Sunday, April 13, 2008

into the wild

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.

37 comments:

Gwen said...

In a year, you will all be hiking pros! I love that you're doing this with her.

Pgoodness said...

that sounds wonderful.

Family Adventure said...

That is GREAT. I wish we'd done more of that with my boys when they were little, but we are trying to make up for it now. Keep it up!!

Heidi :)

thailandchani said...

That is wonderful! Oh, this is exactly the kind of thing I like to read - you teaching her such a valuable lesson. It will serve her well. :)

Hetha said...

That sounds like it would really try my patience, in more ways than one. What a great experience for her to have so early in life. You two have such intention in your parenting, it's inspiring.

Janet said...

You're making delicious memories. Twenty years from now, you won't really remember the low moments, just the time you spent together in nature.

Blog Antagonist said...

We try to do this periodically with the boys, but we don't do it nearly enough. It can be tough sometimes, but we always feel so exhilirated afterwards. Good for you for taking M hiking. It's good for the body, the mind, the soul....EVERYTHING.

flutter said...

was that english you just spoke? hiking on purpose?

;p

Sounds lovely, honey

cinnamon gurl said...

Every time you post, I jump on it, wondering if this is going to be the post where you announce the thing you teased us about - what - a month ago? More? But here I only get more teasing... months to come, eh?

Kyla said...

You guys are amazing. I think I'd be the tantrumming three year old in this scenario.

patches said...

It's harder to motivate little ones, when we feel overwhelmed ourselves. But when they congratulate us for our efforts, wow!

painted maypole said...

you are such a good mama.

Bon said...

like Chani said, you're teaching her something very valuable here.

meanwhile, i am parenting from my couch. :) um, do a lap for me and mine, will you?

Karen said...

the more you do it, the better it gets on everyone! Last year my 8 year old climbed two Adirondack peaks in one day - with his grandfather who is able to challenge more than we are - but oh what a view from the top - the pictures of him make him look older & smaller (mountains are big).

cce said...

You brave, brave woman. We try to do local nature trails (no grade change) and the kids sort of whine and complain and carry on and it's entirely unpleasant. And since the weather still sucks around here we haven't tried it in awhile. Maybe this Spring they'll have new attitudes towards adventure. But I'm not holding my breath.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I get that excited when I climb the stairs w/o having to stop in the middle.

Magpie said...

yes you did yes i say yes!

Amanda said...

You, my dear, are an inspiration and proof positive that we can do it. I needed to read about a parent like you after yesterday's episode at the store.

Thank you!

kristen said...

how cool and what a wonderful way to teach her to be cool with nothing much and at the same time, totally one with nature. you rule sister. xo

Ally said...

Fabulous! Well done you! This is the kind of post that makes me wish-- just for a moment-- that I only had one child, so that we could do more of this. As it is, being outnumbered precludes the carrying bit, and makes the melt-downs unbearable. I'm hoping we can start hiking again as soon as Eli is 3.

QT said...

You know I am ALL for anything hiking related. :)

crazymumma said...

oh hi!

yup. still alive. sort of.

just read back a few posts. yup. still standing. just a bit woozy after the hike.

crazymumma said...

oh hi!

yup. still alive. sort of.

just read back a few posts. yup. still standing. just a bit woozy after the hike.

Deb said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

That was beautiful!

And I have it all on video if you want a copy. Not the part where you were peeing behind that bush though because I have respect for your privacy.

PS. Is that a tattoo or a mole on your left buttcheek? Even with the binoculars I could tell.

Angela said...

What a great family activity, good for you for starting it at such a good age. I wish I had started hiking with my kids when they were young, they're 6 and 10 and much prefer to be driven around. Hurray for all of you, Yes, you did it!

Jennifer said...

I love this! Hiking with my kids is one of my greatest joys. (All great joys come with intense frustration and lots of whining, no?)

liv said...

my favorite sentence has the words "intentionally" and "hiking" in it. my God. i cannot wait for the day that i can wrap my arms around you and intentionally give you a hug.

bgirl said...

oh how i needed this today. not your intention, but such a great reminder of how we all are working to stretch that 'experience' canvas for our little ones.

mamatulip said...

Yes, you did. :)

Defiantmuse said...

we have some pretty kick ass trails here, btw.

so. come up and M can keep Monkey company on one of our weekend hikes.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Exceeding our limits is a damn fine thing. Keep on keeping on 1 + 2.

Ron Davison said...

I envy M. What a cool habit to create.
I still find that wandering through nature does something for the soul that nothing else does. Even so, it is not something I'm in the habit of doing. See, the occasional meal of sweet potato fries pales in comparison to the long-term effects of this on her health.

urban-urchin said...

Bend over Sally....

wheelsonthebus said...

I am curious -- how much does she walk herself and how much do you have to carry her? We have tried this with the boys, but we end up having to carry a lot, which is not easy.

jen said...

Em, we pretty much make her walk unless like this hike, we'd actually gone too far. She starts off complaining but we don't give in. If she can run twice as far around the house, she can walk on a hike. it's just retraining her brain to appreciate less stimulation while doing it. there is a LOT of whining. Lots.

but we are getting there.

andrea_frets said...

I love seeing children out hiking! That's awesome that you are getting her excited about it at a young age.