Family Fun Hikes: Expectations vs Reality

Recently, RookieDad Alec and I took our two older boys around a two-mile hiking trail in the Berkeley hills. We left the toddler at home to give the big boys some special attention. My oldest, nearly nine, had chosen the path because he knows it well from summer camps and school field trips. As we circled the lake, memories flooded back to me from the first time we brought him on this same walk.

Alec said what I was thinking, “‘We changed your diaper right there on that log” and he pointed to a spot right off the trail. The kid is a good sport about these comments and shrugged it off.

I added, “We brought you here on our one-year wedding anniversary, and thought we’d just begun a weekly tradition of Family Fun Hikes.” Not.

Our family actually did go on a few extremely memorable hikes in which we practiced our techniques of al fresco diaper changes on beds of pine needles or bumpy logs. Rather than recalling the scenic vistas, Alec and I only remember the cold sweats of managing a bare-bottomed babe just off the path.

Hike weekly with our baby — then children — to instill a love of activity and nature.

Be put off by the gear, diaper explosions, and demands of life. Hike only once every few months.

After running full speed through the dirt and throwing sticks on our FFH, we hit a burger restaurant and lavished the Bigs with conversation and minimal distraction. It turns out that a four-times-a-year tradition can be just as magical as a weekly one.

Looking for more free/cheap activities to do with a baby? You’re welcome.

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