A family from church (with 3 kids ages 8, 6, and 3) invited us to go hiking with them and another couple yesterday. We went up and over hills, climbed some rocks, and learned how to follow trail markers. We ate lunch at a small waterfall and the kids all played in the stream. I learned a few things about group outings:
There is always someone who is late to arrive and keep the group waiting, in this case for more than 1/2 an hour.
There is always someone who comes unprepared, ie brings a camera, but no real lunch, just a handful of snacks.
There is always someone who is extremely slow on the trail, causing the other members of the group to constantly keep stopping to wait for this person to finally catch up.
There is always someone with a toddler who refuses to walk, and must be carried 98% of the trip--even while climbing those hills and rocks. Said toddler will fall asleep 2 mins before the lunch break.
There is always someone who's child finds great delight in splashing frigid stream water on everyone.
There is always someone with a child who turns all the sticks into guns or swords.
There is always someone with a child who must stop and pet every caterpillar.
There is always someone with a child who gets a kick out of peeing in the woods.
There is always someone with a child who drinks from the stream b/c "it looks clean".
It kinda seems unfair to the rest of the group that on this trip the "someone" was me in every case. A little selfish of me to have all the fun, I know, but they can have their turn next time. :)
But in my defense, I was so horribly slow b/c of my new 35 pound appendage. Everyone offered to take a turn carrying him (so we could hurry?), but he would have none of it. So, he was mine all day. Piggy-backs worked best, but also tended to make my pants "fall" down, so every time I put him down, I had to hike them back up!
I don't have a picture of Nathan and his new best friend, but trust me, the "troll kings" had a fantastic time. See Mary climbing the waterfall and Joseph enjoying his perch on a nice rock?