Monday, September 29, 2008

How to do Hallstatt with a two year old

Silas was too little to go in the salt mine. So I present you with a guideline on traveling with a two year old ... a fussy one at that. My goals for the day were to see the parts of Hallstatt I had missed two days before, to have no tears or screaming from Si and to do a little shopping.

- Begin by praying that those threatening clouds will not rain.
- Allow your two year to do nearly anything he wants (of course, when the postcard shop owners tsk tsk you for allowing him to hold the stuffed animals for sale ... you have to put the stuffed animals away, no matter what that two year old says).
- If he wants to walk, he walks. If he wants to push the stroller, let him push. Dawdling anyone? Yes.
- Allow two year old to climb every stair of the nearly 100 which go to the Catholic church you want to visit. Up. And down. While it will take forever, just think, you're only carrying two backpacks and a stroller while you make sure he doesn't fall. Things could be worse. He could be screaming.

Bring two other children along. Flatties. That's what we call them. Did you know we brought our friends to Austria with us (a la Flat Stanley, all you teachers)? The Reimer family's 5 children are traveling along in squished form. Their three eldest went to the salt mine with Steve (are you impressed that he took six children?). That left me with the younger two.
- Allow two year old to hold the flat children during the entire 3 hours that you must kill, regardless of your fears that Baby Naomi will end her tour of Austria in Lake Hallstatt.
- Fearfully enter any shops. Be tempted to blame the Christmas ornament you dropped and broke on the two year old, but fess up and plan to buy it. Besides, you are already embarrassed that you brought a two year old into the store.

- Decide the next shop shouldn't have a two year old in it. Leave him parked right outside the shop, where you can see him perfectly and a lady happens to be playing peekaboo from the bank.

- Freak out when you realize you forgot that cars actually go down this narrow little road and rush out to be a responsible parent.

- Make certain to discover for a VERY long time what people do with their bread that hardens so quickly here.

-Visit every bit of water in sight. If your view is of Lake Hallstatt and the surrounding mountains from a high point, make sure to notice the ducks way down on the shoreline and NOT the view. If you are headed to an ancient Roman ruin ... who cares ... it's the creek that matters.

- Go ahead and visit the Beinhaus (repository of who-knows-how-many skulls and femurs) because your toddler will have no idea that it should seem a bit gruesome. Don't plan to stay long, as he'll think it's interesting and want to touch them. Leave. Now.


Anonymous said...

Think of the adventures Baby Naomi might have if she got to swim in Lake Halstatt!

Spinneretta said...

Thats a swan- not a duck ;). Sounds like you had a stressful time!

molly said...

Oh the fun of international travel with a 2yo!!

Sounds like *you* had an adventuresome day!

Ariel said...

Haha, I can totally relate to the "bread that hardens so quickly". When I got here I wondered why my host mom always seemed to be buying bread even thought it didn't seem like we had run out.