I have been told, that as parents, we have light bulb moments when we realise our babies, our little babies, are not babies any more. I have already had a few of the moments, and I had another one this week.
When we are in the marina our usual daily routine of leaving Medina is for me to get everything organised, ‘neatly’ pack our bags on the side of the boat, then Orbit and I hop in the cockpit, put our shoes and socks on. After putting in the wash boards and locking up, we hop off and Orbit goes straight into his backpack. Next I complete the loading up process by picking up our bags, then its time head off on our adventure for the day.
But this week …
The process was going well, until I put Orbit into his backpack – ‘crack’, the stand in the backpack broke. I looked down to see Orbit sitting in an uncomfortable ‘reclined’ position with a bewildered look on his face.
It is official, my baby, my not so little baby, my 15kg baby, is too big for the backpack. It was another of those light bulb moments – Orbit is not a baby anymore.
That night, the Skipper made a temporary ‘fix’ for the backpack, that came with the instructions of ‘please be careful with it’. We have since re-broken the stand (the very next day), so I’ve decided to leave the backpack in the car for emergency use only. But this means I’ll have to come up with another way of getting us and our usual small mountain of gear off or back on to Medina.
My brain is screaming – let the little bugger walk, he is nearly 2 and a half and he does have common sense – time to start letting go. But I am not sure how I will go with Orbit walking and me carrying our ‘stuff’. The other part of my brain is saying, we ‘need’ to get to the car quickly because we’re usually running late.
My heart is saying – carry him (somehow), protect him from accidents, after all he could fall in the water … I am not ready (note “I am not ready” rather than “Orbit is not ready”) to have him walk along the floating marina without either a. holding my hand or b. in his harness with my hand firmly on the tether. Trying to do this while carrying bags just seems to much.
To put things into a bit of context, it is usually only Orbit and myself making the trek, during the week the Skipper leaves very early to go to work. So its Orbit and myself walking up to 250m from Medina to the car (or return), depending on where we can get a car park. Apart from the distance we have to cover, there are a lot of distractions for Orbit along the way – looking for fish, stopping in to see friends along the way (or sometimes, out of the way), the carpark, throwing stones from the car park into the water below, finding things that people have dropped along the walkways – it can be anything from a screw to a bit of electrical tape – oh and there is the little plastic signs that designate the pen number – he likes ‘reading’ them. So on a good day, when we are out for an afternoon ‘walk to stretch out legs’, (and no bags) it can take us about 30 minutes to cover the 250m distance from Medina to the car. Most days this is just not practical, particularly at the moment with the cold winter mornings.
So, the solution? To pop everything, i.e Orbit and our bags into a marina trolley. He’s been riding in the trolleys for some time now. Over time he has learnt not to try and touch the wheels, not to climb around or off the trolley, to hold on over the bumps – to essentially sit still (most of the time).
This process has worked ok, as long as Orbit is happy to sit in the trolley … otherwise its an interesting process of bribery and corruption!
I’ll also look at rationalising what ‘stuff’ I take with us, a good lesson to put into practice while we prepare for cruising!