This was another hike that Erin planned, and I was excited by her trail selection. As I've mentioned before, there has been a lot of repetition in our hikes at Beaver Lake ever since Frankie became communicative. He just loves the boardwalk so much it's hard to steer him away from the Bog Trail. But the other trails are nice, too, and with hunting season still open, the nature center is always a safe bet. So off we went. The Three Meadows Trail is varied in scenery, passing through pines and hardwoods, and as the name implies, several lovely meadows.
A highlight of this hike for Frankie was finding some mature puffballs. He was a little skeptical at first, but really got into them, first squeezing and then stomping a never-ending cloud of spores. Nature is just so cool! Alden slept through all the excitement, but such is the way of the wee. A little further along, Frankie got a little whiny, complaining that it was too long a hike. I knew that wasn't true - the entire loop is only 1.5 miles, and he's happily gone much further on many other hikes. He had snacks and water and was dressed appropriately, so I knew he was physically comfortable.
However, he has lodged similar complaints before, so I've been thinking about this issue a lot. Obviously, I want him to enjoy our hikes and not feel like I'm dragging him out on forced marches through the woods. It seems like he struggles more when we hike with other people. When it's just the two of us, he is the center of attention; when we hike with other people, I talk to them, too. Also to him, of course, but the dynamic is different - it's not all about him. Is Frankie's frustration because he likes being the center of attention? Because he feels left out of the adult conversations? He is an only child, but everything can't and won't always revolve around him. Unfortunately, I am not even 100% sure I have correctly identified the problem, which makes it trickier to solve. He is a very social creature, and reacts with unabashed joy whenever I tell him we'll be hiking with other people. How do I help him this get through this?
|white pine (Pinus strobus)|
|Trying to hug out the whines|
|Singing this song also helped a lot|
|staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)|
|Giving Alden a hug goodbye|
|Download trail map here or here.|