Have you ever gone away for a family vacation and one of your kids gets sick? Well, apparently, this is somehow your fault and you are being inconsiderate for bringing your kids on your family holiday. Family holidays are strictly for adults. I mean, duh!
The above letter has been doing the rounds on the internet after Dad On The Run posted it. The note from Mr Thanks! was slipped under the door of his sister’s room when she was staying at a hotel in Colorado.
Now I understand, perhaps better than most, how annoying a screaming baby can be. Not only have we put up with the usual teething, fevers, rashes, cuts, scrapes, falls, fights, tantrums, over-tiredness and attention seeking from our kids, we had Master8, who’s skin was so sensitive as a baby he couldn’t stand to be touched by people, clothes, nappies or sheets. Seven kids in and we know about screaming babies in this household.
In fact, I suspect the reason we’ve had a steady stream of new neighbours this last decade is we weren’t the only people in the street our kids are keeping up.
And I’ve been in this situation, with a screaming baby in the adjoining room.
Years ago, we went on a cruise with the older kids and the poor people in the next room were quarantined with chicken pox the very first night. With their baby! As you might imagine, theirs was not a fun holiday.
Did they keep me awake? A little.
Did I blame them? Not for a second.
Did I pity them? If they’d set up a collection, I’d have sent money.
Does the person who wrote the above letter really think they were having a harder time of it than the poor sods in the room with the child? Do they think these people should have known a day or two ahead what sort of a night they were going to have and therefore cancelled?
Any sensible person would surely have called down to reception and requested a different room. 30 minutes later and the problem, for them, would have been solved.
But instead, they sat at the little desk in their room and wrote this very eloquent note. Bless them. And I do understand why they left it anonymously under the door instead of knocking and offering their wisdom face to face.
In fact, I once mistakenly (I know that now) said something very similar to Tracey when she was up nursing one of our teething children.
“I’ve got to go to work in a couple of hours. Can’t you get her to be quiet?” I moaned.
At which point I found myself standing in the lounge room rocking our baby while Tracey lay in our bed almost, but not quite, sleeping.
But I do think there’s a very good point made in this letter. Babies don’t ski! I can’t believe this genius stopped at a letter – he needs to write a book! Babies don’t ski so don’t take babies to a ski resort. There’s a symmetry there. But why stop at ski resorts? Babies also don’t surf, so the Gold Coast and anything coastal is out too. Plus babies don’t bush walk, shop, drive or do anything very exciting really. In fact, all they do is lie there and look cute.
And cry – let’s not forget that.
So clearly Mr Thanks! is absolutely right and we must concede the real solution lies in people being more sensible about who they take on their family holidays. Children, clearly, are unpredictable and might cry, and are therefore out. So unless your baby lets you know a day or two ahead of time whether or not they’re going to cry, obviously the only solution is for you to do what practical, salt of Earth, ever so thoughtful Mr Thanks! did when he had babies and stay home.
Order takeout. It’ll be fun.
Instead, as I’m sure Mr ‘Everyman’ Thanks! would have done, send the nanny to the ski resort. And maybe the butler, the chauffeur, the gardener and the rest of the staff.
Heaven knows, what with all that screaming at home, they could probably do with a good night’s rest.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”