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Embracing the New on a Family Trip

Matt Villano

There’s nothing quite like travel to get us out of our comfort zones. New environments! New people! New types of food!

For grown-ups, embracing all of this newness can be exhilarating. For our children, it can go either way—they either embrace the new stuff and run with it, or reject it out of hand, punctuating their decision with a meltdown or some other form of rebellion.

With this in mind, my wife and I weren’t quite sure how our toddler would react when she learned that our accommodations at Puakea Ranch, the fourth and final stop on our month-long sojourn in Hawaii, lacked a tub.

Thankfully, the Showub and the Bizzlebopp saved the day.

Some backstory: L, the aforementioned toddler, hates the shower. We’ve probably tried to transition her from the tub to the shower a dozen times, and every time she ends up crying. In the past, she has professed her love for tubbies with statements such as, “I will take tubs for the rest of my life.” Needless to say, she has been pretty set in her ways.

Fast-forward to this week and enter the Showub (pronounced sh-ow-ubb). You know the Showub—part shower, part tub. This is the name we gave to the “shower” here. It describes a shower with a seat and a handheld shower head—which, in turn, we’ve called the Bizzlebopp.

That first night, we marched her out to the Showub (the bathroom is in a separate-but-private building here; it sounds like an outhouse but it truly is glorious), made up wild and crazy stories about the importance of Showubs in Hawaiian history (King Kamehameha and his descendents took them, you know), and convinced her that the Bizzlebopp was a new-and-improved way of taking tubs.

She was skeptical at first. Then we gave her the Bizzlebopp. She sprayed herself. Then she sprayed her mother and me. And she was hooked.

Since then, it’s been all Showub, all the time. When she gets dirty picking hibiscus flowers from bushes on-site, she asks to take a Showub. After she rides the ranch’s horses, she requests the same. Thursday afternoon, out of nowhere, she declared she wanted “a Showub instead of a tubby back at home.”

That night, at dinner, she used her crayons to draw a picture of the Bizzlebopp.

Virtually overnight, the kid who hated showers has become their biggest fan. Nevermind that the new obsession could end up costing us thousands in bathroom renovations back home—here on the ranch, the new experience has rocked my big-girl’s world.  All of us traveling parents should be so lucky.

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