Robert and I covered a lot of ground -literally and figuratively- since we moved in with Jackie. The friction of the first few days with our new landlady as we tried to carve out our space in her already organized single-woman’s existence is now past. We have grown again to appreciate the camaraderie and the understanding that stems from our mutual respect for each other. In contrast to Ron, Jackie is not judgmental, and is not on a mission to try and make me into a “better person”. I am accepted the way that I am and I believe I am liked well enough that way. For my part, I enjoy her sharp wit and the way she calls a spade a spade. We both have our blind spots when dealing with our emotional issues and conflicts with men, but of course we can see each others problems clearly and can offer sound advice, only not for our own problems. Most important is that we can have fun together, we are both good sports and can take the Mickey out of our respective backgrounds (Jewish and Arab), and can also make fun of the interesting realities of our South African existence.
Robert is getting a lot of attention from Jackie, as she loves playing rough with him and throwing him around, as he hoots with delight. He is crawling around and exploring everything. I need to keep a close eye on him since Jackie’s house is not baby-proofed. We are starting to use the vehement “NO” very often, and Robert can definitely understand it although he does not obey it most of the time. Like all small children he sometimes responds with an innocent face looking back at me while his little hand keeps inching in the other direction towards the forbidden objects. In other words he keeps testing the limits. Standing is now is very easy for him and he loves to pull himself up on the furniture. He also cruises from one side of the sofa to the other to get to a toy or to my cell phone.
The routine of feeding and bathing has settled. When we moved I decided it was a good opportunity to start dunking Robert in the adult-size bath. He can sit quite well without any help, and neither me nor Lucy have any problems with him, since he enjoys the water so much.
During the last week of April, Jackie took me and Robert on several outings. I had my first evening meal at a restaurant with him in attendance. Jackie and I enjoyed a lovely steak at a restaurant in Sea Point. On another day we went to meet friends in the northern suburbs were we had coffee in the mall. The mall had an outside area and a little playground, and Robert enjoyed his time on the rocking horses. Later on the same day, we enjoyed a seafood lunch at a posh restaurant overlooking the bay and Table Mountain. Robert spent most of the meal sleeping in his baby seat, and when he woke up he had a taste of clam chowder. For both of us this is a noted change from our stay-at-home routine, and we both enjoyed it. Dealing with Robert on these long and short trips was not too much of a challenge; he is a happy baby most of the time and doesn’t fuss too much.