Day at the Park


It is always a delight to have a warm day after a cold and rainy spell. On days like these I feel so blessed to be living in sunny South Africa, where it is warm even through the middle of winter.

The park was full of moms, dads and babies. They sat together in several small groups, and there was a total confusion of toys, snacks and children. A boy picked up a ball that dropped near us and left his chip packet instead. Robert hijacked it immediately and started munching on corn pops. Later he borrowed a purple ball and tried to keep it for himself. Then he joined another family and challenged their little girl to share some of her toys and food with him. I never prevent Robert from exploring and interacting with other people and children, as long as I am watching closely. I try to keep track of where the toys and snacks come from. I don’t think being strict with a ten-month old is productive, I just stay close by to keep him out of bigger mischief and danger.

The new lightweight buggy is proving to be very useful. We walked very far today along the beach before we came to the park. On yesterday’s walk a middle aged woman commented that poor baby had the sun in his eye. The problem is that Robert hates hats and takes them off as soon as I put them on his head. Today I went through the effort of attaching bonnet style strap on a new hat, and was pleased to see it remain safely on Robert’s head, defying his fierce tugging. However, I underestimated my son’s tenacity and his unequivocal dislike of sun hats. Twenty minutes after we left the house I discovered that my innovation with the straps was useless. The hat was gone, and Robert was happily squinting against the low winter sun. This is now the third hat that we lost. The first was taken by the sea breeze, and the second was stolen with the baby bag. I will give hats a break for now.

Some images of the day:

Robert having his first taste of chutney corn pops.

Standing at the fence bordering on the dog area. The children were fascinated by a beautiful big Labrador who was exercising in the dog run. Unfortunately this picture does not show the dog.

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Week Seventeen : Christmas Eve

I keep ranting here about the weather, almost as much as I speak about Robert. But coping with its many changing aspects has been an ongoing challenge in the past few weeks. I have given up on looking at the weather forecast; we just dress for whatever weather we have at a specific moment, keeping a contingency plan for sudden changes when we are out. We are both kept busy trying to keep baby cool, or making sure he is well protected from fierce sun or gusty winds.

Two weeks ago I lost a favourite possession to the ravages of weather. The Cape Doctor (our very own south easterly wind) took away my sun hat; it was last year’s Christmas present from Ron. I have worn it for less than a year, and only on special occasions at first. It was not the cheap cap that I wear on the veranda, and I was quite sad to lose it.

Ron taunted me endlessly about it for a few days, and then this week he bought me a new one from the V & A Waterfront. It is much better than my old had, and has a string that I can bind around my ponytail to prevent it from flying into the ocean like its predecessor. All is well in the world again.

All is well that is, except for the mosquitoes, which have now started to pry on poor Robert. A few nights ago, I had to strip him down to his nappy, so that he can sleep in the blistering hot evening. Bad idea, the next day he woke up covered in itchy mozzie bites on his tender skin. Now he goes to sleep in a long-sleeved shirt, zipped up in a light sleeping bag, but he still gets bitten on his little fingers, ears, and face.

In addition to my Christmas present, Ron and I bought some food for our Christmas braai (barbeque) tomorrow. We did not have a contingency plan for that one, in case the weather turns nasty as usual. We are still hopeful of sunshine, although we had a fair share of thunderstorms, lightning and rain today. The floods in the Garden Route area and a stormy Camps Bay beach were even on national news today. I suppose it will cheer up those who are spending the holidays at home. The upside of this cool weather for us is that Robert will get a break from mosquito bites tonight.