Read other entries:
Previous Mar 5 Mar 6 Mar 7 Mar 8 Mar 9 Mar 10 Mar 11 Next

March 10, 2000 - Friday
This morning Harry's mother and I joined our fellow travelers in a visit to the Tulum ruins, an ancient Mayan community occupied, we learned, only between about 900 and 1150 A.D. An hour and 45 minutes away, Tulum is the closest ruins site to Cancun and, no doubt, owes much of its popularity and burgeoning number of souvenir shops outside its gates to that locale. It's a modest ruins compared to others in the Yucatan, although archeologists' restoration of the some rock foundations, including the main ceremonial staircase, make it novel enough for first timers like ourselves. It's also beautifully situated on a small rise and cliff face abutting the Caribbean coast with gorgeous beaches below and lovely views both north and south.

Although relatively close, the full excursion was planned as a 5.5 hours round-trip and has been at the center of our thoughts from the first idea of bringing Harry here to Mexico. Leaving him with a complete stranger in a foreign country for longer than we’ve ever left him before was no small emotional matter. This is when things could have been most wrong and we'd be well out of contact. Even after we'd arranged a sitter, we continued to poke for advice from the event planners about whether a baby would be out of place in Tulum.

We confirmed it would be best to leave him as planned and it was the right decision. The Caribbean heat today would have had Harry's mother and me constantly worried about him becoming dehydrated. Young Elise was along for the trip, but with a full year on Harry, she is old enough to be more easily coerced into drinking extra water and old enough for sunscreen, which Harry is not. So, with the exception of needing to find a out of the way place for Harry’s mother to pump, we enjoyed ourselves without undo concern for our boy.

On the way back from Tulum, it even occurred to me that Tere, his sitter for the day, was probably more qualified in many ways than we to handle most potential troubles with Harry. As new parents we think we need to be there all time, especially in case something might go wrong. Yet, we essentially have just 12 weeks experience in "baby." Tere, on the other hand, has likely baby-sat for dozens of children, has been properly trained in dealing with babies and emergencies, and is likely well-qualified to understand Harry’s whimpers and mood swings. A very pleasant and mild-mannered young woman, she calmly nodded as we explained the unique subtleties of Harry with quiet confidence - not a hint of arrogance or condescension - that suggested she was well-prepared to handle any "uniqueness" while we were away.

Not surprisingly, we returned to learn Harry had been a perfect baby. That's not likely for the full 5.5 hours but the Ritz staff is well versed in handling more than just babies.

In the afternoon, we all did a short stint on the beach directly outside the hotel. Like any good beach-goer, Harry mostly slept. He used his new enclosed "Play Hut" for protection from the Caribbean sun and we used chairs and towels provided by the hotel. Harry’s mother and I had dinner on our balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea while Harry slept.

Comments, opinions?