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Published: February 12th 2019
In my happy place once again…but just when I thought india couldn’t surprise me, the toddler I brought with me experiencing it so differently, brings new perspectives. Last year I only guessed his emotions, his reactions. This year Taylor so eloquently describes his shock, joy, fear…the range of emotions that change minute by minute, as each new stimulation reveals itself. Some friendly faces he remembers, others he is shy to reunite with, while new friends emerge daily. Im of course happy to reunite with other traveling mommies, to have adult conversations and people I trust to watch taylor when I jump in the sea…that one time! And although taylor is an even more energetic player and faster runner…he is also capable of sitting still for longer periods. I anticipated bigger protests this year, to being dragged around, pulled off the beach as the sun set. But he is the same easy going kid as last year, excited for this next adventure as we depart the old one.
Watching the way kids react to new friends is fascinating. They immediately play, as if they speak the same language, when they don’t and as if each
one’s toys belong to the other. Maybe there’s just so much stimulation for them all, that handing over their toys to a new friend becomes simple.
Because he’s able to express his desires this year, we don’t have typical or scheduled days, lie we did last year. We adopted a rhythm really quickly and effortlessly last year, while this time taylor gets to dictate what he wants to do. Sometimes we wake up and head striaight to the beach…usually when thinks of his friend Leo and hopes to find him there. Other times he doesn’t want to go at all…strange! And I entice him in the afternoons, after his nap….by mentioning Leo will be there (which is a total lie that taylor seems to get over once hes at the beach and having fun despite Leo’s absence. In all fairness, leo is by far the best kid taylor’s met here…kind, easy, doesn’t scream at the top of his lungs when he wants something! They make up games together and play well). Other days, we stroll down the street, looking for cows to feed or just stay home and he plays with the neighbor kids. Most days he
still naps in the afternoon, which means I get to read a book or write a blog!
The caste system is still very much alive in india, despite being abolished years ago. The locals continue to abide by it…the richer ignoring the poorer and the poorer knowing their place. Taylor doesn’t see any of this. He acknowledges all as equals and lately has adopted – what I assume locals still see as a lower caste – neighbor family as his own. He hugs and kisses the older sisters, taking their toy without noticing it’s the only one they have. He has fun with every kid he meets, but ive yet to hear him giggle in india the way he does with the 2 older girls who moved in behind us. I actually like their mother as much as he likes the daughters. We sip chai and she squeezes taylor as though hes her own. The love pouring out of most indian families is magnificent. Climbing the bus to Chaudi….where we buy our fruits and veggies at the local Saturday farmer’s market…an older lady in a sari immediately pulled taylor up to join her on her front seat,
as I dragged the stroller behind us. Although he always wants to verify my location, he also seems to accept the kindness of strangers who give him a hand. It’s welcoming and warm, a stark contrast of the fear I feel in many places at home, where people seem to be nervous reaching out to help others’ children.
So we are both relaxed and happy so far this year. Jet lag didn’t seem to bother either of us much. After a few days we were already sleeping normal hours. And arriving to our bright and clean apartment that I found last year made the journey almost easy! Almost.
Here are some entertaining taylor quotes from our first week in Goa: (unless other people’s babies are not as interesting as your own…then don’t bother cuz honestly, this was probably all funnier to me than it will be to you)
“I want to pick the coconuts” says the small toddler as he looks up at the palm tree towering over our balcony…assuming its simple to just crawl up and grab them (that might seem less entertaining in writing)
touch the beach dogs, they’re not as friendly as the ones from home. T: ok ill just hug them then.
I went for a shallow dunk in the sea as taylor sat at the edge in the sand playing with a shovel. After 30 seconds he got up and walked towards me, so I walked towards him (we were about 5 metres apart in super shallow water…no need to call child services!) as he reached me he said “I joined you mommy! I played with my shovel and got up to find you!” he was so proud.
He managed to do something I can’t remember all by himself, so I said “good job figuring that out all by yourself” he replied “good job mommy, you cooked breakfast!”
This is the most shocking one: I tired him out so much one day he actually said “I want to walk” (you know, cuz he’s always running)
“Baby calf is taylor. Mommy cow is a big one. Mommy is a BIG gir!” the only person ever, to see me as being big. I love it!
He says “what’s
this?” on every page of whatever book we read. Then this…me: do you want me to read and answer those questions or do you just want to keep asking? T: I want to keep talking.
At Chabad on Friday…T: it’s Shabbat man (the Rabbi)
Taylor gives Namaste to the moon one evening. Then he takes out his ukulele and says “I teach you yoga, lie odwn, savasana, knees down.” 2 minutes later “I, done, you teach me now…play guitar.”
T: I wanna kiss your armpit…why is there hair there?
Me: what are you doing? T: playing with my boobies. Mommy has boobies. One is little one is bigger. (true story…although harder to tell these days. Hes very observant)
Watching his friend nurse…T: I don’t want boobies. Then im still a baby. Now im a big boy.
Enough boob talk. This has been Goa. I have to go shower…im sweating from working so hard, writing this.
And taylor will be awake soon.
The beach calls...or whatever Taylor says when he wakes up!
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