Its been so great to settle in to our new place knowing that we’ll be here for 5 months. We’re a 10 minute walk to Kabalana Beach, and 5 minutes in a tuk tuk to Ahangama, the nearest town. Our villa has 5 bedrooms and a pool and even comes with a groundsman who looks after the garden and does the cleaning and washing up!
Being able to unpack the bags properly and hang my clothes up in a wardrobe felt good! Cooking our own food and being able to relax and swim in the pool each day has been a welcomed change from the constant travel. But this is Sri Lanka so there’s always things happening that keeps us on our toes…
There are around 20 monkeys who who hang out in the trees next to our place and eye up our bananas through the window, they get pretty close sometimes and even try their luck if we leave a window open, but we soon learnt to close windows and doors. However, I was putting Rocky down for his nap one day and Ian had also gone for a lie down, when I heard a crash of crockery coming from the kitchen, I came out to see what had happened and there was a monkey in the kitchen, leaping and springing all over the place in a panic! After a while it managed to climb up a wire which was going from the TV and up and out of a gap between the roof and a window, and off it went leaving a path of broken glass, half eaten bananas and avocados behind it. Needless to say we’ve had the gap filled in now.
One day we decided to go for a walk after Rockys nap. We’d been told there was a temple inland from our place around a 10 minute walk so we thought we’d check it out. I put on a long skirt for the walk as I know that when visiting a temple you must be covered below the knee. So off we went, stopping at the various little shops which people have outside their houses and seeing what delights they had, spotting monkeys in trees, and passing cows and their calfs wondering on the road. And then there’s the dogs. Im ok with dogs normally, but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to pat any of them here as they are mostly street dogs, covered in ticks and goodness knows what else. And even though I don’t want Rocky to be scared of dogs I certainly wouldn’t let him anywhere near them here, just in case. So anyway, we walked along, and just as we were starting to think that we’d walked too far and missed the turning for the temple, 3 dogs came out of a driveway, one of them growling, and the other 2 looking like they were protecting their territory. Rocky was on Ians shoulders and we moved past them without them following us and came to a cross roads. We soon realised we’d gone to far and needed to turn back. The 3 dogs were still taking ownership of the road and we walked past them again, however, one of them came towards me a sunk its teeth into my leg, it happened so quickly and felt like a sharp jab into my calf followed by the dog pulling on my skirt. I think the skirt had spooked it as we had walked past. Anyway, the pain kicked in and the blood started pouring down my leg, a family from a house nearby had gathered and a women invited me into her home to wash it down. She tied a scarf around it and we piled into her husbands tuk tuk and set off to the doctors. We stopped at home to pick up some snacks for Rocky as we had nothing with us and we had no idea how long we’d be waiting at the doctors. Ian grabbed water and painkillers for me too, the pain was bad now. I waited around 30 minutes to see the doctor and once there the tuk tuk driver followed me in and handed the doctor a card, it turns out the dog was owned by his neighbour and he had handed the doctor its vaccination card. The dogs vaccines were up to date and so rabies was ruled out, phew! Im pretty weary of the dogs on the streets and the beach now and i’m so thankful it happened to me and not Rocky.
Rocky has a lovely new room of his own now for the next 5 months with a big queen bed in it, but he was still in his travel cot so it seemed like a good time to get him into a bed. Not the first toddler bed we had imagined, but we’re rolling with it. We put the bed in the corner of the room and pillows at either side and his cot mattress on the floor incase he rolled out. He seemed pretty happy with his new bed so a few nights later we thought maybe it was time to get rid of the dummy too.
I was the one at the start who said ‘our baby’s not having a dummy’, but for one reason and another we gave him one at about 3 months, not always for his benefit but for the benefit of calming us as parents too! I’ll be honest, before I had a kid of my own I was a bit judgmental of parents who gave their kids dummy’s, but as with a lot of parenting styles I soon learnt not to judge anything a parent does. Anything. Since being a parent myself I feel like I’m being judged all the time and so if Rocky had the dummy in his mouth in his pram I’d always feel like I had to justify it to everyone who stopped and saw him with it. ‘Oh it’s been one of those days’ I’d say, or ‘he only has it for sleep’, and then I’d try and convince myself that I didn’t care what people thought when really I did. So as the months went on it became habit. Habit for us as much as him. But he didn’t have it for his naps at nursery so I knew he was capable of settling himself without it. Well, I think he had become more attached than we thought. The little boy who would go straight to sleep without a problem has turned into a screaming, crying child who gets out of bed and bangs on the door and wont go to sleep unless we are there with him! What have we done??!! Im now thinking we should have got rid of the dummy while he was still in his cot before moving him to a bed but we can’t turn back now. The dummy had gone to the dummy fairy in a box we all decorated and sent off down the road where we left it for the postman. I’ve no idea whether this was creative enough and Rocky didn’t seemed to pleased with the idea from the start so I’m not sure this did us any favours. We’re nearly a week in and the crying and screaming and getting out of bed hasn’t stopped yet, once he’s asleep he sleeps through the night no problem though so thats good. Bedtime has never been an issue and I don’t want it to become an issue now. We’re now trying the technique where I have sat next to him till he goes to sleep, then the next night sat on a chair next to his bed, and I’ll slowly move the chair further away each night until i’m out of the room. Its either that or we leave him crying till he realises this is how it is now. Any advice is very welcome!!! I’ll keep you posted, lets hope my next blog is about how he’s a perfect sleeper again…