Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where is my son and what have you done with him?

Hola! My world is warm and minty at the moment, thanks to my first mojito ever. Swee'pea and Sugar D are sleeping upstairs, after a very long and protracted battle with Swee'pea that sent both Sugar D and I hurtling over our own edges of sanity. It wasn't pretty. But finally, finally Swee'pea is sleeping. We have discovered that we can't take him anywhere if he needs sleep because he becomes this demon child we don't recognize who screeches at the top of his voice and when we tell him not to scream in the restaurant, he just screams louder, with an evil, knowing, maniacal grin. He throws anything he can get his hands on, and luckily so far Sugar D and I have managed to keep the glassware away from him. Not so with the many forks at the buffet restaurant, which Swee'pea hurled to the floor with a glorious, clanging crash.

I have only 20 minutes left to type, and there is so much I want to say. It's a beautiful setting, the resort is great (thanks for the recommendation, Sis!) and what I've seen of the culture is tantalizing. Today we went into town and I saw a middle-aged woman plucking the hairs from her chin on her front porch, right on the main drag. What a great place this is! I come from a place where people remove their hairs behind several closed doors and then try never to talk about even the existence of those hairs.

And the smell... somehow it smells just like South Africa! How can that be? After wracking my brains trying to figure it out - is it the trace of cigarette smoke that never gets stale because everything is so open? Is it the humid sea air? Is it the marble floors or the wood furniture? Then a lightbulb went on earlier today. It's the floor wax! Plus the cigarette smoke and sea air and sunshine and all that. Whatever, it's heavenly, and makes me want to live with this smell forever.

But I'm a little troubled by my frustration. We've only been here for about 30 hours (I think - I don't have a watch and it's impossible to find a clock in this hotel. I think it's a conspiracy), but I feel like I'd rather be here by myself. Sugar D keeps wanting to chill and sleep in the room, and Swee'pea has just discovered the satanic joy of running away from us full tilt. Twice, he's tripped and slammed onto his knees (which was kind of a good thing because we may not have caught him otherwise), and now he points to his knees sadly, "Booboo!" Last night at dinner he told everyone who smiled at him, and that was pretty much everyone who laid eyes on him. They're bewitched, but that's just because they don't have to run after him or try to get him to stop screaming and throwing things.

We've lost all our power over him. At home, if he's being naughty at bedtime, I just threaten him with lying in his room by himself with the door closed, and he settles right down. But here, I can't very well just leave him in the hotel room, though I seriously considered it. I also considered threatening him with sleeping in the bathtub, but I didn't do that either. At restaurants, I can't threaten him with leaving, because I want to eat, dammit.

On top of this, Sugar D's response to powerlessness is to give in and give up, whereas mine is just to try harder, even it means lots of unpleasantness and just doing the same thing over and over again (i.e. yelling). After a while, I feel alone in my efforts, and Sugar D feels just as frustrated but from the outside he just looks calm and unaffected. I am beginning to think that I never want to go on a family vacation again.

But other than that, everything is great. I'm sure things will get wonderful in a moment, and I'll feel silly and ridiculously self-pitying for having written all this, and then I'll blame the mojito.

What's going on in your part of the world?


Defiantmuse said...

mmmm. mojitos. My favorite!

that suuucks about the running away from you thing. Let me know how you deal with that, Monkey's on the verge of achieving said liberation.

hope you enjoy yourself even with the annoyances.

jen said...

babe, i'm just really glad you are writing from cuba. i cannot wait to hear all of it. all of it!

Mimi said...

Weird: here in Canada Munchkin has started the same thing -- running away top speed until she crashes and gets booboos that she spends the rest of the day earning pity from strangers for.

I love your description of the smells: you're absolutely right!

I hope you all get some sleep, and Swee'pea comes back to himself.

Mojitos are pretty good, huh?

kgirl said...

your comment about the chin hairs was very funny. gross, but very funny.

swee'pea will probably calm down once the novelty of a new place wears off - think of how exciting it is for him! surely he doesn't think that the rules apply in this new, fun place.

of course, he'll probably chill out just in time for you to come home and readjust again, but that's another story.

enjoy the sun and the sand!

Mad said...

He will settle down. Things will get better. And there will always be more mojitos.

And then, in a month, you will get a vacation on your own. Sure, you won't be in Havana but Lunenburg is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kyla said...

Oh yes. The challenge of discipline while on vacation. It's a bummer.

Maybe you should leave the laid back Sugar D and the wee grumpus in the hotel for a bit and go shoot some photos and pretend you are there all by your lonesome, at least for a bit.

Aliki2006 said...

I've never had a mojito! Drink plenty of them for me, okay?

Have fun! Settle in!

Janna said...

Oh...that is too bad! I am sure it will get better and you will leave glowing. Family vacations can be challenging - I would imagine especially at that age - we didn't vacation (other than camping trips) with Regan until she was almost 6. I am sure you can Dave can alternate days of being the parent while the other relaxes? Have another mohito! I would say I miss you but that would be silly, but I do miss that you aren't home in case I did want to call and I do miss emails! (not that I can get into email for the past few days - arghh!)
Have fun - you will, trust me!