Max will be a brother in less than two months, and as a “planner,” I’ve been seeking ways to prep him for his new role. Help comes in all shapes and sizes, as our Toddler Trek showed us, yesterday.
We had a wonderful Toddler Trek, especially alongside the creek at Rancho San Antonio, which is delightfully full right now. After having some great fun smelling bay leaves, splashing in the water a bit, finding cool bugs, rocks, and logs, and seeing plenty of larger critters like deer and a rabbit, we faced some health issues.
Little Kiely had apparently eaten peanuts at preschool that day, and in her sensitivity to them, began vomiting. If you’re reading this story to non-parents, I’m certain their responses might be quite different than parents’. Vomiting is one of those world-stops-spinning moments of panic and concern for parents, at least for me. Kiely’s brother jumped to action almost immediately, which contrasted my initial anxiety a great deal. Although I doubt he could explain why he did the things he did, his actions fit those of a big brother to a tee. My little Max watched, listened, and started helping in his own brotherly way.
Tevin quickly began finding distractions for his little sister. She was just as distraught as mom, but within a short period of time, the distractions worked. Instead of focusing on the vomit, her messy clothes, or how she might be feeling, before long, Kiely was drawn to find the lizards her brother was pointing out. Max was also pointing out lizards, and before long, Kiely was fully immersed in the game and was climbing on a downed tree, looking for lizards.
Upon leaving, Max tripped on a root and went down HARD. I did my best to console Max, but with a bump on the head and scrapes on his hand, it was extremely difficult to find ways for him to abandon his pain, fear, and need for affection. Tevin to the rescue. With a Roly Poly in his hand, talking about how it tickled, Max was interested and engaged in something other than his accident. After another vomit fit, Kiely was there as well, enjoying how the Roly Poly was so bold to walk every which way on the palm of a hand, then fall to the ground, only to roll over and keep on walking.
Literally speaking, the Roly Poly was falling down, just to get back up. Kiely and Max were also metaphorically falling down (well, Max literally), and while moms were there to help them get back up, it was an older boy’s love and attention that really led them back to standing and smiling.
Kudos to big brother Tevin for being such a fantastic big brother to his sister and his little friend, Max. I can only hope Max might be such a great big brother one day. When I asked Max about the hike later, he independently mentioned that Roly Poly and how cool Tevin had been. Sometimes the best teacher/preparation for our futures, is experience.
We hope Stroller Hikes helps you have some wonderful outdoor experiences with nature and exercise. Here are this week’s events:
Saturday, April 24th from 7 pm – 8:30 pm join Jennifer and little Kayla for a Full Moon Hike at Harvey Bear / Coyote Lake Ranch Park near Gilroy off of San Martin Avenue in San Martin. What a treat to share sunset and witness some critters settling down to rest, while other creatures come alive at night! We’ll hike Martin Murphy Trail, a 2 mile paved loop, with excellent vantage points for seeing stars and looking for bats flying to catch insects, while offering plenty of safe space for toddlers and children to hike with us. Jennifer will alert you to nature at dusk and beyond, by the light of the moon. All family members welcome! This is a Santa Clara County Play Here (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) activity. Register at the Santa Clara County Website or by calling or e-mailing Carrie Grisenti at 408-355-2240 or Carrie.Grisenti@…, or just come out to join us! To get to the trailhead, drive towards Gilroy on Highway 101. From the Highway 101 exit at San Martin Avenue, drive East for 2 miles on San Martin Avenue. The Harvey Bear Ranch entrance to the park is on the left, a quarter mile East of Foothill Avenue, on San Martin Avenue. Call Jennifer at 408-470-0463 if you’re running late. The event is free, but a parking fee may apply.
Sunday, April 25th from 8 am to noon join South Bay Fishing in the City as they teach children, ages 5 to 15 how to fish at Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin County Park. Please do not bring your own bait or gear – everything will be provided at the event. Please call (408) 355-2299 to reserve your spot. This is a South Bay Fishing in the City event. To get there, take Hwy 680 East and exit at Calaveras Road, then follow signs to the park and lake. Bring a few dollars to pay for parking. See Santa Clara County’s Website (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) for more information.
Tuesday, April 27th at 1:30 pm join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino / Los Altos Hills off of Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path or a hilly, packed dirt route, depending on who attends. Both trails will go to the farm, and maybe past it. Any baby transport will work, and bikes or trikes can be used on the flat route. Meet at the upper parking lot where model airplanes are flown (just past the entrance, turn right, then left into the first parking area uphill from the lower two). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.
Tuesday, April 27th at 4 pm join Pippa and her wee one for a Toddler Trek at Shoreline Park in Mountain View/Palo Alto at 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd. The trail is paved, so it’s great for all strollers or kid carriers. Meet at the lake next to where the sailboats are kept (to the right of the cafe / bathrooms building) in Shoreline Park. There are plenty of play structures and a beach for toddlers – we’ll stop to play after the hike! Sorry, no dogs allowed. For information about the park and directions, see Shoreline Park Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Shoreline/Shoreline.html). If you’re running late, give Pippa a call at 510-621-7471.
Thursday, April 29th at 4:30 PM join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Los Gatos Creek Trail for a hike toward / to Vasona Park or around the percolation ponds here. This is a two-lane paved path, so any transport will work. Meet at Los Gatos Creek Park, at 1250 Dell Avenue in Campbell, in the parking lot. If you would like to avoid paying a fee for parking, park along the street. For information about the trail, see Los Gatos Creek Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosGatosCreek/LosGatosCreek.html). Sorry, no dogs allowed. If you’d like to do window shopping afterwards, downtown Los Gatos amd Campbell are nearby! This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.
Friday, April 30th at 9:45 am Jenn W. and little Scott will lead at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills off of Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms(just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. The hike will be to the farm and back – about 2 miles, with a stop at the farm for a break. This hike is at least half shaded. If you’re running late, give Jenn a call at 210-859-8721.
-Debbie, little Max, and wee Peanut