It’s called dedication…

I usually find it hard to identify with most people on the average campsite. I’m not sure why, but the campsite we’re staying at now seems to be filled with people that are exactly like us. Young parents that used to be adventurous – now with babies – that seem to hope that they could still do something outdoorsy with kids. Maybe it’s because the campsite owner also has a kite surfing school, and they attract that sort of folk, instead of lazy barbecue caravan trash?

It’s quite convenient though. All these young but worn out looking people that don’t look annoyed but instead nod understandingly when a baby cries for the twentieth time that day. About sixteen times a day I tie our baby in a baby sling and perform my version of the ministry of silly walks to make her go to sleep. When I have to wait for Heike or Rafa to catch up, I feel like one of those gaming characters that starts swinging around whenever you haven’t touched a button for too long. Standing still is out of question. Within no time the little one starts to wiggle. By now this little baby almost feels like an extension of my own stomach. It’s a bit like an ex utero continuation of pregnancy, with the benefit of being able to untie it when she sleeps. Same same.

It’s amazing how much of the detailed memories from the first baby have faded away. The brain, in it’s exhausted state of early parenthood, probably just doesn’t store these memories for long. Or maybe it’s just me. I had forgotten how long it takes for babies to become somewhat responsive. I think I made Lara laugh yesterday. Or maybe it was today. Whatever… I also think it is wishful thinking to think that that happened, but it happened anyway. She’s mostly just gazing at nothing, and responsive only to feeding and being comforted. Some other families here have older babies that laugh out loud. Some have babies that already sit up. Surely Rafa laughed out loud at some age, but I don’t think he ever sat up. Or I can’t remember and I definitely cannot recall at what age. All these questions. I guess other parents will understand.

I am writing this on today’s final baby sleep walk, on which I accidentally passed the beach bar at which I’m now one of the espresso regulars. It was mostly deserted, but still open. I couldn’t resist getting myself a beer for on the road. I’ll continue my walk along the lake Como shore until the little one sleeps, while I empty the bottle. I must look like a drunk dad, because walking and typing in the dark is hard as hell. The beer in the other hand completes the picture. Aah, these people don’t know me anyway. This is the only way I manage to still post. I sleep-walk my child, type, drink and walk. It’s called dedication. All I have to do is press submit when I pass the WiFi and my only non-parental duty today is fulfilled.

Views over lake Como. Darkness with some light from villages on the other side.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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