange why we refuse help, when we often obviously need it! Not all the time though, of course!

Hi Frog, oh brilliant, you know Tenby too! I love it. Before we had Betty we used to go camping on this amazing campsite that is on top of a hill just outside Tenby and it overlooks the bay and caldey island. Thoroughly recommend it if you ever go again.

Sparx said...

another stellar admission... I too have gotten stuck in the sand on the beach and I'm sure I had the same rigid gay grin on my mug as you did!