Lila and her husband were consumed with finding Internet signal -
despite the fact that my description explicity indicates in several ways in many places it does not exist in the rental unit in my cave home. I made the mistake of trying to assist the husband by giving him my Livebox (personal wifi) code.
Three year olds *will get your attention*, and if they can’t get it in positive ways, they will get it in negative ways. Lila’s three year old – who was unusually tall and physically well developed for his age (I thought he was five or six at first) behaved exactly like all three year olds who want their parents’ attention and can’t get it because the parents are ignoring him in favour of their own narcissistic needs. This couple was obsessed with their I-Phones. So, their son did exactly what all 3-year olds do to attract his parents' attention: he did things he’d been told not to do, that were perilous, and created a situation which would get the attention of any available adult. His personal solution was to climb on the wire fencing beyond which there is a significant drop down the cliffside. He thus put himself – and thereby me and my property – in danger. Had he been injured, he would have placed both me and my property in peril in ways I do not care to contemplate.
His parents, Lila and her husband, reminded me of a pair of inebriates wandering around the deck of a cruise ship. I came home from walking my dogs to find Lila sitting in my private area, and scanning the property for signal. I asked her please go to the Office du Tourisme. Besides having no respect for my personal space, this couple were entirely irresponsible about the fact they had booked a cave lodging on the side of a cliff with a young child who was too young to know how to act safely in the environment his parents had placed him in. They did not bother to guide him – Lila told me she had a ‘liberal’ attitude about child rearing. Her child, she said, had never been hurt. It simply seemed not to grok for them that renting my gite would add to their responsibilities as parents. No child of mine would have been left to his own devices in this situation.
I enjoy having children and their parents as guests. There have been 7 children who have stayed here so far this year, for varying lengths of time, from two nights up to a week. The kids ranged in age from 11 months to 11 years. All were great. Their parents were great, and responsibly took care to supervise their children in what is for most children an unusual, new and mysterious setting: a cave home 2/3 way up a rock cliff.
Lila and her husband were notable exceptions.
I do not enjoy and do not welcome I-Phone obsessed or otherwise self-absorbed parents who ignore their children in ways that create a liability for me. Parents like Lila and her husband have no place here. Responsible parents who are savvy about their kids and their needs - and have an inkling about what kind of liability issues may face me if something happens to their child - are welcome.