It’s been 48 hours since I left the little one, though it hardly seems that long. I leave my computer clock set to his time, so each time I turn it on, and each time I sit down to eat, I think about where he probably is and what he is doing. Right now he’s probably at my brother’s house. I hope he received his nap. He’s probably enjoying the attention of his two older cousins, he’s probably being fed copious amounts of junk food by a doting aunt, and I believe he’s going to be brought to a party this evening.
The 2.5-year-old we are staying with here in Spain just went to bed, shortly before 11 p.m. He didn’t take a nap. Part of me wishes we had brought River. He would have had such a good time with all the children and the child-friendly activities here. On the other hand, I think he would have suffered with the lack of schedule. We walked and toured the city until 3:30 this afternoon, together with a toddler and a five-month old. The kids are largely expected to adapt to the adult’s rhythm.
In the evenings, the streets were packed with families enjoying a pre-dinner stroll. The carousel was doing a brisk business, the line was long at the ice cream shop. At 7:30 p.m., I saw many, many babies and small tots outdoors with their families, enjoying the evening. I thought about how River is usually winding down and beginning his bedtime ritual at that time.
My friend says it’s due to the long evenings. As long as it’s light out, her toddler won’t accept that it’s time for bed. Even if she darkens the room, he can hear the voices of people enjoying the outdoors, and knows they are not in bed. So the Spaniards seem to enjoy the warm daylight hours, together with their children, and just deal with whatever consequences come, including tiredness, crabbiness and opposition.
This afternoon, after walking for miles, both Mark and I took a nap before the next round. The two kids didn’t. Tough tykes in Spain.