Trenton came over for a few hours yesterday after work while his mom got some things done. Heh. Always happy to take him out of her hair.
Vicki was pooped -- they're running her ragged at work, so I came home to be the primary attention-giver for while (and you know how much I just hate that!). It was a warm, cloudy evening. Figured he'd want to go to the park just down the block from us. Of course as soon as he saw where we were going. He loves climbing the steps and then going down the slide. It's a dual slide and I sit next to him on the way down and sort of hold him ... to keep him from falling ... while we go down.
A college kid came by walking his almost-grown Siberian Husky, and Trenton immediately bolted to pet it. After which he wanted to walk on the little woodside trail.
The undergrowth in the woods was mostly bright yellow, contrasting with the darker greens and browns of the larger trees along the edges, and after we played at woods' edge for a while I noted that most of the underbrush plants had lost their leaves and you could see a deer trail leading down the steep hill to a flatter area in the middle of the yellow trees.
I decided it was time to take Trenton for a walk in the open woods to explore new things.
He's only 18 months old and not really steady on his feet on rough terrain or steep hills, so I carried him. I had put him down to stand for a second while I took a picture.... he took a step and sort of fell in slow motion... but I caught him and helped him back up and we continued downhill on the deer trail.
We sat on a fallen tree for a bit while he inspected the wood fungus, and he walked on the flater area in what turned out to be an even prettier fall scene than I'd expected ... I'd never actually ventured down here. And I noticed a mostly dry creek bed that of course we had to go explore, so I carried him down to it.
Some of my best childhood memories involve dry creek beds and just sitting in them and soaking up the scenery or exploring them.
We found some clear puddles that he splashed his hands in ... it was all I could do to keep him from walking into them but I didn't want him to get that wet.
We felt moss on rocks, and rough tree bark, and moss on tree bark. Pulled berries off of some weeds and dropped them on the ground, and climbed on rocks... but they were mossy and slippery so he had to hold on to my hands. Eventually, before he got too dirty or too wet, I hiked him out up the gully wall.
It was harder than I expected, carrying him in one arm while I navigated the steep, soft hill -- choosing my footing carefully so as not to fall with him. Falling by myself would be one thing, it was absolutely imperative that I did not fall with him.
I was huffing and puffing and sweating profusely by the time we reached the top. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to go back down. So we sat on a log for a bit at the edge of the woods, and then walked through some brush, and back up to the slides where we went down one more time. And he was ready to go. Made a bee line for the sidewalk, and after walking about 20 feet toward the house he decided he'd rather ride in my arm.
Short, 30 minute, mini-walkabout. No fire or hotdogs. That'll come later..
I think he will enjoy the outdoors.