1. Never, ever stay in a hotel with a baby.
2. Have you, nonetheless, found yourself in a hotel with a baby? (Are you, by any chance, in Venice, of whose labyrinthine layout of abruptly-terminating alleyways connected by thousands of pushchair-defying bridges Google Maps understands less than your 9-month-year old pride and joy, and which has worn you all out to the point where even this simple sentence is making your brain hurt and your eyes feel heavy, even if you’re not in Venice and don’t have any children?) Has no amount of lullabying and milky-wilky and shush-patting and promises to stop insisting that she eat bulgur done any good? Is your desperate 2am googling now being soundtracked by the sound of that selfsame caterwalling infant? Are you worried that not only will you, your partner and the baby itself get no sleep but also that you will incur the wrath of your fellow guests and the hotelier, meaning furious looks in your direction at breakfast, if you even survive that long? If so, here is the second tip: look away from your phone and think hard. What was the name of the car park/airport/train station you arrived at? Will it still be open? If so, pack your things immediately and head back in that direction. If not, invent a time machine and get a flat through Airbnb instead.
3. Is your baby upset because you forgot to ask the hotel for a cot? Call reception NOW and demand they bring you a cot. If necessary, threaten to put on Tripadvisor that the hotel belongs to Harvey Weinstein. Should that not work, go to reception and start screaming and screaming like a 9-month old baby until they get you a cot from somewhere.
4. Is your baby still crying? Have you already toyed with the idea of throwing him/her out of the window/into the nearest canal, only to be overruled by your partner? Dang. Here’s something that might work, but it relies upon your being incredibly rich and having a huge amount of cash about your person: simply buy the hotel and have the other guests thrown out onto the street. It may also be a good idea to have them removed from the city/off the island itself for the duration of your stay, so as to avoid any awkward encounters which might spoil your holiday. (This also serves as the answer to the question #whatwouldtrumpdo?)
5. “Go on a boat trip or something”. That’s a suggestion from my partner, who to be fair hasn’t slept very well. The idea comes from the fact that we are now on a boat trip. The baby is in her pushchair; she’s asleep. Behind is there is the sound of another baby, whose voice is exactly like our child’s, having a total f*cking meltdown. Welcome to Venice!
6. There is no number 6.
7. Just having a look at Venice. Jesus I’m exhausted. Might get another coffee soon.
9. Where’s number 8?
8. Ah, there it is.
10. Take the baby out into the corridor to calm her down? Go outside for a walk at 3am? Mind you, I did try both of those things, they don’t work. Best stick with number 1. Oh look, Murano. Let’s see what effect her screaming has on a huge variety of very expensive glass products of differing shades and textures. Maybe number 1) should have just been never, ever take a baby to Venice. I wonder if there’s an Italian equivalent of Centerparcs?