We started the day off with breakfast at our guest house (bed and breakfast). Brian had to get some work done, so he headed off to a coffee shop for the morning. T and I played with Legos (I mainly built prisons for criminals using our Magnatiles and broke them out for entertainment). We walked around the house and counted lizards, snails, and caterpillars and found a massive ant colony under a garden gnome. After we had expended all the yard had to offer, we spent about an hour throwing the inflatable crocodile around and then slashing it to move to the other side of the pool. It was a pretty great morning.
After the fun had been squeezed out of the crocodile throwing, we headed back to our room. Brian was on his way back and T did not want to do anything but watch a show. I didn’t see any harm in that as we had not watched TV all day. When Brian got home and told T we were going to a place for lunch, T shut down. As we deduced later, we think the shut down was in part because he didn’t get to pick the restaurant and also because he didn’t get to finish the show. If our theory is correct or not, it didn’t change the result. We were talking to a child who wouldn’t listen. We eventually got him outside (after I carried him as far as I could without him squirming out of my arms) and into the car. Once in the car, we implored him to tell us what was wrong (we had done this many times up to this point). He said he didn’t want to go and he wanted to stay at the guest house, eat lunch, and watch TV. We were so relieved to actually get anything out of him that Brian went and picked up McDonald’s and brought it back to the guest house.
I cannot tell you how hard these episodes are. It’s hard because typical parenting doesn’t work. We can’t just send him to his room or tell him if he doesn’t talk, we’re going to do what we wanted (go to a cool place and eat delicious food, not cold McDonald’s). My first response is to tell him if he doesn’t talk to us and answer our questions, then we cannot do what he wants and that’s just going to have to be ok. It seems a reasonable response, but it doesn’t work when you’re trying to build attachment. You have to gain the trust and get that communication open again. You have to keep asking questions, even and especially when you get no response. You have to keep telling your child you love them and want to know what they want. This process is heartbreaking and hard. It’s tiring and frustrating.
Our afternoon was low key after that point. T wanted to swim a little while later and I obliged and jumped into the freezing water to tow T around on the crocodile. After getting out, changing, and warming up, T announced he wanted to go to the place Brian had suggested for supper (the place that produced the meltdown at lunch).
Montecasino is huge. It definitely draws inspiration for the Bellagio insomuch as it has indoor areas to walk that look like a small Italian village and shops. It has a cinema, comedy club, tons of restaurants, a bird sanctuary, and, of course, a casino. We ended up eating at a place called The Meat Co. Brian had a stuffed fillet and I had a lamb shank. After dinner we walked around for a little bit, but were being mindful that it was time to head back as it was getting dark.
While driving home, we saw an overturned truck and there were many, many people bending over and lifting. I thought the truck had overturned and there were people injured. There were so many cars that had pulled over to the side of the road to help, even people rushing down a hill from the bridge above. It was truly amazing to see people pull together to save…beer. A beer truck had overturned. The people bravely putting their lives at risk on the side of the highway were grabbing as much beer as they could carry. Taxis (12 passenger crazy vans which are above all law) were pulled over with people leaping out to grab cans and bottles. The police were there, but simply to make sure no one was injured while looting. It was a good laugh for Brian and I as we headed home. I was sad not to have snapped a picture while we were driving by!