Parenthood

My husband and I decided to have a “staycation” this year and just relax at home. It was quite enjoyable until we realized that the household tasks consumed  our energy for more hours than expected.  So on Thursday we decided to go on a mini weekend vacation. We left Friday and are currently staying at the Tradewinds Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida. We are very grateful to be here.  I feel immediately at ease next to mother earth’s vast ocean, cool breeze and sandy shore.

This trip was decidedly about relaxation and family.  My husband’s family (well, most of them) live in this amazing city.  We had a belated and much-anticipated gathering.  We enjoy quality time with the Rios family.  Meanwhile, we dined at Japanese and Thai restaurants.  Last night we went to this great Japanese restaurant across the street for which I cannot recall name of right now.  I ordered Vegetable Tempura and we had egg/ veggie rice for Olivia (our 16 month old daughter).

Okay so here is how the night unfolded.  It began with giggles and I took out all the tricks.  My mom reminded me to bring Olivia’s toys in order to preoccupy her at meal time.  So I brought a few items.  The items captured her attention for under five minutes. Pretty soon, Liv was twisting around in her high chair, joyfully looking for the passerby.  She is oblivious to “stranger danger.”  Liv is highly social and began screaming “ME, ME, ME, ME….” and “MA MA MA MA” to everything (especially to every food dish) in view.  Art and I gave each other the all-knowing glance of “Hey, should we get out of here?”  But we continued to pull out the tricks.  Art grabbed napkins and played peek a boo.  I resorted to a pair of chopsticks, clanking them against the table.  Again that lasted five minutes, if that.  Liv began tossing her rice everywhere, as I tried feverishly to clean up after her.  One lady gave me a disapproving look, which I just brushed off.  Suddenly my husband whispered with urgency, “Here honey, take her.” To that sentiment, I said “Why?”  He said with a half laugh and half frown ” I have a wet spot on my pants.” I grabbed our sweet baby girl across the table.  Sure enough, she had a poo diaper.  I rushed her off towards the restroom.  On my way, I managed to ask a staff member “Do you have a changing table?” She said yes with confidence.  As I entered the restroom I looked for a table.  There stood a narrow wooden table with a flower vase.  It wobbled but was good enough.  When you are a parent, you become resourceful.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Liv does not like her diaper changed. It takes great planning and deliberate distraction to keep her still enough.  After changing Olivia, I peered down and sure enough, there was a circle of god knows what on my pants as well.  I began laughing uncontrollably.  My way of coping. I figured it was better than losing it and sobbing.  I laughed all the way back to the table and yelled “MISTLETOE!”  It is Art and I’s cue word, for let’s get the **** out of here.  On the way out of restaurant, I declared to Art ” I am never going out to dinner again as the three of us. We are hiring a babysitter!”   That didn’t last.  Lets just say tonight’s dinner went better.  It was all the same antics except we were more prepared.

What did we learn?  You can never bring enough toys for distraction.  Always face baby towards the crowd, the staff, anyone she can watch while eating.  Most importantly it was a lesson in acceptance.  It is easier to accept a situation and laugh then to not accept it and feel defeated.

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