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I too have been contemplating how I'm going to take the kids to the beach
this summer by myself during the week while dh is at work. The kids are (almost)
4 and 1.5, so I know what you mean! Now that the baby runs all over the
place, usually in the opposite direction as us, I'm not seeing us heading off to
the beach without dad this year.
We haven't done any swim lessons yet either, but it seems to be all the rage
this time of year for the other 3-4 yr olds in our area. I asked ds if he'd
like to take lessons and he is NOT interested. He stays in the kiddie pool and
runs around the very shallow wheel-chair access area of the big pool. At the
beach he's never gone in further than his knees.
I'd like to see him become more comfortable in the water, but we have a short
outdoor swim season here and the YMCA is way too expensive, so perhaps as he
gets older, we'll spend more time in the water, and either we'll teach him or
he can take lessons if he wants to.
As for the kids getting along, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 are hard ages to get along
really. They are both quite young. Mine do well sometimes. They adore each
other but get in each other's way and fight over toys, typical sibling stuff.
I've been trying to stay out of it more often now that the baby is getting older
and can do more for herself. Sometimes, they need to work it out on their
own. When someone starts swinging, I do step in. And it is hard to be patient
sometimes, but remember they are just little kids!
Good luck,

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