In which Dad dozes and the ladies live it large
Breakfast on a rainy morning: still warm enough for neither of them to be wearing shirts.
(from a draft written 25.02.12)
Having arrived in New Zealand last Thursday, it’s taken this until today for the sun to really shine and for Mountain Dad to finally muster the gumption to tackle a full day of activity.
“I think you’ll be proud of me, Camille,” he declares as he rolls out of the campervan and onto a blanket on the grass, “I do believe I’m relaxing.”
“How about a walk on the beach?” I inquire, wrestling a grizzling Little Laide into the pram for her afternoon walk/nap.
His answer is muffled beneath the straw hat that rises and falls with the beginning of soft snores. My nanny is taking another break.
As he astutely noted, we are relaxing and feeling on holiday. Though Mountain Dad does frequently ask what exactly it is that one does on holiday? The business side of hiring a campervan is taken care of (for a few reasons we abandoned the buying idea), now we need to focus on the relaxing side of the trip. Mountain Dad struggles a little with this concept.
He has however, mastered the Dozing Dad role with a mastery that belies the workaholic we know him to be.
On our first night here in Piha, as he pre-warmed the bed for Little Laide and I, said Ladies struggled their weary way through a shower in the drafty campground ablutions block. It’s not a grimy block by any means, but I was still reluctant to sit my wee precious babe on the floor. Nor did I want to sit Little Miss Busy on the shower cubicle bench as I knew it would not be long before she hit the floor. So it was with determination and a touch of contortioning that I undressed myself and the babe while clutching her to my hip. It was with dismay and a touch of resignation that I realised she had a Nasty Nappy for me. I managed to remove the soiled napkin while holding her with one arm and keeping us both free of the mess with the other. Balancing her carefully in my arms, I turned the shower on at the exact same moment that we were plunged into darkness. It seems the lights in our ablutions block are timed.
Naked and with a poo-bummed naked baby clutched awkwardly to my belly, I felt my out of our stall to fumble blindly for the switch.
Mountain Dad barely woke up enough to hear the tale.
The following day, after a restless night filled with mozzies, fireworks, a crying babe and for some reason a siren (think air-raid), I figured that budget-be-blowed, I was going for a latte. Piha Cafe is super funky with huge sliding glass walls that open out onto a view of the beach and sea. It’s also right across the road from our campground. With Dozing Dad out for the count, I figured I could walk Little Laide to sleep in the pram and then slip into the cafe for an indulgent latte and a bit of peace. The walk turned out to take a while (she seems to know when I really want her to sleep) but finally my wee darling joined her dear Dad in the land of the Sandman. Feeling like I had truly earned my treat, I parked Little Laide by a table, ordered my coffee, a muffin and melted when the waitress, who can only be described as an angel, quickly summed up my situation.
“Go and sit down and I’ll bring your coffee to you,” she smiled, “Just under the counter are some magazines, there’s a new one with Merryl Streep in the cover,” she offered, rifling through the stack. “Hmmm, can’t find it. Why don’t you just grab one and when I find that new one I’ll bring it for you as well. You have to make the most of it when they’re asleep.”
Feeling warm with the knowledge that my waitress is an empathetic ally, I clutch the pulp to my chest.
Oh trashy magazines, my closet love. I will relish you and my latte and this sun and the serenity.
And of course, dear reader, you know the Little One woke up too soon and the coffee got sloshed and the muffin got smooshed and we had to leave all too soon. On our return, Dozing Dad had just begun his move from campervan to blanket and looked so relaxed that I couldn’t disturb him.
It all comes out in the wash, I know. It’s just less funny to write about the times that Mountain Dad walks Little Laide in the early morning so I can sleep in.
And that is where I’ll leave you. The three of us relaxed and cosy in our campervan in NZ; we’re sleeping better, seeing lots and on an unrestricted latte diet.
Bath time campervan style.
Heading off to the camp kitchen to cook dinner. Little Laide is 'helping.'