Being a new person in the world Cameron is experiencing a lot of firsts, but the slightly less obvious implication of that is that Colin and I are too. While we’ve grown a lot in caring for Cam, every now and then we have a crisis of confidence. These periods of doubt usually occur when doing something which will be observed by:
- other parents
- professionals who work with babies, or
- the general public which can contain either (or both) of the above.
In such situations we are left feeling incredibly nervous, as if expecting the Parenting Police to leap out from behind a bush and demand an explanation on why we are doing what we are doing. Of course, when one is nervous the tendency for silly mistakes and stupid decisions is greatly enhanced, perpetuating the cycle of potential judgement that we are afraid of. Cameron’s first trip to the beach was an occasion such as this …
As it was an incredibly hot day we decided to make it a short trip and so arrived armed with only a few towels, the nappy bag and of course our baby. The beach was packed so we made our way past the crowds to a section where the waves washed up gently over some low rocks. We put all our stuff in a pile on the sand, turned on the camera and prepared for the momentous moment. The first wave didn’t quite reach us but a bigger one soon came along. However as we were all focusing on Cameron and not on the waves, we didn’t see just how big it was. It caught us from the left and the right, meeting just where we were standing and causing Col to sit down rather promptly. Convinced the entire beach was watching us, we tried to ignore our blunder by cooing at Cameron who was now experiencing the wet sand on his feet. The next moment we heard someone calling us and to our horror we looked up to see that the wave had not only unseated Colin but also washed our towels, shoes and nappy bag down the beach. Burning with embarrassment, Leigh-Anne and I rushed around collecting our scattered possessions.
We made a fairly swift departure after that. Back home I spent half an hour cleaning sand off everything (quick product review – beach sand actually comes off the Baby Moov nappy bags surprisingly easily so good job there). Combined with the half an hour it took to get Cameron ready to leave in the first place, that works out to an hour of effort for 10 minutes on the beach. Not a good ratio!
To conclude, it was an utterly embarrassing experience which left us looking not only like rookie parents but also like complete tourists who have no idea how to go about a successful trip to the beach. And the real irony is that the entire exercise was more for our benefit than Cam’s; I wouldn’t say he enjoyed his first beach trip so much as tolerated it!