We did a lot of hiking on our recent road trip. We hiked a total of seven trails and a couple smaller treks. One of the first we climbed was also one of the hardest, about 1,000 feet up Lily Mountain, the last several hundred feet of which were labeled a “rocky scramble” by hiking guide book authors.
Doing this with 23 extra pounds on your back is not as easy as you think it will be when you imagine your hiking-filled adventure in the weeks prior to leaving while lying on your bed in your Lubbock home. Because those 23 pounds also wriggle and get impatient and need to be sung “The Ants Go Marching One by One” on an endless cycle in order to be pacified. This can be difficult when you’re scaling said rocky scramble and huffing and puffing from the altitude and exertion.
But then you get to the top and you see this:
And it seems somewhat better.
In our weeks of hiking and road tripping with said 23-year-pounder, we learned the following tips, which I will kindly pass on to you all, my readers (especially you, Bob, who I am sure will find a use for them):
1. When hiking always bring stale bread, which your child will gnaw on for at least twenty contented minutes and not, therefore, need to be sung to and/or otherwise entertained.
2. If bread runs out, try for a pacifier.
3. If that fails, introduce peanut butter.
6. Throw your child in water as often as possible and/or dress him or her up as a form of amusement for yourself, especially if you’re on your seventeenth round of “The Ants Go Marching” or “Juan Pequeña Baila” or “Old McDonald.”
8. Use the changing landscape as a way to teach your child new things, like the word caca or the cat sound meow.
10. And remember that if your child gets whiny and starts to cry, she will forget that emotion in like 3.2 seconds. Just stuff some bread in her month. Or, my personal favorite, distract her with something really banal, but make it seem exciting. Like: “Look, there are trees! Do you want to go touch a tree?!” Nine times out of ten it works like magic.