Beach Baby Blues

Here are the pictures I took last week:

new favorite ergo activity - watching the sky

diaper changes in strange places

falling in love with fishies

Not pictured:

- My car accident on the way to the beach that stranded us for an hour and a half on the side of the road in the sun, calling insurance and tow-trucks, Lane's cheeks turning red from the heat.
- A beach.

My baby wasn't in love with the beach.  My family made him nervous, the sand did not feel "good" between his toes, the ocean was loud and big and scary and cold, the pool had strange people in it, the balcony floor was too rough.

Lane spent three days hiding in my arm, closing his eyes down by the water and pretending to be asleep.  I had to ease his little butt into the pool and talk to him and play with him until he let go enough to eventually, eventually, on day three, smile.  I had to put towels down on the sand and bring his favorite foods and make car noises with all his toys and set up a sun tent for him to eventually, eventually sit on the beach happily for a few minutes.  My family all had to break some ground with him in their own ways until he eventually warmed up to them all, after five days.  The only thing he didn't ever seem to take to was the salty, roaring, wide sea.

This seems to be his way.  He hated baths for weeks until he didn't.  He looked strangely at food and cried in his highchair until he didn't.  So far, the constant is that he needs slow easy encouragement when trying something new.  He considers things, unwilling to jump in and clap his hands or find pleasure in any of it until he's considered it completely in the safety of our arms.

I noticed a new level of mental build in him after the week was up though.  Pointing at things he wanted and grunting, whining, crying, to communicate.  Waving.  Cruising furniture.  Standing on his own.  Eating a ton of food and cutting his breastfeeding down to four times a day.  He is growing into a toddler, shedding his baby skin every day.  He cuddled me in bed, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and understood what we were doing there, relaxing to go to sleep.  When he saw fish in the aquarium it was like watching him discover the most amazing thing in the world.  He stared so hard and put his mouth to the glass and talked to them, watching in complete awe at the schools of black and white swimmers.  And during our time away, a schedule appeared out of nowhere and when it's close to nap time he falls asleep wherever he is.  GODSEND.

Our last three beach days were grey, and in that setting the ocean turned this beautiful shade of dark blue, the white of the waves as lace along the edging.  The color palate was so beautiful.

Colt and I went for a walk on Friday night - there was a storm out at sea.  Big storms make me all sorts of anxious, and against the ocean every storm gets a little more terrifying, but we went out in it because it was our last night and we had to.  The wind was whipping past us and the clouds were growing darker and heavier.  I could feel all the power in the world.

((My father used to watch storms from his front porch.  I remember standing in the doorway of the screen door, nervously asking him to come inside as he'd try to coax me out to relax in a rocking chair and enjoy the lightning, just being a witness to an uncontrollable powerful earthly storm.))

I, for one, love the beach.  I think a few more days of exposure, of slow walks towards the water nestled into the crook of our necks and Lane will love it too.


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