So, I know we were all waiting (im)patiently for the bullshit 365 calendar days that was 2016 to end. But, WOW. 2017 is here and it is off to an extremely interesting start.
Those of you who have been following along with #therebelmamagoestomexico on Instagram know that I am currently out of the country, on a 3-week-long frigid-temperature escape to sunny Mexico.
Honestly, this trip was off to a rocky start from the get-go…
On December 31, the day we were set to embark upon our journey toward the Yucatan Jungle (where my parents have had a winter home since I was 14), I awoke at 7am (part of a master plan to augment the sleep schedule of my 8-month-old in an attempt to avoid a mid-air meltdown) to a text message from my mom:
Anyone with young kids knows that travel bookings are influenced 33.3% by nap time, 33.3% by bed time and 33.3% by feeding time. A 9pm flight is the stuff parental nightmares are made of.
Get on the phone with WestJet. Nice lady on the phone gets us on the 9am flight the next day.
We lose a night.
I don’t get to ring in the new year with my sister who just moved to LA and who we were looking forward to a NYE reunion with. We no longer get to see our friend, Nicole, whose travel plans overlapped with ours for just one day. We were no longer travelling with my mom (we took the LAST 3 seats on the Jan 1 flight, so she was taking the 10pm red-eye – BRUTAL). We were now spending NYE in Toronto with a Pizza Nova pizza and a bottle of red wine… but whatever.
Means to an end.
Honestly, once the decision was made, it was pretty easy to come to terms with. After all, we were going away for long enough that losing 12 hours wasn’t the end of the world, plus what’s one more day to go over the packing checklist 87 more times? No Virgo could REALLY complain about that.
But then, that night, when we were putting my eldest to bed, he was hot… really hot… fever hot.
An early wake-up call with a sick toddler AND a baby (both of whom prefer to sleep ‘till 8) for a 4hr flight followed by a 1.5hour drive. Wow! Sounds like fun, right?
Well, it turns out the travel day was the least of our problems. Aside from Anthony forgetting his carry-on bag on the kitchen table (thank God his dad has a key to our house and was able to get it to us before we had finished checking our luggage!), and a passenger on our plane having an anxiety attack during our push-back from the gate, requiring us to re-bridge so he could exit the aircraft (no joke), the flight couldn’t have gone better.
We touched down in Mexico 5min ahead of schedule, hopped into our transportation and zipped out to the jungle.
We arrived relieved, and happy to be back in paradise with the family. Beau showed no signs of feeling under the weather anymore, both the kids’ eczema had already cleared up in the humidity and our eldest kicked off our arrival by opting to pee in the toilet rather than in his diaper – quite the revelation for him.
Our first day was actually completely idyllic (other than the debacle Anthony had to go through at the rental car place since we weren’t there to pick up the car when we said we would be – ie. the day before when we were SUPPOSED TO arrive).
And then came 4am, when our littlest woke up screaming. It was his turn to come down with a fever… except he was hotter than I’ve ever felt either of my kids and he was not calming down for anything or anyone.
We were able to get it under control before sunrise, but good Lord, the guy was miserable.
We noticed one of his top front teeth was cutting the gum and assumed this was the culprit for the drastic rise in temperature, but since he had other fun symptoms in conjunction with the fever (like, puking, for example – HEY ARE WE HAVING FUN YET??) we decided to take him to see a doctor – a friend of my “adopted brother” here in Mexico (that’s a whole other post, though!).
The doc wasn’t too worried and he sent us home with some homeopathic medicine, a number to call if anything worsened, and orders to keep Rocco cool, comfortable and relaxed.
(Translation: baby-wearing while swaying back and forth, humming “Twinkle Twinkle” under a ceiling fan for 3 days.)
Everyone was going to the beach, going into town, going for dinner in Tulum, but little dude was in no shape to go anywhere and so I hung back with him.
5 days into our trip (ZERO TAN), after having barely been able to actually hang out with them, my sister and her boyfriend flew back to LA.
Hours later, Rocco broke into a rash. Luckily I’d remembered seeing it before with my first: Roseola. The white dove of rashes – harmless and hopeful – the last of a series of not-so-fun symptoms that I knew were finally now coming to an end.
By this point, I should mention that I’m covered head-to-toe in mosquito bites (still am!). If there are any indelible truths about me, they are that (1) I am double jointed in all my fingers and (2) I have what must be the caviar of blood in the eyes of insects. When I say I have bites, we’re talking huge, welted, brutal, insanely itchy bites (2 of which were more than likely at the hands of a local very annoying, very shitty insect called a Tabano). Unfortunately, these are now to be expected for me after 29 years of suffering the same fate, but JESUS CHRIST IT IS THE WORST.
Needless to say, the term “vacation”, when used to describe the first days of this trip, is now seeped in irony and it actually just cracks me up.
Is there really such a thing as a vacation when you travel with kids? I’m not so convinced that there is. You’re basically just doing the same shit in a different climate (don’t get me wrong, I’d rather do the same shit here in paradise than in Toronto in January ANY DAY)…
But guess what? Yesterday was a good day. We finally got to the beach and I marched myself straight into the warm, shallow, perfect sea and I reminded myself that the cure for anything in life is salt water: tears, sweat, or the ocean; honestly, the saying has never held quite so much weight.
Today was an even better day than yesterday.
Rocco’s rash has disappeared, Beau has officially gone an entire week without going to the bathroom anywhere but in an actual toilet (this beats the old record of 12hrs by a long shot), everyone has slept like champs, and we even managed to go for dinner and ice cream, see some dolphins, run into old friends, and squeeze in some leisure time to read and write…
Dare I say that I’m starting to believe that we have finally shaken the dark cloud that’s hovered over the first week of this year.
Good riddance January 1-7, 2017. Sayonara Mercury Retrograde, you son-of-a-bitch. Goodbye fevers and puke and night wakings and doctors. Goodbye strange happenings and cancelled plans. So long mosquitoes (What? A sweet-blooded girl can dream!).
Bring on the sun and the laughs and the toddler running around in boxer briefs like such a big boy. Keep the ocean dips coming and the reunions with friends going strong.
2017, you’ve given off a bit of a bitchy first impression so far, but I’m willing to give you another chance. Just try to keep your shit together going forward, alright?
DON’T MISS ANY OF THE ACTION!
*****SHOP THE REBEL MAMA*****