We're staying in Tarifa, an ancient town notable for:
- its historic town walls and ancient castle
- the nightly (and loud) Semana Santa processions
- marking the divide between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
- the strong winds (and extensive kite surfing) that result
- the clear views of Africa only 12 miles away
- the large numbers of whales and dolphins that swim nearby (we went with FIRMM)
- the large number of families with babies in pushchairs on its streets
OK, perhaps that last claim is not so well known, but there are definitely a lot of people with pushchairs (and babies) here. Perhaps we came here a year too early.
I have noticed several changes in my reactions to seeing babies in pushchairs:
1. I notice them, rather than just marching past and mentally filing them as "slow pedestrian obstacle." This fact alone may partly explain why there seem to be so many babies here.
2. I notice the make of pushchair and mentally compare it to the one we have ordered
3. I make an effort to notice the mood of the baby. Is it enjoying the ride? Is it oblivious? Is it screaming? And then I wonder how contented our baby will be.
4. If the baby is screaming, instead of getting annoyed with it, I assume there must be a good reason and look to see what the parents are doing wrong.
The last point raises some interesting questions:
1. Who am I to judge what other parents are doing, given my complete lack of parenting knowledge?
2. Does this judgemental attitude mean I am going to become a very competitive parent?
3. I'm blaming the parents for the screaming, so clearly I'm on the side of the baby. How long will it take for that to change once we have our own child? I think the answer will be measured in the number of sleepless nights.
In the meantime, I'm off to subdue my competitive instincts by trying something I will probably be very bad at: kite surfing.