Last Friday I was covering Owen duties on “Daddy Day” because Benjamin got a job he didn’t want to pass up, and I was able to switch my day off to accommodate. On Mondays (“Mommy Days”), we have Music Together class in the morning, so the process of getting ready, walking there, going to class, walking home, and sometimes stopping to play along the way, takes up a good portion of the day. Before we know it, it’s lunch time and nap time (which means workout and computer time for me). The afternoon seems to fly by with a quick dog walk or trip to the park or marathon laundry folding session, followed up by dinner prep and family dinner together at 5:30pm. But on Fridays, we don’t have a class in the morning. So the morning can feel like a looooooong stretch of time, even when Owen is at his happiest and most agreeable (sorry, Daddy!). Last Friday was, as you know, when we found out about the ear infection, so Owen was, to say the least, NOT at his happiest and most agreeable.
Best cure for a whiny kid, at least in our house, is to go outside. It was warmer than it should have been in early February in Boston (and we couldn’t hit up our usual playground since it’s at a school and it was a weekday), so we decided to go for a hike.
And since this hike was intended to exhaust Owen and get the ants out of his pants, I did something I’ve never done before. I didn’t bring the backpack.
He absolutely loved the freedom. He touched sticks and plants and pinecones and leaves. He laid down on his back in the middle of the path. He walked along roots like a balance beam (and couldn’t stop shouting the new word he learned, bah beeeeeem). We chattered on about birds and water and trees and the sky. I taught him about how important it is to stay on the path (even when the dog gets to run all over the place).
He was happy. I was happy. Schnitzel was VERY happy.
Owen got a little tired after hiking for about 25 minutes. To be honest he lasted longer than I expected! I had taken the shortest loop I knew of, but I ended up carrying him for about 10 more minutes to get back to our car. Not ideal, but sure beats carrying him for the whole hike! The kid is getting BIG.
On the way home I decided to stop at a coffee shop for a little treat for both of us. I got a latte, Owen got a banana. Owen was happy. I was happy. Schnitzel waited in the car, but I think he was still pretty happy from his leash-less hike.
When we got home Owen had worked up an appetite and was ready for an early lunch and an early nap. Success! Unfortunately that nap turned into the scary rush to the doctor’s office, but hey, at least we had a nice morning before the ear infection changed the plan.
It’s amazing how activities change as your baby grows up! What activities can your kid do that are more fun now that they are older?