I told the munchkins that we were going for a hike after lunch. Sam was appalled. Jack was ambivalent. Quinn set about enthusiastically packing a snack for us even though we had just consumed lunch. He was so goddamn adorable about it that I didn’t have the heart to make him stop. Not to mention that he was putting it all in his backpack, so it looked like he was going to end up carrying our supplies, which I found awesome.
The only problem was that I didn’t know where we were going to hike. What does a nerd do when she’s looking for a place to hike? She Googles the name of her city and “hiking” and finds some easy trails 15 minutes from her house.
Done and done.
It was pretty funny because Sam continued to complain and complain about being forced to go, you know, outside and even claimed to have called Alex and gotten permission from him to not have to go, but then when we pulled into the parking lot of the trail-head, which we’ve driven by a million times, he was all, “Oh. I’ve always wanted to come here.”
Dude. Trust your mom once in a while. Jackass.
See, I suckered them in with running water and by the time they realized that the rest of the walk wasn’t as exciting, they were already too far in to throw a tantrum.
Furthermore, I was correct about Quinn wanting to carry the backpack. Everything was coming up roses.
Because I’m me, I made them stop to take a photo. This was just as Sam came to the realization that there are bugs in nature and he started to scream and wave his arms around his head. It started when he spotted a butterfly, continued with a dragonfly, and disintegrated from there. Thank God we didn’t find any ticks.
Then Quinn noticed that our water bottle (one of my favorites, naturally) had disappeared. I tried to send Sam back to look for it, because he is the most reliable of the munchkins by himself, but he refused to unfurl himself enough to walk past the bushes in his way, so I backtracked a little bit to look for it, but I couldn’t find it.
I came back to find Quinn demanding a snack break.
We had been hiking for three minutes.
I wasn’t ready to let them stop and eat the chicken drumsticks and slices of bread that Quinn had packed for us, but that didn’t stop Quinn from sitting down by a tree and saying, “You go ahead, I have to take a break,” as if we should abandon him on the trail because he was just too exhausted.
I made them walk for a half hour before I finally let them stop. No one was really hungry, but Quinn, Jack, and I all made an effort to eat a couple of bites of bread after it had been so earnestly packed. Sam refused to sit down and scanned the air for low-flying insects.
He did manage to get a photo of our smallest hiker as well.
He blends into the trail, but he’s there. It’s Algernon!
We may have lost a water bottle, but on the way back, we did find this awesome abandoned shoe sole that Quinn insisted on carrying all the way to the car with us.
For a while, it looked as if we were going to be able to get rid of the shoe sole because this dog here really wanted it.
Unfortunately, the dog’s moms didn’t want the shoe sole as much as I didn’t want the shoe sole and foiled all my efforts to force Quinn to let the dog have the damn thing.
The rest of the hike was pretty uneventful. The shoe sole is still in my car. No one had a tick and Sam wasn’t murdered by any bugs. As we drove away, I told the kiddos that next time we’re going to hike even farther. Happily, they seemed to accept the fact that there would be more hiking.
Next time though, we’re not taking our best water bottle.