The Screaming Toddler Blues

Rest Assured: It’s Argentina’s Fault

If only my mother could see me now, she’d be laughing.

Such have been my thoughts over the past two weeks as Kaia has repeatedly assumed the role of irate, screaming toddler and taken it to levels that mom swears–with a sparkling gleam in her eyes– are sown in the hereditary seeds of fate.
A Perfect Angel (for now)

For such a jovial, smiling and warm little girl, the intensity and speed of such mood swings have been as exhausting as they are frightening. And apparently, if the stories mom tells of having to forcibly remove me kicking, screaming and scattering paper bags of groceries through parking lots across the Wilmington, NC area are anything to go on, I’ve had it coming to me for a long time.

So, it stands to reason nothing sticks out in South American shopping malls, bus stations, crowded city streets and buses full of dark haired patrons more…

Than the sight and SOUND of a three foot tall, blond haired child seemingly in the midst of an exorcism gone awry.

The strangers, though, whether they know it or not, have been the lucky ones. Unlike us, the proud, beaming parents, these fortunate souls only have to bear witness once. We were being confronted by it two and sometimes three times a day for so long, suddenly, not leaving the privacy or our four walls was becoming a very attractive option. Eventually, we had to admit, something was wrong.

That something, we eventually realized after a bit of soul searching, was Argentina.

Argentina, you see is like the cool uncle of the family. The uncle you don’t see as much as the other relatives but that, when you do, quickly tries to make up for it with special gifts you wouldn’t normally be allowed to have except for the fact it’s from your long lost, cool uncle.

Argentina’s usually unacceptable gift as far as Kaia is concerned has been a sleep schedule that back home would’ve, quite simply, gotten us arrested.

It’s a schedule made possible because of the country’s VERY generous mid-day, three to four hour siesta. A siesta that sees Argentinians only beginning to think of what to buy or cook for dinner around the time Kaia was always accustomed to going to bed–before eventually sitting down to eat in the vicinity of 9:30 and 10 pm. And even later on the weekends.

Then you add to this steaming cauldron such new and strange ingredients as living:

  • in the AirBnB homes of friendly strangers…
  • as a part of WWOOFing or Workaway environments surrounded by strangers…
  • and, more times than not, having your child generally sleeping in the same room as yourself…

And suddenly, later and later ‘nighty nights’ become the norm.

Late nights which lead to subsequently later wake up and sightseeing start times. Which, in turn, have led all too often to naps being either too short or, worse still, missed altogether.

Mix it all together, let it come to a simmering boil and what we’ve been left with is a recipe for disaster. And one, the jury’s happy to report, is all Argentina’s fault.

Which begs the question…was my mother’s alibi even half as good?






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