Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A whole different kind of Olympics

I don't normally pay much attention to the Winter Olympics, but Vancouver still feels "just up the road" even four years after leaving Seattle, and there's something just so damn wholesome about the Canadians that gets me rooting for them. And seriously, anywhere that has a road called the Sea-to-Sky-Highway is going to do it for me. I mean, c'mon. Why call something the N11, for example when you could be calling it Hillocks-to-Hellholes? (sorry, Ireland. I do love bits of you, but your roads aren't those bits).

I read this post last week and wanted to say: Kristin, don't worry: that pang you describe? That's exactly how Vancouver feels to visitors, even to relatively frequent visitors like me. I dunno how often you'd have to go there before it stopped being one of the coolest places in the world; one of the places I wish I'd been born (I love where I was born; we all know that ad nauseum; but I do have a list of alterna-birthplaces. What? You don't? Weirdo).

I'm having real trouble, though, envisioning Whistler as a place filled with bustling Olympians, all perfectly-honed and highly-toned, because the last time we were there, we were the opposite of either of those things.

Jonah was just under a year old and we'd decided we wanted a family holiday that involved just the three of us. We'd already been across the Atlantic four times with the poor little sod by this point, so somewhere that didn't involve a plane ride was pretty enticing.

So we went to Whistler, and rented a cute little apartment with a flight of toddler-defying stone steps which I'm sure were ideal for rugged boarding types to beat all the crap off their boots, but just signalled DEATH TRAP! to us and PLAYSPACE! to Jonah. Hmmm.

We went in September, pre-snow. The hiking was great, and we figured that we weren't likely to get any snow time anyway, so why make life miserable for ourselves?

Unfortunately, the not-making-life-miserable thing didn't stretch as far as anything sensible like, oh, sleeping. We all know we can make really, really stupid rookie mistakes when we're fresh-out-the-gates parents. So that you don't do as we did, here's my PSA: Do not regard a holiday as the ideal time to sleep-train your child.

I know, I know. But the point was, we didn't know (conflicted, much?). The logic was sound: lots of daytime for napping, lots of gorgeous scenery to take our minds off the pain of not sleeping, return home with child who magically sleeps 14 hours a night and wakes us up with breakfast in bed.

Yeah, about that.

So watching the Olympics, whilst thrilling and all that, is bringing out a Pavlovian reaction in me. Any time someone swoops down a hill, or there's a filler shot of the little town, I think of those sleepless nights and yawn. And somewhere in my subconscious, a baby yells in indignation.

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