After an incredibly frustrating start to our holiday, which included a six-hour wait at the ever so lovely Beef Island airport after a 4am alarm call, Coralie and I finally made our way into Puerto Rico for a quick visit before our 3am flight out the next day. I have to say, Coralie was quite the patient traveller, whereas I was the one going a bit mental trying to kill time between the lounge and Trellis Bay. Even though our day in Old San Juan was cut short, we still managed a trip into Marshalls, where Coralie was humbled by the many choices available. With just enough time for an early sitdown meal before heading back to our hotel room, we made our way to one of my favorites, St. Germain Cafe, only to find it shut until later in the evening. Patrons were encouraged in the off hours to try the wine bar Mezzanine above the cafe for tapes and drinks. As we started to head up the stairs, I hesitated as I realized that it seemed to be more of sophisticated atmosphere than a two-year old requires. I attempted to bring Coralie back down the stairs, silly me, thinking I was the one in charge. She continued to march her way to the top, greeting the hostess with a boisterous ‘Hello!’. But of course in child-loving Puerto Rico, no one even batted an eye seeing a toddler enter the establishment. In the end C and enjoyed a lovely meal together after a long day of travel.
In retrospect, this little date of ours ended being exactly what we needed to rekindle our mama/daughter relationship, which had taken it’s toll during the month of July. As the head, and often only teacher at our schools day camp, I smugly thought there would be little issue having Coralie in my class. I’ve substituted here and there in her Crech classroom, and she has always seemed totally fine sharing me with the other children. Not so much if the set up is all day, everyday. Add this to a schedule which took her afternoon nap away cold turkey, and it’s no wonder that she and I had a tough four weeks. Lots of attention calling tantrums, arguments with the other children, and the notion that because it was only ‘mommy’ at the school she had free range to anything she wanted on the campus. But as soon as we got off the rock, and she had me back, all to herself, I felt a sense of relief as she seemed her usual chipper demeanor. Maybe it was just island fever, maybe she’s just growing up, or maybe I was so tired and overwhelmed I had little tolerance for any challenging behaviours. Whatever the case, I feel much more confident that our long summer holiday will be a great one.