This is Sofias second trip abroad and a very different one to Florida. While Irma is blowing a storm across America, Sofia is doing the same in Italy. We have arrived on a 10 day trip to stay at one of my cousins apartments. This is my first trip to Cava De Tirreni (on southern tip of the Amalfi Coast) for probably 10 years. We used to go almost yearly when I was younger so it’s a very familiar place.
The flat we are staying in is small and perfectly fine as long as it doesn’t rain for two days straight. It does and cabin fever has kicked in. We have escaped out once to nearby Salerno and before it started raining we had a day on the coast and then one meeting family who I haven’t seen for years over a big family dinner. Sofia being the guest. We are only mid-way through the trip but Sofia is already centre of attention.
So we’ve learnt that Sofia is “forte” (strong), she has been described this several times by people on the street and comes from her being small but weighty and very self determining. She decided to close the local park by closing the gates and trying to stop people from coming in.
Weighty comes from her new found love of pasta and bread. The Italians described her as an Italian for the way she eats her way through as many bowls of pasta you put in front of her. She will casually destroy bread the size of her head as well. I swear she is a lot more heavy to carry since we arrived. The tummy of Garfield as well as the mentality.
She has developed an Italian stubborn streak. This grows by the day. If she doesn’t get her way she is already letting out a scream and banging things. It gets worse as she gets more tired. Take something off her, get in her way, try to change her and she is far from happy. Try to put her to bed in a strange foreign land where she has heard babies sleep at midnight and she will properly kick off. We’ve not mastered that one and risked the routine too much yet. It also gives us evening time and a threesome with red wine.
She also can get addictive about things. She spent an hour trying to put the house key in to a cupboard lock. Even when presented with the correct key for the lock she got annoyed with it working, took it out the lock and threw it on the floor and kicked it under the cupboard so it wouldn’t get in the way.
When well fed and slept she is active, using the chairs as an assault course. She has no personal fear so requires complete supervision which is tiring. There is no such thing as sitting still. We have to find pedestrian areas for coffee/apperitiv (delete as to time of day) as she likes to wander off. Whether this to be to dance to the local band playing in the square or to visit one of the local shops. She’s not super intelligent all the time and yesterday walked in to a glass door. I had to comfort her while laughing (normally she hits the door with her hands but on this occasion forgot and carried on walking).
Italians do love babies, she has been prodded, patted and smiled at by the most grumpy of waiters. I think she has endeared herself to the family over dinner. Em spent most of the time chasing her around the garden while I tried my very broken Italian on the family. Luckily they spoke better English. It’s another one of the to do list. We have managed to get Sofia to say Ciao though. When not off exploring then she was getting frustrated at being picked up by each of the relatives. There was no pinching of the cheek though. Something I am sure I suffered every year I went. I think there is probably a family post to come later.
So what else. Italy has terrible changing facilities. For a place that is baby friendly toilets are not part of that friendliness. They don’t make it easy for us let alone babies (no longer a hole in the ground but often missing a seat). We haven’t really seen kids menus (which is fine for our pasta lover but salt is a issue) and we’ve been charged cover once for her sitting as well as us.
Given the current euro exchange rate southern Italy is still affordable. Coffee is cheap, alcohol is cheap (I nearly suffered alcohol poisoning with a 4 Euro Negroni). Cakes are amazing. A plate of almond cakes for the price of 1 back home. We just need some more sun now.