For the most part, we are homebodies. Partly by choice, a lot by circumstance. The school-at-home thing ensures that we are at home on school days, doing school work. The daycare babies means I have to be on duty, taking care of little ones from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I’m not one of those grab-the-kids-and-go-go-go kind of moms.
But yesterday, Friday, DaycareKid was at home with his mom. CuteBaby left at 3:30 p.m. The twins were with my husband, visiting the Washington State History Museum and its traveling exhibit of 9/11 artifacts. I’d been wanting to take the kids to Point Defiance Park. We go to the zoo occasionally, but have never hiked the trails in the 700 acre park.
So, off we went. We tramped on the muddy trails and I exclaimed over all the huge trees and took pictures.
We wound our way down a meandering trail until we found ourselves at the beach–well, six feet up from the beach. The final feet were impossible for Grace to traverse and so we sat on the exposed roots of a giant tree and watched Zach scamper down to the water’s edge. A blue tugboat chugged past us, pulling a huge barge as if it were made of styro-foam. The wind tousled our hair.
At last, I convinced her we needed to go–she’d be happy to sit near the beach forever, I think. Back up we went. My morning walks have done me good. The steep climb did not leave me gasping for breath. About halfway back to the top trail, Grace abruptly turned and headed back down. “I go this way!” she said.
I cajoled, I bribed and finally, I waved bye-bye and continued walking up the trail. She began to cry, but followed me. Then she wailed and walked until we reached the car, scaring wildlife and annoying the rare fellow-hiker, no doubt. I’d reach my arms out to her and ask, “Do you want me to hold you? Do you want a ride?” and she’d stomp and yell, “No!”
When she realized we had reached the parking lot, she was furious. I had to chase her and plop her into her carseat. She screamed even louder. She carried on until we pulled into the Dairy Queen drive-through. Then she said, “I want ice cream.”
And that is why we have a policy of never taking two-year-olds in public. (A policy which is broken all the time, but still.)
(I use a film camera, so the pictures of the fit–of course I took pictures of that tantrum–aren’t available yet, but you can be sure I’ll add them!)