Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

September 7, 2007

A mom’s version of hiking

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 1:25 pm

After a stressful week, I needed something to do today with the kids. We couldn’t spend another day closed up in this house. And I didn’t want too much stimulus since this was our first preschool week, and Andrew was still recovering. Nathan suggested taking a walk around Rancho San Antonio to see the farm.

Good idea.

I ask the boys if they want to go for a Nature Bike Ride. Both enthusiastically agree, and we pack the bikes and head out the door.

On the way over, there is a model airplane flight field. So we stopped and got out for about 30 minutes to watch all the men flying their fancy planes. (I think I now know what retired men do with their time when their wives kick them out of the house). The kids loved the loops and stunts. It was fun to sit about 4 feet away and watch them take off and land. So it was a good start to our Nature Bike Ride.

After the planes, we headed down the hill to the trail… and took off on the bikes. Everyone was anxious to get going. It was only a mile to the farm and so I packed light: water and a few snacks.

Andrew was doing great. He would ride way ahead on his bike with training wheels.  Just when he’d get too far, he would stop and wait for us to catch up. Justin was doing good on his tricycle too. He was more interested in off-roading than following the path – but we were getting there.

We saw some deer. We followed some quail. We collected acorns. And we watched for farm trucks along the way. All was going nicely. Other hikers were smiling at the cute picture we were making, as we trudged along.

About a 1/2 mile in, Andrew says he’s tired. Justin is also doing more whining than biking. So we take a break in a little shaded clearing and have some snacks. We plop down on a log and have some grapes and apple juice. I even get spontaneous kisses from the kids. At this point I figure, I don’t think my kids are going to make it to the farm since we still have to get back to the car. So instead I decide we will make this our destination, play a bit, and then turn around.

We walked on logs, kicked up dirt, collected more acorns in our secret pants pocket (which I am sure will end up in the wash because I will forget). We even found some wild turkeys and chased them along the stream. It was going pretty well, but then it happened.

I heard the grunting and turned around to see Justin getting red in the face. Oh Crap!  He never poops when we are busy like this. But sure enough, poop it is. I am a half a mile away from the diapers in the car.  And he still has to ride that tricycle back – which he won’t do if poop is in his diaper.

I can’t lay my kid down on the ground to change him because it’s dirt & leaves. Not green soft leaves, instead it’s yellow straw and acorns. And not hard dirt that can be brushed off, instead it’s dusty red clay dirt that won’t come off if he lays in it. So we are gonna have to do this standing up. But I only have two hands – and he is a mover. So one hand must hold him still… and the other must try to keep the diaper on him but remove the poop.

How is this going to work? Alright, let’s just dive in. Pull down pants. Keep kid still. Unstrap diaper. Keep diaper from falling in dirt. Dump poop in dirt. Yuck. Re-strap diaper. Pull up pants. Move kid away from poop in dirt. Alright, kid is fixed, but now what am I going to do about the fact that he and I practically defecated right in the middle of Rancho San Antonio? Luckily an empty snack  bag did the trick. I was picking up my kid’s poop like it was doogie doo… obviously we quickly moved on and hoped no one witnessed this disgusting and embarrassing mommy moment.

From there it only went down-hill. Clearly we turned around for home. It’s only 1/2 a mile, but with the 4 little legs I was dealing with… it might as well have been Mount Everest.

For the first 1/4 mile I spent time running back and forth between kids trying to coerce them to peddle their bike and race me. I am sure I walked a half mile to their quarter. Then we took another quick break for goldfish.  From there it spiraled into Nature Bike Nightmare.

Justin touched Andrew’s bell on his bike. Andrew pushed him away. Justin fell. Lots of crying. Andrew got yelled out. Lots more crying. Two kids crying. No one peddling. Mommy pushing two kids on two separate bikes… sweating and trying to get them to go in one direction – back to the car as fast as possible.

They cried the entire last 1/4 mile and didn’t stop until they were strapped into the car and going home.   Other people were watching me.  They were either in awe of my prowess pushing two bikes in one direction with uncooperative children.  Or they were in awe over my children making so much noise with their crying.  So much for a nice peaceful Nature trail.

My summary:

* it took us 1.5 hours to go a total of 1 mile
* we never reached the farm, only got half-way
* I carried poop in my backpack
* the kids peddled a maximum of 1/2 a mile on their own
* mom pushed them the other 1/2 mile
* between pushing the two kids, I think I covered about 2 miles, to their one.

Would I rate this a successful trip? I am not sure. The first part was fun. So I guess overall…. yes. However, it sure does re-define hiking for me. I wanted to let my kids experience nature with me… but it seems that every other mom I saw had the right idea. Screw experiencing nature – strap them into a jogging stroller and they can watch from the sidelines. Nature is overrated.


1 Comment »

  1. I can’t imagine taking mine 1/2 mile like that. I remember taking them 1 1/2 blocks to the neighborhood park, then having to carry the bikes back. One time I called my husband en route from work and had him stop to collect a child on the way home 🙂 And I had the veering into the street to deal with, due to our lack of sidewalks.

    Comment by Nicole — September 10, 2007 @ 1:18 pm |Reply

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