Saturday, February 25, 2012

Busy in Banff

We arrived here in Banff yesterday after what ended up being a bit of an all day adventure travelling from Vancouver to Banff.  Even though we flew from Vancouver to Calgary (just over 1 hour), which was followed by a short drive of just over an hour from Calgary to Banff.  Yet it took us from 9 am until 4:30 pm door to door.  I guess that's the flavour of life with kids.  

No super early flights because it means getting up earlier than you used to go to bed pre-kids.  And you're so sleep deprived that you just can't face that.  Plus it takes twice as long to get checked in for your flight and through security once you have kids.  Can you believe that we showed up two full hours before our flight yesterday and that I was still running, sweat beading on my forehead, just before boarding to get myself a chai latte. Yes... I just couldn't handle the stress of flying with young kids without a chai latte.  And it was well worth running through the airport, a screaming Logan on my hip, to get one.

I seem to be addicted to Starbucks chai lattes ever since we have come out West.  It seems to be the only thing that gets me through the day on some days.  And is a habit I will have to break as soon as we get home, as it's certainly not friendly on the budget.  But this is vacation, so I'm indulging.

The flight went well, though it took us a full two hours after landing to even leave the airport.  Yes, all told, a 1 hour 20 minute flight took us 5 1/2 hours at the airport.  How is that even possible??  It almost seems comical.  Bathroom breaks, diaper changes, lunch while walking to pick up our bags (which they were about to take off of the belt when we got there to pick them up, it had taken us so long to get there...).  

The best part was when I reached the hallway with the "alarm will sound if you stop walking" signs.  Jerome had gone ahead alone to get the luggage while I carried Chloe and nudged a walking Logan along, who was leisurely sipping his smoothie.  How to get a 21 month old not to stop?  Clearly not by telling him to keep walking, as that apparently makes them stop dead in their tracks.  Ended up trudging through the hallway carrying both Chloe and a screaming Logan.

Then once we had the rental car, it took FOR.EVER. getting those stupid car seats into the rental and then even a little bit longer squeezing all the kid-related paraphenalia into the car.  Plus the time spent cleaning up the smoothie Logan poured all over the driver's seat while we were too busy installing car seats to be paying any attention to him.  Man, pre-kids we'd have already been on the ski slopes in Banff by this point.

We then started our hour long drive to Banff, both kids screaming in back, Logan wailing that he wanted more crackers and then just crumbling them up and throwing them all over the car.  Again, just comical.  So clearly, I cut him off and consequently, listened to him scream "cukuk" for twenty three minutes straight (yes, I timed it).  After which he started screaming "lait", "suce", "mommy" and a variety of other words that he thought might get me to stop the car and give him what he wanted.  At one point, I turned to Jerome and said to him, "honestly, this makes me want to turn around and throw the box of crackers at his head".  He's lucky that I have some self-control.  I mean, crackers cost like $2 a box, don't they?  Isn't that about half a chai latte??

And it is at times like these that I stop and think "what the f*#!& was I thinking??? That we could travel like this with two young kids...". 

I know that a lot of people refrain from doing things such as travelling because of their kids.  And at moments like this, I completely understand why.  And frankly, begin to wonder if I might not have some sort of an undiagnosed condition that makes me want to make my life complicated.

But I subscribe to the view that although kids do alter your life in many ways, you do not have to completely give up the life you had before you had kids.  I like to try to find ways to incorporate what we would have done pre-kids and just adapt the way we do it to make it manageable with the kids (and even fun for them).  I tell myself that one day, this will make for flexible children.  And in the meantime, I think it's part of what keeps me sane.  Really, the kids would both wail from time to time whether we were in Pierrefonds or in Banff.  For me, getting away from my normal daily routine, even if it means the hassle of getting from Y to Z with young ones, is well worth it for the refreshed state of mind it gives me in the end.

We woke up this morning to a grey and overcast day.  With so much fog that Logan looked out the window this morning and kept saying "where mawmits?" (mountains).  Good question, I thought...  But at least it wasn't super cold, which made wandering around quite nice.

In the morning, we decided to wander around downtown Banff and check out a few viewpoints close to town and save some of the more exciting scenery for the next couple of days when the weather will hopefully be a bit nicer. 

Despite giving Logan many, many opportunities to walk around and explore outside at his own pace, he continued to have meltdown after meltdown as we walked through town.  And everyone kept looking at me, while he was lying on the ground, frothing and screaming with anger, and saying "aw, he's so cute...".  Really??? Right now...??? Really, you find this cute???  'Cause I just find it frustrating and exhausting.  I'm glad someone can find cuteness in his tantrums, as I have a hard time seeing that perspective.  Maybe it's what I'll think in a few years when it's someone else's kid.  He even made himself vomit all over himself twice today because he was screaming and crying so much. Ugh!!  Now that's what I call cute.

Anyone who has kids can certainly identify with this moment.  When everyone is staring at you while your kid throws a fit in public.  If you have kids and can't identify with it, your kid is a saint and you should start cloning him/her.  Logan has now figured out that my game of "ok then, see ya" and taking off actually means that I am just hiding somewhere nearby.  So he now just ignores me.  That kid is too smart for his own good.

I stop during times like this and think "what am I doing wrong as a parent that makes him behave like this?".  "That makes him unable to calm himself down."  "That makes him freak out over such little things???"  But I have to stop and remind myself that, in all likelihood, it's not a ton of what I am or am not doing. It's part of his personality and it's also partially his age (or at least here's hoping he will outgrow some of this!). I was apparently like this as a toddler.  So perhaps I brought this on myself.  God I wish I'd behaved better when I was little if this is how karma works... Or perhaps today it had something to do with him having fallen out of bed twice last night and having thus been up for two extended periods during the night as we tried to get him back to sleep.  Poor guy was just tired... And I have to remember that all of this hopping from province to province is most certainly tiring and trying on him as well.  

Anyhow, after a good hour long nap for both kids in the car, the day started to look up as we headed to the Banff Upper hot springs.  They gave us the ok to take both kids into the hot springs so we got them all suited up and headed for some pure (and much needed) relaxation.  And we sat there, with Logan splashing happily in the water, until his eyelashes were frozen and he had icicles dripping from his ears.  And we were still all reluctant to leave.  Chloe was so pooped from the whole thing that she was asleep before we even had her snowsuit on.  Dead out.  To the point that, for a split second, I wondered if we'd cooked her to death.

Our time steaming in the hot springs has given me some renewed energy to deal with whatever temper tantrums may await me over the next few days as we travel home and readjust to the time difference.  I completely understand why everyone always says how important it is to take care of yourself first so that you are able to have the patience necessary to take care of your kids.  Best advice I've ever been (repeatedly) given.  And the hot springs (and chai lattes??) and this vacation has done just that.

So on that note, I'll post a couple of photos from today and head to bed. The quality of the photos is quite poor, since the weather was so overcast.  Hopefully, I'll have some beautiful ones to share before we leave!

Fairmont Banff Springs hotel


1 comment:

Karen said...

I am laughing with tears in my eyes for you. Your blog post last night made me laugh and cry for you!!! Almost peed myself when you thought you had cooked your baby in the hot springs!!! So glad to see that you are able to laugh at yourself at that point. I think I may have been drinking something A LOT stronger than just a chai latte. favorite! Good luck and enjoy the rest of your trip and getting back home.