After church on Friday we headed out to Ain Sokhna for one last hurrah at the Red Sea. It was wonderful, of course. Rachel was so excited to start playing at the beach.
We brought along some friends in the branch who are here with the BYU study abroad program: Josh and Carolee—our oldies, Megan and Andrew, and Jake and Chelsi. And Josie, of course. It was fun to have so many people around. Rachel was sure to bask in the attention and started multiple mud-flinging wars with people several times her size. We had to pull her away from playing to snap a family picture. We weren’t too successful at pulling her away, however…
She and Miriam were both so worn out when we got to the condo—after sunset and past bedtime—and they both went down before dinner was over. Miriam was having a hard time sleeping but once Rachel finished with her dinner and went in to keep her company they both settled down quickly. We had the AC on and it was blowing right onto the girls so I covered Miriam up with a beach towel since I had forgotten her blanket (since it’s a billion degrees here and we don’t habitually use air conditioning I sometimes forget to think about packing such things) and Rachel insisted that I cover her with a towel as well (she had her blanket since she needs it regardless of how hot it is outside).
“No! I want a pink towel!” she insisted when I grabbed a yellow one.
“I don’t have a pink towel,” I said.
“It’s alright. That one is pink.”
“Actually, it’s yellow.”
“Shhhh, Mom! I’m p‘tending it’s pink, alright?! Don’t tell me it’s yellow!”
“Okay, fine. It’s a beautiful pink towel. Let me cover you up.”
“Thanks! Pink is my favourite colour!”
Sometimes that girl can be so goofy. She’s sweet to her sister, though, and helped her drift off to sleep to the sound of lullabies.
Miriam didn’t even wake up when we joined the girls after talking well into the evening so I just left the girls where they were. Isn’t there a saying about letting sleeping children lie? Or is that dogs? Same thing, right? But when Miriam woke up in the night to nurse things started getting a little crowded. Rachel kind of woke up while I was shuffling Miriam around and I asked if she’d mind moving into the play pen.
“I’m not a little baby anymore, Mom,” she insisted sleepily.
So our bed remained squishy until morning. I slept in that sliver of space between Meme and Andrew until I decided to sleep at the foot of the bed where there was much more room. Perhaps I should have moved to the play pen, myself.
Since the condo only sleeps six and we were a party of nine (adults), some people were forced to sleep outside. Megan and Megan’s Andrew volunteered to sleep outside with Josie. I had LOST-induced nightmares about “the others” coming to drag Josie away and had to get up to check if she was still alright once or twice. She always was.
After a yummy pancake breakfast we boarded the shuttle to go to the beach. It’s a bus of sorts but with huge cutouts where the sides should be and park benches instead of seats. Probably it’s about as unsafe as you can get. And it’s highly uncomfortable. I was in agony when I rode this last summer when we took my mom to Ain Sokhna and I was several months pregnant. I imagine it’s like how riding on a covered wagon would be like.
The girls went right to work in the sand the minute we got to the beach.
Rachel helped bury Auntie Josie’s legs and Miriam ate a ton of sand.
Then Rachel covered Auntie Josie in mud while Miriam ate a ton of sand.
Then I decided that Miriam had had enough sand so I picked her up and Rachel chased us around, throwing mud at us and Auntie Josie took over eating the sand.
Miriam ended up sporting a sand-moustache reminiscent of a certain fascist dictator…just remember, that’s where thumb-sucking will get you. And what I mean by that is that thumb-sucking on the beach will get sand on your face, not that Miriam will turn into a fascist dictator.
After all, I’m hoping to let her wean herself from both her thumb and nursing, which should help us help her avoid developing any acute oral fixation and turning all power-hungry and dictator-y since some argue that “Hitler had an oral fixation which arrested his psychological growth. His lust for conquest derived from his desire to ‘recover the breast-fed bliss of a fledgling.’” (That’s Sharree Owens Zalampas quoting who I am assuming is Rudolph Binion, in her book Adolf Hitler: a psychological Interpretation…) I am not sure that Hitler had an oral fixation…and I don’t think that being a breast-fed “fledgling” would lead to an oral fixation, either. I’m more in Dr. Newman’s camp. But that’s so totally off topic.
Miriam just likes to eat sand. And she was banned from being put down on the beach just like the last time we were at the beach because she loves it so much she acts like her goal is to eat the whole thing before we leave. Maybe she does have an oral fixation after all…. Moving on.
Josie was quite the scavenger. She found a pair of sunglasses and a drinking glass way out in the ocean, covered up in sand. She also found half of a broken shot glass.
Miriam thought the sunglasses were hilarious. She would burst out laughing at anyone who put them on.
Carolee found a hermit crab and Chelsi found a crab; it took like fifteen minutes and about five of us to finally corner and catch it. I decided that if we were ever on a deserted island and had to rely on our crab-catching skills for survival we’d all starve.
Later we saw a huge crab drifted out at sea and “caught” it, too. It was dead so it was much easier to catch than the other guy. He was much less feisty, too.
That afternoon Chelsi, Jake, Megan, and (Megan’s) Andrew went out snorkeling while the rest of us chillaxed on the beach. Josh said that he had never built a sandcastle. I told him that was beyond sad and Andrew took him and Rachel out to build one immediately.
Miriam and Josie had fun watching the tide come in and destroy the castle before it was even finished being built.
With dreams of castles washed away, Andrew and Josie started on a new project: The Pyramids at Giza.
Josie even built the Sphinx and Andrew crowned Khafre’s pyramid with the outer casing. They were very detail-oriented.
People kept stopping by to take pictures and ogle the pyramids once they were finished.
It was hard to leave the beach knowing that we were leaving for the last time, but there’s a time and a season for everything, I suppose, and our season of being quasi-condo owners is over. *sigh*
Good-bye chalet number 577, Stella di Mare, Ain Sokhna. We will miss you tremendously!