Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hiking Adventure

M recently had her first little hiking experience. A local outdoor organization holds a free weekly hiking activity for children that I've been curious about for a while now.  I knew M would absolutely love it, so we finally got a chance to go about a week ago.

I almost didn't blog about this day because it was just NOT a good day...but I didn't want to lose the memories of her first hiking trip.  M loved the hiking part -- no surprises there (she would live outdoors if we let her) -- but the day came with some mischief and misbehavior that I wish I could forget.  It was one of those times where I went to bed that night thinking, "I must have this parenting thing all wrong." *sigh*

Let me just give it to you in a nutshell:  Imagine a little three-year-old having her own agenda on the hike.  There were times when she wanted to go ahead of the group, and times (when she found something extra interesting) that she wanted to stay behind.

Not so bad you say?

Well, insert the tantrums and crying and fits, then you have yourself a very embarrassed mama who, at the time, made a mental note to never take her child anywhere else in public.  (Okay,  that was a little much, but I promise you I had similar thoughts that day.) She'd already been in a yucky mood that morning at home (maybe tired from the long drive back from Raleigh the day before), but I thought the hike would make her feel better -- get rid of some of that energy.  I should have trusted my gut and stayed home that day.

But trust me, I won't need very much warning next time.  In the future, if she wakes up in a yucky mood, we'll be home ALL DAY.  (Can you tell I'm still salty about it?)

Anyhoo, I guess the fact that she really enjoyed the hike made it all worth it.  I guess.  I managed to snap some pics during the drama-free times of the hike.

She was thrilled to be surrounded by rocks, sticks, and dirt.  Doesn't take much to please her.

One of the dads caught a tadpole, so the kids had fun looking at him.

The kids were encouraged to touch just about everything along the hike.

Except the bees, of course.

The hike leader encouraged them to poke at this old, fallen-over tree to find hidden insects.  M really enjoyed this stop.  A little too much actually.

When it was time to move on, she did NOT want to leave this dang-on tree.   

Anyhoo, this cute little boy took a liking to M as soon as the hike began. He insisted on holding her hand, and at one point told her,"Come on, girl."  M wasn't interested, but was nice the first few times.  Then she eventually just told the little boy, "No!"   (Haha!  M was on a mission to find sticks and bugs -- no time for boys.  I hope she stays that way for the next 20 years!)

The hike leader was really sweet to the kids and very informative.  She told stories along the way and kept it preschool-ish despite the fact that a few big kids were there.

Sweet face, tough girl. 

Like I said, M enjoyed it quite a bit.  And for that reason we'll probably be going back.  But not before this little girl and I sit down and get some things straight.

(I manage to teach 125 teenagers every year who apparently like me but have admitted to being "intimidated" by me enough to behave in my class, yet my little three-year-old will test me in a heartbeat.  Someone explain that to me 'cause I don't get it.  I need her to be intimidated, too!)

But anyway, that was our first hiking trip.  Wish us luck on the next one.  Happy Tuesday!

~ G

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