This is my first time in Spain, so I'm learning as I go. It took sinking into an ice cold bath before I realized the faucet handle marked "C" stands for "caliente". Whoops. Restaurants don't open for dinner until 8:00PM and when they do, there are some interesting things on the menu. Like, cod donuts.
I'm only here as a tag-along to Niko, who is in this area on business. (You know how I normally I like to spend my time when he's away . . . SNUGGIES!) This time, we made it a semi-family thing and brought the baby because she's still nursing. We had big plans of pushing her around in her stroller while we basically ignored her (hey, she sleeps a lot, it's a fact) and took in all the sights and whatnot of Barcelona. The other two kids stayed home, which is probably going to cost me something in their future therapy bills. "Mother denied us gelato!" etc.
I will now move on to a positive observation on American culture. I know, it's like hearing someone enjoys the dentist. But stay with me. In the States, we kind of take for granted our babydaddies are involved. The pops in my house, for example, is a whiz at diaper changes. He's not a great breastfeeder himself, but he's got a great peek-a-boo game. It's like, where did the daddy go? No one knows! OMG, he was behind his hands the whole time. Hilarious!
Our plans this trip in Spain hit a snafu though when British Airlines manhandled our stroller. They broke a wheel off and lost it in the great abyss of the baggage compartment.
But still! We had no way to traipse the city in peace now. Luckily, my friend Taryn lent me her baby carrier to try out on the trip and I remembered to stuff it into my suitcase almost as an afterthought.
A word on baby wearing: I'll dust up the internet wars for a moment and tell you I don't like to wear my babies. There. I said it. It makes me hot and hurts my back. I just wasn't dealt those primal instincts that make me want to haul a baby around on my torso, okay? That's why cavemen invented wheels. They were sick of carrying their babies around on their chests when they could use that space for letting their boobs breathe. (*Unconfirmed theory)
So, Niko wore the baby carrier.
And it incited a cultural revolution.
No, but it did cause a news crew to pop out (poparazi! GONG!) and film him for Catalonia TV. That's right, a sight of a man wearing a baby is so rare here, it caused onlookers to stop in approval and a f'ing NEWS CREW to document the event.
I'm not joking. Niko wore the baby carrier and a literal camera crew materialized out of nowhere and captured the event, complete with a talent waiver. I made the baby with my body and nursed her for the last six months and the best that ever happened was I got a seat on the bus.
We always joke that his tombstone will be a mammoth bolder, "KING NIKO" and mine will be a pebble next door that says, "and here lies Mrs. Niko". He can't help it, though. He's got a big personality and television crews are at the ready to celebrate his large and small moments. In this case, he will be appearing all across Spain as the ambassador of carrying his kid because the stroller broke.
To tell you the honest truth, I love him and I'm glad he's an involved father and it's cool he got his moment in the sun (seriously, doesn't he look adorably proud?) on Catalonia TV, but it's maybe just a bit irritating that when a man does something that women do every day, it is literally news. Like, news.
If they were going to put him on TV for something, it should be for his true talent: his chameleon-like ability to become European at the drop of a hat. This guy can work a roundabout like the Cat in the Hat skating in with a tray of ham. You should see him with a tiny cigar carrying a man bag. A natural!
Anyway, he is a great dad. I just wish we didn't live in a world where the standards are so low for fatherhood that a guy doing something so normal as carrying a baby is such a traffic stopper.
I'll report more when I'm back in the states next week.
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