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Published: February 21st 2018
Exactly 1 month since our first journey to India together began and we have a daily routine that both energies and exhausts us!! Here is what a typical day looks like lately, as we enjoy our time on Palolem Beach in Goa:
7:30: Taylor wakes up to the sounds of multiple birds chirping and leans towards me, waiting for me to notice he’s awake. He kisses and cuddles me and I nibble at his waist while he giggles, still groggy.
7:34: Taylor is wide awake, sliding off the bed and looking for a ball. We’re already playing!
7:45: we eat pomegranate, with mini sweet bananas, oranges or mangos. Or I nibble at what I can while Taylor devours it all and I start cooking breakfast...scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes and cheese and chai for me.
9:00: we’re dressed, the kitchen is clean and we’re off for a morning stroll before the sun is blazing. Taylor sees a cow and yells “mooooo” as he squirms to get out of the carrier so he can run after it. We find Bettina (my Austrian friend) and her son in a cafe and the boys run around terrorizing the place while
we pretend to relax but end up chasing them all over and trying to convince them to share that ball.
10:30: Taylor isn’t yet tired enough for his nap so on our way home we stop to say hi to his friend Riyash...the boy 1 week older than Taylor, who lives in the home of the first “mortgage saver-type” apartment we rented here in Palolem. The boys play while his mother asks me if we’re coming back in October for the boys to celebrate their 2nd birthdays together. They are sweet together, hugging and kissing as they play with cars and yell at the birds.
11:45: we’re back in our little apartment for nap time. We read a book but Taylor quickly passes out after a stimulating morning! I cut veggies and paneer for lunch and eat a quiet meal on my own. What a luxury! I wash some laundry in a bucket to hang in the sun. I rest for a little, read a few pages of a book and prepare fruit snacks for the beach. The time passes so much quicker than the other hours of the day! This all sounds like it should take 15
minutes but it’s hours later and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much!
2:00: Taylor wakes up (he’s taking actual naps these days...not those 20 minute teasers he used to love) and he eats the yummy veggie lunch. He picks each vegetable up, one a time, leaving only the paneer behind, while I catch all the food that lands somewhere other than in his mouth. He eats a bigger portion than I did!
2:45: we’re finally beach ready...some ball throwing delayed our preparation, but now we’re both sunscreened, toys are packed and Annie’s on her way to help. Annie, my saviour, a Swedish lady who loves Taylor and comes with us to the beach everyday. I push Taylor in the stroller as we brave the midday heat down the main road, past the shops, rickshaws and cows the traffic weaves around. As we approach a restaurant near the beach, Taylor yells “naaaaaa” to Annie’s friend and holds his arms out to be picked up and squeezed. He blows kisses to his biggest fan here as we go on our way. I grab an ice cream to cool down, not even yet at the beach. Mmmmm cold vanilla ice
cream, melting before I can finish it. As we approach the beach, Annie holds Taylor and I carry the stroller to the hard packed sand where the tide has receded and we continue the last few minutes of our journey, to the end of the beach, where the waves are calm, the water is shallow and all the young visitors in Palolem play safely.
3:30: we splash in the shallow water, Taylor floats in the deeper water in his crab floaty and we are finally cooled off!! The next 2 hours are a blur...as Taylor runs up and down the beach, chasing frisbees, soccer balls and dogs. One distracts him from the next! Indian tourists grab him for a selfie...no idea why they want pictures with a random white baby, but it usually means they indulge his soccer requests for a few minutes. As he throws the ball, he then chases after it, kicking...either by mistake cuz his feet kick it before he can bend down to pick it up, or because he’s a talented soccer genius...could be either one. Then he moves on, finding a new victim to throw his frisbee around with (since I apparently am boring
at this point) or a dog passes by and he runs like mad down the beach yellow some version of “woof” and pointing his little finger. When the dog stops, he walks up to him and waves in his face, knowing there’s no touching allowed!
6:00: we’re making our way back home. Catch the bread man to buy some rolls (a man on a bike, with fresh bread in his basket) and stop off at the local supermarket type store for whatever is needed. The young Nepali girl who works at the beauty parlour next door runs out yelling “Taylor” and grabs him, letting me and Annie shop without stopping every 5 seconds as Taylor grabs something else off the low shelves. I come back to find him being pinched and kissed and touching his eyes as he tries to convey “I love you” to her. There are baby sitters all over India, when you trust the kindness of the locals, who know the dangers of letting children out of site here.
7:00: Taylor’s in the “bath” as dhal cooks on the gas stove. He fills the small bucket with water and pours it over his body, as
he’s seen me do many times. He basically bathes himself, while I shower next to him. There’s no divider, just a shower head dripping water onto the floor, next to his bucket. He’s gotten used to it and although he still doesn’t come under the water, he no longer fears the drops falling from the ceiling!
7:20: we eat dinner...Taylor dips his chapati into the dhal and eats it like a true Indian boy! Then he climbs into my lap and pulls down my shirt...it’s been a long, tiring day and sleep is coming. He can’t wait any longer.
7:45: I nurse Taylor to sleep in bed, to the sounds of the village outside...the family next door cooking dinner, the motorbike honking down the street, the dogs barking. And now the preparations for tomorrow begin...I clean the kitchen (which basically means washing dishes and leaving them in the drying rack...there are no cupboards to put them away in! And of course I sweep the floor where Taylor dropped all his crumbs, before the ants get to them!) I open the pomegranate and pop the seeds into a container, so I have something to give Taylor first thing in
the morning when he’s ready to go and my eyes are still half closed. If I’d remembered at some point during the day to boil sugar in water, then I can squeeze the lemons to mix with it and I have delicious homemade lemonade for tomorrow. Mmmmm refreshing in the heat. I rinse out Taylor’s sandy beach clothes and hang them to dry, so they’re ready to go in the morning. And if my eyes are still open, I read a few pages of a book or watch a short tv show on Netflix. I wonder which of these days I’ll muster up the time and energy to do some yoga! Last time I felt the urge, Taylor did his downward dog under me and we had a fun partner yoga session...not quite what I’d had in mind, but who could resist his enthusiasm for downward dog!
10:00 my eyes won’t stay open any longer so I lie down next to Taylor, kiss him goodnight and look forward to another day here with him. I feel whole. At peace. I can breathe again. I’ve never loved India as much as I do now...seeing my son thrive and grow in
a place where he feels as content and comfortable as I do.
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