Okay so now that the dust has settled and we're firmly on our way to going full-on 'native' (ie. we're all filthy, grubby, sandy pretty much all the time and think nothing of letting our child drink out of a dirty sippie cup and the other drink his body weight in mango juice all day every day....) it's time for some reflection. First of all we LOVE it here. For whatever reason this place fits our shambolic selves, and it's such a relief to see that the boys feel the same way too and are happy as anything playing about in the surf, making friends with the locals (Egg has already told one waiter that he is going to purchase him a ticket back to London and that he can stay in our guestroom) and trying all sorts of spicy new foods.
For the most part it's going brilliantly, but it has to be said that ol' Dumpity-Dump-Dumps is proving slightly challenging this time around (this is Egg's third trip to India and Dumpie's second you see...). Dumpy has discovered (and fair play to him for learning the not so subtle art of manipulation at only 2 years of age) that a mere shriek in public will elicit pretty much any behaviour from his red-faced parents when and if he deems us not moving quickly enough to do his bidding. For instance, Dumpie has recently taken a liking to money. I stupidly gave him a 20 rupee note the other day to purchase some mango juice from the corner store. Of course having made the connection between 'money' and 'treats' it was only a matter of time before he began the single minded pursuit of emptying our wallets in order to shop at the goodie-laden corner store. He now screams 'Moneeeeeeey!!' incessantly at Jay and I and will grab as much as he can from our bags or pockets, hoarding them in his fat little fists and refuseing to relinquish any of it...even if an impatient waitor is standing obediently by waiting to be paid. With the sand so fine and deep - even in the beach shacks, once a coin drops that's it - it's a goner. I shudder to think how much money we've already lost thus far. Moreover, even when he has extracted every last bill from Jay and I he'll still carry on screaming for 'Moneeeeeeey!!' at the top of his lungs, and I can't even fathom what native Indian onlookers must think of such capitalistic tendencies in our spoiled little munchkin.
Today we went to a lovely chilled beach called 'Agonda' and I looked down at one point to discover my bag was missing. Before freaking out I noticed that my baby was also missing, and turning my head wildly around I glimpsed Dumpie several yards away removing the items from my bag in search of more 'money'. It is worth noting that he had removed several hundreds from my bag and Jay lept up and saved most if not all of the bills before they could be carried away forever more into the hands of curious sunbathers further along down the beach.
Tonight at dinner it wasn't enough that he scoffed all of Egg's chips - he also nicked most of my chapati and tore it into pieces and formed something resembling a small hard baseball out of it. He then decided to stuff the entire hard clump into his tiny mouth all in one go (gagging several times in the process) much to the amusement of the next table of Argentinians beside us, who couldn't contain their amusement at our ridiculous clown of a child. His cheeks were puffed out like a blowfish and made him look so hilarious that I burst out laughing and so did he - resulting in a projectile spray of wet soggy bread which once airborne, managed to travel a fair distance a few tables over.
No sooner had we calmed things down when Dumps stood up and announced to all and sundry, whilst patting his ample behind, "Poo Poo!" I tried to quietly acknowledge it and whispered that we'd change him when we got back to our room, but he was having none of it, and paraded his nappy about for the next five minutes gleefully patting his own behind and announcing his sorry state to anyone who was interested (which by this point was most diners assembled). Forget the candles, soft music and chilled ambiance...anyone who was expecting a nice romantic dinner was not going to find it in our restaurant tonight and I swear that I felt the whole place breathe a sigh of relief as our motley crew stumbled off into the night, finally leaving everyone in peace, and off to find another atmosphere to pollute.
For his part Egg is being pretty good...as long as he gets to kick his beloved football around the beach, is granted a constant supply of mango juice and the odd ice-cream, and allowed to play his new Nintendo DS Lite 24/7. Next to Dumpie he's positively easy as pie and the only time he really acts up is at night when he jumps into his mosquito-net covered bed, petrified to come out unless he gets bitten. He needn't worry. I have taken one 'for the team' and am covered in mosquito bites but no one else seems to have them. Not sure why. Most days I can be spotted stumbling down the beach labored down by manifold beach bags in one arm and a chubby Dumps in the other. For whatever reason, this holiday Dumpie has decided that he would prefer to be carried down the beach the millions of times we traverse it daily, instead of walking it like a normal child. Moreover he's chosen me as his favoured method of transport and will scream 'NO!" at Dada most of the time, leaving me to painstakingly lug his 20 odd pounds around. A few nights ago at dinner (why are the worst scenes always at dinner?!) he was giddy with tiredness and decided that it would be funny to stick his hand down my bikini top and fiddle about with my bits, in an obvious fashion, in front of the entire restaurant. I tried to ignore it but he was so lewd in his behaviour that I suspected people might think it perverted if i didn't respond. So i did. And of course that spurred him on to more of the same followed by hysterical giggles. He then proceeded to sloppily french kiss me for long drawn out kisses, my face between his little palms, making loud satisfying moans whilst he did so. I was so mortified that I started laughing uncontrollably (as did Jay I might add) and yet again, with very little effort, we managed to be the spectacle of the night.
So as you see, we're pretty well known in this sleepy little beach town, despite having only been here for 6 days. It's gotten so that we've pretty much worn out our welcome at most of the beach shacks and therefore have decided to give the locals some temporary respite and move a few beaches down for a little while. This will give residents and holidaymakers alike, some much deserved time to chill out, and allow a whole other beach community to enjoy and experience the "Power of Dumps"....It's only fair.
As I sign off, allow me to say that this is a great holiday so far, but it's certainly not the chilled out, relaxing vibe we had hoped for. As a treat this morning I allowed Jay to get up and leave our room early for some quiet time on the beach and to do some writing. Holding off as long as I could (which entailed feeding the boys Jaffa Cakes and allowing them to run riot around the guesthouse compound), by the time we reached Jay I was utterly knackered, fed up and stressed. Jay on the other hand was blissful and serene, gathering his chocolate-mouthed offspring into relaxed arms and shooting me a questioning look as if to say, "What's your problem? Can't you even take care of your children for a few hours without losing it?"
I think we've put off our trip to the chemist long enough. Tomorrow we might have to get our taxi driver to make a detour to one of those white buildings with the green cross on the side, and avail ourselves of some legal valium...truckloads of it.