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Monday, July 23, 2018

Like the Roman conquerors of yore, The Baby Blogs takes on Rome - and wins!

Admiring the fountain outside the Pantheon - while threatening to jump in
Apparently parents can get the upper hand over their kids in a devious effort to exact a tedious and demanding form of revenge. This one involved walking around all of Rome for eight hours in the torturously blazing sun to see old stuff with millions of other people. And then, after a brief respite, these parents corral these same children out for dinner, walking - again - to find a ristorante where eating was the last thing on the kids' agenda.

In fact, as we dragged behind while they pushed through to see new things and new places and new menu items, occasionally my parents exchanged sinister smiles about how they are finally getting revenge on their own offspring for waking them up at 5 o'clock every morning of their lives after not sleeping through the night and for preventing sane mealtimes and hot coffee. Oh yes, they forced us to be on their schedule to see and to eat all sorts of things we could care less about.

Can you see the joy on our faces as we eat, again, at an Italian ristorante?

Forced smile and feeding at a late night dinner

But beware parents. In the end, the parents still lose. Meltdowns are fast and furious at dinner tables especially when all three children go into catatonic states as their bodies literally shut down. The meltdowns are powered by fists slamming on the table, challenged fine motor skills when handling glassware and scathing words such as:

"I HATE this day. I hate EVERYthing."

"When are we going home??!!"


Even promises of dessert followed by threats to withhold dessert do no get through to the beleaguered children.

Gelato and its aftermath

Trevi Fountain! Our wish? To not come back any time soon!

And so, the parents, who endeavored to eat their way through Rome, succumb to the pressure and pick the first restaurant they find, rather than the one recommended. They rush through ordering, not having read the entire menu and surely having meal regrets. And they eat fast, if at all, as they attempt to feed us, with a pit of pressure in their stomach trying to prevent us from creating a "scene" at the ristorante. I myself took not one bite of a most delicate lasagna adorned with both beciamele and bolognese sauces. We rushed to our apartment in Trastevere and were in bed at 11 p.m. -- hours past our usual bedtime.

And the next day, we awoke promptly at 6 o'clock in the morning and rallied our parents to attend to our needs immediately.

Thus my parents found themselves in this exact scenario yesterday on a cloudless and searing day in the ancient Roman Empire.

Random beautiful fountain on random
beautiful cobblestone alley

And the winner here is... moi!
Mommy and daddy often ask themselves: Are we brave or are we stupid? This is a toss up that only history will determine. Although the odds are leaning heavily toward stupid for taking three young kids to ancient Rome.

Because who takes three young children, all of them hyperactive and with some sort of special needs, to a beast of a city in the hot Mediterranean summer? To a city where the streets and their drivers are unforgiving? To a place that attracts millions of tourists a day, causing lines of two hours apiece at the most famous monuments?

But in between the battle of the wills, we did see some amazing sites and even ate at the most special of restaurants. One mission, during our journey to Rome, involved visiting Locanda dei Girasole. This ristorante is staffed by adults with T21, or sindrome di Down, in Italiano.

The establishment, and its purpose to employ capable people who otherwise wouldn't have had a shot, was very special. And of course, the food was delicioso. 

But even this could not be thoroughly enjoyed or appreciated when the meltdowns ensued. Here is a pictorial of the aftermath of another late night out in Rome:

Nevertheless, despite these minor (er hmm) glitches, we are basking in the glory of Rome. We are eating the best pastas we've ever had (at least my parents are eating it), ticking off the list of Roman specialities of Carbonara, Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe. We are swooning to the melodic Italian language. And we are creating great memories through photos that don't always portray the angst of the moment.

And all the while, mommy and daddy are plotting their inevitable and desired return. Without children.