I’ve ended up in tears the last three days of our vacation. If you just looked at our life from the outside this would be counterintuitive. We are staying at the house of some friends of my parents in the middle of the Colorado mountains.
We eat fresh salmon and slather homemade peach almond jam on our British oat crackers for snack. We go hiking every day. Our hosts even have a box of toys for Nico. And the vistas look like this:
Plus we get to take Nico out in the swank pack Marta’s brother and sister-in-law gave us (thanks Blanca and Luis) and dress her in funny-looking glasses:
But Nico’s also got a cold, she has like three molars or incisors coming in and she’s got this awful diaper rash that just won’t quit. So she wakes up most mornings whiny and sleep deprived. I take her to the kitchen and try to feed her but nothing seems to satisfy her and then when I am trying to entertain her and make her steel cut oats and make my coffee her oats end up boiling over on the nice clean stove of our hosts and my coffee goes cold and she cries so loud I am sure she’s just woken up everyone in the house.
This morning after that happened and after I had already cried from frustration and lack of sleep once my dad said: “I think when you guys were kids we just put you in a room by yourself and let you play.”
“I’m sure that’s not what happened,” I snapped back. “And you saying that doesn’t help. This is stressful. You don’t remember how hard it is!”
And then I grabbed Nico and some of her toys and went downstairs to cry. To my dad’s credit he followed me later on and said, “I wasn’t trying to be critical. I just wanted to let you know it’s ok if she cries.”
And if course I started crying again.
This, I am learning, is just part of a vacation with a small child. There is no sleeping in. There is no sitting around and reading all day. There is no hiking without carrying an additional 23 lbs on your back.
But there is this:
Introducing said cry-inducing child to an ice cold stream for the first time. And watching her literally squeal with glee. Which is a different sort of “vacation.” Not necessarily the most relaxing kind, but also not always awful and cry-inducing. Clearly the moral to all this is that Marta and I need to get rich soon. And then hire an au pair.