Today’s hike was a cautionary tale that I share in the hopes that others will learn from my mistakes.
I’ve been hiking with the kids at least twice a week for the last couple months and we’ve been trying new trails every time. Apparently this has made me cocky because my Mom and I set out today for a short 2 mile loop that I’ve run or walked at least 100 times. We brought both children and absolutely nothing else. Our goal was to make it to the playground halfway and then continue the loop around the lake.
We start about half way around the lake trail and everything is going well. The trail is pleasant and quiet and we stop to throw rocks in the lake and pick up rocks and sticks. Pure joy.
After awhile I notice my son has developed a stench but he assures me that his diaper is clean and, like it’s my first day, I believe him.
We turn out of the woods and take a brief detour because the bridge is down, only to find ourselves paces away from a beautiful blue heron. We watch him for a few moments before he takes flight and he’s really an impressive sight.
From here we connect to the paved portion of the trail and walk under the green canopy. My son’s smell has become more pronounced but I don’t have the tools required to do anything about it, so I choose to live in ignorance a bit longer.
The playground is a hit and the kids are quite happy until I finally check K’s diaper and announce that we have to leave. I try to clean him up the best I can but I end up with a dirty but happy boy going commando and a gross dirty cloth diaper in my other hand.
Obviously, both children are tired and insist on being carried.
We pass close to the boat house where they rent paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks and we get a good look at some geese and another heron. We climb onto the dam for the full view of the lake and I finally decide to sacrifice my sweater to the dirty diaper. I tie it up and then tie it to my belt loop.
As we get back into the woods my son falls asleep in my arms. Great, now he’s definitely not walking and we still have half a mile to go.
This part of the trail is lined with houses and most have made an effort to fill their back yards with beautiful azaleas, so this is usually a wonderful part of the trail. Today, it is torture as my arms burn carrying my big, sleeping, 2 year old boy.
When we finally stumbled off the trail my Mom and I start talking about what we should have done differently. She thinks diapers and wipes were the most important thing I forgot, whereas I think that if I’d had the baby carriers, I could have gotten home quickly and remedied the situation. Ideally, we would have brought both!
Notes to self:
- Don’t get cocky!
- Diapers and wipes, never leave anywhere without them! You never know!
- Toddler carrier, never leave the car without it!
- Fred G. Bond Metro Park is a beautiful place for a walk with children!