Independence Day, toddler style
July 4, 2006
Today we decided to go on a tradtional Fourth of July hike… in the rain. That is going to be my tagline for the summer… in the rain.
Of course it wasn’t raining when we decided to go on this hike and by the time it looked like it was going to rain we were already mentally committed to the hike. And after the summer we have had so far, we figured a little drizzle wouldn’t kill us. So we soldiered on.
We discovered half way up the trail, when the rain began coming down hard, stinging our skin and running into our eyes, that the little people in our family are not fond of the drenching rain. But they are fond of letting us, and everyone else within the tri-state area, know their displeasure.
Luckily my daughter was wearing her (entirely appropriate for hiking up a mountain) light up princess sandals. What I think is appropriate hiking footwear, and what a three year old thinks are appropriate hiking footwear, are not even close. She did point out that the shoes light up and it would help us find our way despite the overcast, dark day. And she was right!
As I carried her on my shoulders and she kicked me repeatedly in the chest, I was so thankful that I had her princess sandals to light the way. It made the fact that my hair and eyebrows were being torn from my head that much more tolerable. And for a brief moment I thought how much more effective their lighting ability would be if say, I beat her over the head with them while chasing her down the trail.
We got to the top of the trail where the waterfall was and everyone agreed that the hike to the top was worth it. Even though Rob’s idea of a leisurely hike bears a close resemblance to a forced nazi death march.
The little children tried their best to throw themselves off of the rocky bank and into the raging river. The thrill of danger and grave bodily harm always make for a really relaxing enjoyable time for me. I LOVE counting to seven over and over and over again. And the panic that happens when I count to six and can’t find the seventh child, and I begin to panic and my voice turns into a shrill scream, “Who is missing? Oh my god, WHERE IS THE BABY?!?! Where IS HE?!?! I CAN”T FIND THE BABY!!” Only to realize seconds later that I am, in fact, holding him. Yup, those are fun times.
I especialy love when it happens and there are strangers standing nearby to witness the freaking out. Because nothing says you-have-more-children-than-you-can-handle than losing one of them, but then not really losing one of them. Thereby giving the impression that you can not count and are possibly retarded. And giving the further impression that your lack of ability to count is probably why the rythmn method worked out the way it did for you.
The batteries in my camera were really low, so I kept the camera off until after we posed all the children precariously on a rock and ordered them to sit still and smile, much to the chagrin of strangers near-by.
“Why yes, they are all mine. But since I can only count up to six so I am secretly hoping that one of them will fall off and be washed away. But thanks for your concerened looks and not so subtle whispers!”
But the batteries in the camera were dead. So just picture seven cute kids sitting on the rock, like this, only in color and more well fed looking:
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