HHere’s a good tip for knowing you’re the first person to bring a child to the hotel you just checked in: if the general manager sees your baby and asks, “He’s not crying, is he?” ” I know because in August I brought the first child to stay at the newly opened and ultra-hip Life House hotel on Nantucket and these exact words were spoken to me.
Now I’m well enough trained in the travel category to take my kids to places I shouldn’t. And yet the home manager’s response – as they are called at Life House – got me thinking: Just may be this time, I had taken my schlep-my-children-everywhere-I-go philosophy a little too far. The combination of the vertiginous stairs, the exquisite collection of crystal glassware and a clientele where no one was looking over the age of 28 made me momentarily nostalgic for one of those kid-friendly hotels where you can order sticks. of chicken anytime. the day.
The rest of my family was not so shaken up. My two and a half year old daughter thought the stairs were the nicest. She relished the many opportunities to rise to the challenge. During this time, I wasted a few years of my life witnessing this learning experience. Have we had a few dirty looks from other customers? Of course. But did we have a good time? Absolutely.
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What I realized after three days of staying at this incredibly trendy, pint-sized, leopard-carpeted hotel was how nice it was to bring my kids to an adult turf, especially after months of quarantine with the little blessed. These days my kids come everywhere, partly out of necessity and partly because I want to.
A few weeks ago, I took my kids to the 5 pm drive-in “A Bronx Tale” at the Juicy Lucy BBQ in Staten Island. When we pulled into the parking lot the attendant said, “You know we have Disney movies, don’t you?” I knew it. But I was there to find a story on a short notice. Fortunately, my son is too young to understand the swear words in the movie, and my daughter was too fascinated by a huge ice cream sundae to notice the violence of the Mafia. (Anyway, I made deposits into their “therapy funds.”) Although there were no other young children present, both children seemed at home in the middle of a big amount of fried food and sugar.
Keep in mind that other societies and cultures do not have such a distinction between friends of children and friends of adults. It is a very American construction. Sara Zeske, author of Achtung Baby: An American Mum on the German Art of Raising Independent Children, told me that when she lived in Berlin, she took her young children – including her three-year-old daughter – to beer gardens. “In Berlin they have a small area for toddlers with sand. Americans would be horrified. But they had slushies and alcohol-free balloons for the kids. German society, especially Berlin, makes everyday life more adaptable for children, ”Zeske said.
In May of last year, I took my 16 month old daughter to Greece for six days. If you’re wondering what’s more intense than a transatlantic flight with a toddler who doesn’t have a seat of their own, try two transatlantic flights, including a connecting stopover. I used the word “fun” when I first came up with the idea of coming to my mom. Some might say it was a wrong or misleading term, but it was one of the best weeks of my life. Do I remember my daughter did not sleep for 12 hours on her way back from Frankfurt? Yes. But the snapshot of the trip in my mind – the one that makes me want to start all over again but this time with her younger brother – is how much fun she had splashing in the Mediterranean, eating copious amounts of olives. and have a unique bonding experience with his mother and grandmother.
I might as well regale you with stories of temper tantrums, tantrums, and bodily fluids. I can already hear my friend Natasha say to me, “See, that’s why you shouldn’t take your kids to these places.” In the “parents, don’t try this if your sanity” category was the December family trip to Wyoming with my brother and sister-in-law and their two children. Suffice it to say we went through a 14 hour travel day, including five hours of driving on icy roads, with three children under five while I was six months pregnant. The most common responses were: “Why would you do this?” and “Are you crazy?”
“Yes” to the latter. For the first, because it’s the only way to get to Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. In a classic case of taking your kids to places you shouldn’t, we had dinner one night with two toddlers and a four-year-old at the Cheyenne Club, an upscale dining establishment with skin rugs. mutton, a prix fixe menu and nothing else kids in sight. Naturally, there was no kids’ menu, so my daughter ate an entire dinner of ketchup packets. My niece got altitude sickness from the volcanic variety. Would we do it again? I do not know. Did everyone survive and are we now laughing over and over again? Yes.
Fundamentally, these experiences aim to bridge the gap between life in the country of children and the world of adults. I firmly believe that the world of adults is more interesting – and not just for adults. This is where kids can try new foods, new experiences, and broaden their horizons. It is also the universe that they will end up inhabiting. That’s not to say that children shouldn’t have their own eye sockets free from the restrictions and expectations of adults. But learning to exist in both is good for everyone.
I asked Zeske why she had taken her kids everywhere, including taking her nine and twelve year old daughter to the Berlin Symphony, which she admitted was a bit premature. “You want your kids to explore and have a sense of adventure. If you never push their limits, they won’t understand this. (She draws the line, however, by taking them to nightclubs.)
The deeper psychology that prevents many parents from taking their children to where they “shouldn’t” have more to do with fear of what others will think of our parenting, Zeske says. She is absolutely right. I have certainly hesitated thinking about what others say about me in restaurants, on planes and in hotels. I still remember the titanic collapse my daughter had a cafe in Vienna – it was so epic I can still remember it 18 months later and I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole city told us all. two persona non grata. Look, I understand that some adults don’t want children, especially those with temper tantrums, in their space. And these types of incidents can be particularly irritating for people who have chosen not to have children. It may be little consolation, but I’m sure the Vienna coffee debacle helped affirm many people’s lifelong decision not to have children. Then you are welcome.
But as Zeske points out, “children have a right to exist. Everyone was once a child. And we can’t expect them to act like adults. In previous generations, especially in the upper class, there was a philosophy that children should stay at home. My grandmother, who had full-time help, said she never took my dad or aunt anywhere when they were young.
Still, she flipped the script with her grandchildren. When I was twelve, my grandparents took me to visit their friends in Zurich. One evening, the friends organized an adults-only dinner. I was incredulous and irritated because, of course, I considered myself mature enough to attend. Twenty-five years later, I still remember staring out the window watching the adults socializing wishing I could be there.
Maybe this lasting memory is what motivates me to bring the adult world to my children, and vice versa. Or maybe life is just too short to skip a juicy travel opportunity just because there are little people in tow. Regardless, in this day and age of treasured rare in-person experiences and fun-seeking outside the home, my list of no-go places for already small children is rapidly dwindling.
#kids #dont #belong #favorite