Sunday, 2 May 2010

May Day In Madrid By Kate

As a new parent, going out for a jaunt with the baby can be a tentative affair. On the one hand, you desperately want to show off your pride and joy to the (hopefully) admiring public and it's great to escape the confines of home, pleasant though they are. On the other, it can be a tad scary because of the impossibility of predicting how the offspring will respond to the outing. Last week I had to abort one journey to an English playgroup with Rosie when she decided she really wasn't happy and made no bones about expressing her displeasure in the loudest possible terms.

At the time I blamed it on the baby being overheated in the sling, or maybe she didn't like this particular one (different from the usual sling we use) or perhaps it was the type of carry she objected to. It wasn't hunger - a feed (rather uncomfortably executed on the Metro) only temporarily stemmed the flow of her objections and being taken out of the sling was also a fleeting panacea. On reflection I now believe it was simple tiredness. Observations have taught me that Rosie needs a lot of naps and if she hasn't had sufficient, she tends to throw a wobbly. Often she naps in the sling, but recently she's also needed the application of a pacifier to get her properly in the mood for sleep and that was the one piece of baby soothing armory I didn't have with me on that occasion.

This time Theo and I took no chances. Rosie was snoozing in the pram when we decided it was time to go so we left her in it, but packed a sling as well. In fact, Rosie snoozed off and on for the entire journey on a packed bus to the Retiro Park where we had arranged to meet a friend and do some book-crossing. We opted to get off a few stops short of the park when we realised one of the city's main streets was in the throes of a May Day demonstration. We contemplated joining it as a show of solidarity for the Spanish unemployed, then thought better of it. Maybe another day.

When we found our rendezvous in the park, Rosie remained happy in her pram while we laid out the books we were "releasing" into the unknown and perused the other offerings to see if there were any we fancied "capturing". Theo picked up a book of Spanish poetry and a Spanish translation of an HP Lovecraft story. Being less highbrow, I lassoed a crime thriller and an Inspector Morse. Typically, both had been released by my pal Florrie, so I could have just taken them directly from her, but where's the fun in that?!
After the book-crossing excitement, Rosie woke up so I put her in the sling where she seemed content to doze while we wandered around the gorgeous Retiro rose garden, a riot of hot pinks, reds and yellows as the dozens of flower varieties made the most of the Spring sunshine.

After we all (including Rosie) enjoyed an al fresco drink at one of the park's terrace cafes, Theo and I opted to draw the family outing to a close, said our goodbyes to Florrie and wended our way back home again. A simple trip, perhaps, but at this stage of early parenthood, it still feels like a bit of an achievement. Next weekend we're off to WOMAD in Caceres - wish us luck...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulation on your lovely baby. She's gorgeous
    Madrid... what a nice city to live :)
    Good luck
    Evitas (Mumsnet)