We've intentionally started hiking every weekend. We found a book with kid friendly mountain hikes and let M choose each time, a choice she bases mostly on the interesting names. She doesn't know it but we are doing this on purpose, teaching her to love the simple act of walking where there is nothing but nature to entertain her. Teaching her it's okay to be tired and hot and even how to pee outside if she must. She has a hard time at some point almost every time, boredom or she's tired or THERE'S A BUG A BUG THERE'S A BUG NEAR ME or she's simply being three so a meltdown inevitably ensues and partially ruins the day. We've noticed that if we work through it she comes out better on the other side, stronger and a bit more adventurous. So we push on, knowing it's okay and knowing we are trying to broaden her comfort level, something she'll need more of in the months to come when life starts to look nothing like it does today.
Yesterday's hike was especially tough, the book downplayed the arduousness of it (You bastard you said this was perfect for kids and yet it was hard for me let alone her you dumbass hiking writer and if that was only 100' of altitude change then smack my ass and call me Sally) and we weren't planning on so much heat. We ran out of water and it started feeling really hard when we still had a ways to go. We took turns carrying her and making up stories, anything to occupy her mind. She was terrific and we made it and I lifted her high and whooped and whooped We did it girl, we did it and she threw her head back and laughed and screeched wildly yes we did mama yes we did.