Pre children, Hardin and I backpacked the globe, rock climbing. Holiday accommodation – no stars? No problem! My idea of hell would have been any kind of luxury resort jobby. And beaches where people actually pay for loungers and brollies? Bitch, please! I’m not a ‘tourist’, I’m a ‘traveller’. Not only were we not the kind of people that would visit a place like that, we secretly judged the people that did. Funny how having kids changes you! Raising them is relentless and nowadays my idea of a good time is anything restful, easy and fun for the kids because if Arlo isn’t having a good time, nobody is. The beach features heavily in our life here but now we’re actively seeking out beaches with family sized loungers and brollies because:
(a) kids (and parents) need shade from the baking Bali sun,
(b) a sun cream slathered baby at sand level is a bad idea unless you’re a fan of donuts, and
(c) mummy and daddy aren’t getting any younger and a comfy sun bed is preferable to the ground, even if it is made of sand.
So on Sunday we treated ourselves to a day at the type of luxury beach club resort I used to loathe. Turns out they’re not as bad an idea as I originally thought. Food, cocktails and towels I don’t have to wash? F**k yeh, I’m there! A family friend had recommended the super swanky Karma Kandara in Uluwatu on the south coast of the island so we thought we’d give it a whirl. As it would happen, she’s young and single. She doesn’t have kids. And with the exception of ours, there were no kids there. Unless you count baby faced, Insta-influencers with hungry bum syndrome – you know, when your ass eats your pants. Its an umcomfortable trend that really seems to be catching on but then so is chlamydia and that’s not for me either so I’ll sit this one out thanks.
Access to the beach is via a little hill tram which for a five star operation, looked a bit rickety but Arlo thoroughly enjoyed his ride on the ‘train’. We spilled out of the death train onto the pristine white sand beach with granny in tow, a kid each, baby backpack, a supermarket hemp bag for life overflowing with swimsuits, underwear, towels (yes I know they provide them but the mum part of my brain wouldn’t let me come without them, you know, ‘just in case’), arm bands and baby swim seat. We haul ass up the beach to find the shady beds of which there are many as the child free Insta-influencers and honeymooners are occupying the sunny spots for optimum burning, regularly rotating front to back like rotisserie chickens. We observe the first rule of beach outings, or any outing for that matter – get the kids set up first. Once they’re happy we can relax. So Daddy changes Arlo into his board shorts and takes him for a dip and I set up camp with granny and feed Eia, as discreetly as possible in a bikini. As I do so, I catch an uncomfortable glance from the young guy on the bed diagonally in front of me, who happened to turn around at the precise moment of latching. Sorry to break it to you kid but that’s what they’re really for! Safe to say the sight of my deflated little spaniel ear being shoved into the gaping mouth of my hungry infant has ruined boobs for him forever! There are just some things you can’t unsee eh, pal?
Daddy and Arlo are back from their swim, Eia is fed and changed and in true mum style I’ve hung up all the clothes, out of the way, on the arms of the brolly. Other than the obvious lack of children, our second clue to it not being a PG resort is no kids menu. Thats fine, Arlo eats anything. Including, apparently, sand. I’m still at a loss to explain exactly how this happened right before our eyes except to say, he’s Arlo. It happens. So daddy cleans the sand out of his eyes and mouth as soon as mummy takes a photo (that’s 21st century life eh! If its not on Facebook, it didn’t happen) much to granny’s disapproval. I’m pretty sure that choices of mine such as this have caused me to go down in her estimation over the past two months! Though I made her two beautiful (all be it bat shit crazy) grandchildren so I reckon I’m getting away with it.
With the sand-wich episode behind us, we enjoy lunch, a little tipple – not too much because we’re responsible parents. Obviously. We’re playing in the water with the kids, looking for pretty shells and hermit crabs, taking turns for a lie down and generally having a gay old time, smugly soaking up the stolen glances from honeymooning couples who are watching us play with our beautiful golden children and maybe thinking ‘awww, they’re soooo cute. I can’t wait until that’s us‘. But the thing with kids is, they like to keep you on your toes and just when you think the days drama is behind you, BAM! Arlo takes a crap on the sand right next to Camp Pardede. But he’s not even two yet so not only is he completely unaware of the ‘you don’t crap where you eat‘ rule, he doesn’t care, so its only when Daddy almost steps in it while playing sand castles that we realise what’s happened. Its fallen out of his board shorts (because why would you waste a good swimming nappy on the beach?), down his leg and mixed with the sand he’s playing in. Despite our best efforts at discretion, the world is alerted to this shit storm when Arlo begins shouting ‘doo doo, doo doo’ repeatedly. And even if they call it something else, our reaction and actions make it clear what we’re dealing with. Hardin whisks Arlo down to the beach past numerous, now horrified honeymooners (not so cute now eh?) and Insta-influencers and I clean up the doo doo. Hash tag mum life.
The sand-wich episode and ‘poo gate’ aside, it was another amazing day in our new homeland. We’ve made more incredible memories and life lessons. Like swim nappies should always be employed in swanky beach resorts and there’s nothing quite like the sight of a lactating mummy, hungry infant and poo covered father and son to make newlywed honeymooners cross their legs. Forget condoms. Somedays, kids are the best form of contraception.