My husband and I visited the Florida Keys for a few days last week. I have always been an advocate of the “week-end get-away” and that goes double for these times when so many of us have been cooped up thanks to Covid. (Click here to read about precautions we took.) We had a wonderful time at the 19 unit, tropical retreat (Atlantic Bay Resort) we stayed at.
But there was ONE THING that made me want to pull my hair out more than a few times while we were there– OUT OF CONTROL KIDS!
From what I could make out, it looked like two brothers brought their large families together for some family reunion chaos.. I mean fun. To be perfectly blunt, they quite simply unleashed their little minions upon arrival only lassoing them in for feedings or to shelter the little beasts at night. There was one boy in particular who would screech so loud, I thought the windows would shatter.
The parents seemed oblivious to the running, fighting, wailing, sand throwing and general mayhem. They were either on their phones, chatting with each other or fishing from the dock. When the families would leave the property to grace others with their presence, hunkered down guests would tentatively emerge from the safety of their rooms and balconies with books and bottles of wine to relax on waterfront lounge chairs and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
A little reminder is in order:
We raised four kids..I’m not saying ours were perfect, but we also need to distinguish between sounds of happy playing and complete wild west behavior. I totally understand how difficult it can be to corral children at times and keep them from disturbing others. It’s hard, but as a parent you NEVER, EVER stop trying..these parents never ever started.
Maybe that’s what so different these days.. it’s not that the kids are being kids- it’s that the parents aren’t being parents!
My husband and I were at the Ritz (on Amelia Island; fabulous place to stay btw) a few years back playing billiards AT THE BAR one evening and a kid kept waddling over to us, reaching up and trying to remove balls from the pool table we were using! Where were mom and dad you ask? Why they were enjoying drinks at a hightop NOT nearby.
We were at Benihanas once and a couple’s toddler at our shared table started throwing fist-fulls of rice at my husband. The mom and the dad just stared straight ahead like catatonic zombies as if nothing at all was happening. I still can’t figure out what was wrong with those two that night, but I’m guessing they were in a spat of some sort and they were each waiting for the other one to take action.
I was having my hair cut one morning and another client brought her small child to her pedicure and held her for the duration. Naturally, she cried and fussed the entire time. I don’t know if the baby was the cause, but that was the worst cut and color I ever received- so terrible in fact, I never went back.
So yeah.. Times are just different I guess.
There was however, a silver lining about the kid in the Keys with the high-pitched, parrot’s screech. On one of our kayak trips we ventured out pretty far to fish in the mangroves surrounding an offshore island. When we turned around to head back, it was hard to make out where our resort was. I was momentarily gripped with a tiny wave of panic.. until I heard that familiar, high pitched wail echo across the bay.
And just like that we knew exactly which way to paddle. 😉