I lost a fight with my son today, and I’m so damn proud.
“Hey!” I yelled unhappily. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
A handful of damp sand had just been deposited down the inside of my shirt.
The culprit was easy to spot as he was the one racing off yelling, “Sucker!”
In case you’re wondering, this isn’t the sort of shenanigans I refrain from. In fact, the last couple of minutes on the beach had been a steady escalation in the intensity of attacks which had started with him accidentally flicking sand on me when he took his shoes off.
“Shit,” I mumbled before calling out to him again, “that’s in my bloody butt crack, you git!”
Even before heading down to the beach here on Bribie Island, I have a long standing love-hate relationship with them. For instance, my favourite time to walk along a beach is at night in a light rain because that way I don’t have to deal with sun burn or annoying dry sand and no one will expect you to swim.
Even then, I’m always still genuinely concerned about tsunamis and, because of a documentary I once saw, killer whales jumping out of the waves to snatch me off the beach.
Yes, of course I know I’m being stupid.
No, that doesn’t seem to help.
Yes, I feel sorry for Tracey too.
Several minutes after wriggling and unattractively adjusting my undies to get the sand out I managed to catch up with Master12 and return the favour of sand into the back of his pants.
“Now we’re even,” I told him turning to walk off.
At which point a clump of sand was deposited on my head.
“You don’t know when to stop, do you?” I said, quickly snatching up an even bigger clump of beach and, before he could run off, giving it back to him in a similar fashion. “Now, we’re even. Enough. Game over.”
“Okay,” smiled Master 12.
He looked far too satisfied with the situation for my liking, and the high five from his mother was, I thought, a bit out of place.
True to his word, he didn’t seem interested in continuing our beach battle, although whenever our eyes met he’d just wave, glance at his mum and burst out laughing.
“Bloody sand,” I complained to Tracey as we walked back to our house. I kept shaking a seemingly endless supply out of my hair. My scalp had the texture of sandpaper. “I’m glad we called it a draw before things got stupid.”
At this, my wife just shook her head and grinned at me like I was a dolt. It’s a look I’m all too familiar with, although I wasn’t sure why I was getting it just now.
“It wasn’t a draw, you idiot,” Tracey laughed. “You lost. Big time.”
“What are you talking about? It’s a stalemate.”
“The sand,” said Tracey, “he put on your head was the same sand you dumped into his shorts, meaning…”
She let the sentence hang there for me to finish in my head.
Meaning I was shaking my son’s butt crack sand out of my hair.
So very, very proud. Disgusted? You bet. A little scared too. But mainly proud.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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