At age two-and-a-half, Sylvia has three strongly-held beliefs about hiking:
3. There must be a picnic.
(I should note that her backpack is filled with toys, not picnics. Picnics belong in the parent’s backpack, apparently.)
All too often, Sylvia becomes the backpack for either Travis or I, so we finally invested in a Boba carrier. On this particular hike we were looking for an old trapper’s cabin, which we found, along with a beaver pond nearby.
Sylvia is wonderfully well behaved for the most part, but those dreaded toddler tantrums do come out. We’ve come up with an ingenious way to curtail them, though. One of us will say “Squirrel!” and she’ll stop mid-cry and start looking for the squirrel. It’s especially awesome to pull this trick when we’re at home, or in the car – because she’ll start looking for it, and inevitably say “I saw the squirrel!” which is pretty funny when we are nowhere near a squirrel habitat. I suppose her attention span will increase beyond 3.2 seconds eventually, but for now we’re having great fun sending her on wild squirrel chases in the grocery store, or even in the bathroom – wherever a meltdown might occur. Toddlers are great entertainment. I recommend one for everyone.