Sunday, December 21, 2008

The basics of parenting - Chapter 1: food and water

You can't tell from these pics the amazing beauty we saw on our hike at Laurel Snow Wilderness last weekend. Nor can you see the teeth gnashing misery we endured at Caroline's hands (or, more accurately, her mouth). Normally, she's a breeze on long hikes, but we made two grave parenting mistakes -- one involving food (or lack thereof) and one involving water (too much).

This is C demonstrating how to use trekking poles -- approximately 5 minutes before meltdown #1 because we tried to delay lunchtime 'til we reached the ultimate view. In most of our outdoor adventures, we tend to inflict unnecessary suffering on ourselves searching for just the right lunch spot. It's usually worth the wait. This time it was not, as I learned when she screamed bloody murder 6 inches from my ear for 10 minutes. I finally ripped off her mitten and handed her a cheesestick. Who cares that it was cold and her fingers were bright red...

Me and C and Frosty -- post-cheesestick:

Notice: no mitten, despite the cold temps. She was having no part of Daddy putting them back on. Only "Mama do it!" But I couldn't with her on my back.

This smiling face is approximately 15 minutes before meltdown #2. Little did we know as we ate lunch on this beautiful pinnacle that C's feet -- layered with two pairs of Smartwool socks (one pair hers and one mine) and her signature Loch Ness Monster slippers -- were dangling in a puddle and slowly soaking her feet.
As we headed back down the mountain, she casually mentioned that her feet were cold. That's when I noticed, with horror, that they were soaked. She was wearing a layer of my socks pulled up to her knees, so I tried to move them around so the wet parts weren't touching her. We kept walking, weighing our options. I hadn't brought any extra socks, and she wasn't wearing shoes because none she had would fit over two layers of wool socks (stupid!).

Gradually, her complaining escalated into hysterical sobs (not in my ear anymore because Spence was carrying her), then blood-curdling screams I hadn't heard since she was an infant. I would have given anything to put a bucket over my head and scream at the top of my lungs, but I didn't have a bucket either. It was clearly not our finest parenting hour. Finally, my sensible hubby suggested giving C my dry socks and me putting on her wet ones, which worked beautifully.
And we were home free...with one tense moment passing a creepy guy near the trailhead. We both laughed about it later when we confessed how our minds were racing with visions of the unibomber and hillside strangler. Despite our tired feet, we made good time in the last 1/2 mile. We bundled in the warm truck and sipped hot chocolate (the one good thing I'd had the presence of mind to pack).

1 comment:

Holly said...

Oh my goodness!!! This age sure knows what they want, doesn't it? The pictures are beautiful though! Things really do change after parenthood, don't they? :)