Holiday among baboons
Every good parent wants what’s best for their child, don’t they? When the child’s crying, we comfort them. When they’re upset, we listen. When they don’t understand something, we explain. If they want something, we, within the bounds of possibility, grant it. And this can go on forever. We love our children and we would do anything for them.
We decided to go on a family vacation. It seemed to be a marvelous idea. As parents, we thought it would benefit us and that we would finally get some well-deserved rest. We chose a hotel that seemed to be built for families. Well, that’s what the reviews claimed at least. After couple days, however, we realized that someone misunderstood what family vacation means. It wasn’t built for families but for children. Hotel, where we wanted to relax, was like some children’s jungle full of surprises. At first, we were happy. We thought we were gonna enjoy it. That thought however quickly disappeared into the rearing chaos of wild monkeys. When you thought you would finally get to have a swim… No chance. Wild monkeys were jumping all over. Not just into the water, but on the deckchairs, on the table tops… My search for someone responsible for these rabid creatures was also in vain. My reprimands? Meaningless. They were throwing their toys in the water, so you were basically swimming the slalom, which may not be a big deal, unless you were also trying to avoid squirting water guns that were aiming at anything and everything that was trying to swim around them. And if you were lucky enough to swim around them, they would just follow you anyway. And just when you thought you’d give up and lie down for a while, it didn’t matter. How could you rest when you had to be alert so at least your child was safe in this wilderness? Wild monkeys were stealing toys from each other which led to never-ending fights. Absolute wilderness! You thought you were going mad. The merry-go-round with little ponies was adorable and I was excited to go on it. However, both the ponies and the poles were full of English wild monkeys whose aim it was to probably completely destroy them. Maybe they confused them with Trojan horses, who knows.
On the playground they were not sliding down the slide, they were climbing it up. You almost wanted to try it yourself! But who would be the responsible one then? Don’t take me wrong, the activities that they prepared for children was incredible and the animators should certainly receive an award for their patience.
The buffet restaurant kept changing into school canteen where you had to be constantly careful not to trip over dropped food. Of course you could try and take turns in looking after your monkey but do you think it would be worth all „please don’t leave me alone“ looks? Take a deep breath and try to take part in the program where you hope you monkey will burn all their energy and they will finally get tired. Unfortunately, it looks like this actually boosts their adrenalin and fuels their batteries.
Your relationship? In ruins. The only thing you want is a little bit of peace and quiet. A single moment when nobody wants anything from you. But then you think: “What wouldn’t I do for my little monkey?” and ask them: “So what, honey? You like it here?” expecting to get at least some kind of positive reply or “thank you.” Well, we should have raised them better. What’s even worse, “A little bit,” they say. What powerlessness. You’re wasting your effort, your energy, money, not to mention your relationship.
Then you can also try another way. Choose a different hotel that is not built for wild monkeys but for you. Nobody’s jumping on your head and you have everything you need at your disposal. In my case – a little bit of peace and quiet, a swimming pool to actually swim in, even a chance to play tennis or volley ball with your partner and some time to make love. As an added bonus I even managed to write a couple pages of my book because nobody’s screaming right in my ear. And the little monkey? Happy as ever. She wins everywhere. We don’t have to stress about her getting lost somewhere in the pool of wild monkeys. So what? If you’re happy in the wild monkey hotel, you have my respect, but the child is most content when they see content parents.