Playing Politics – Stroller Hikes Weekly Newsletter

Playing Politics

I was horrified at the idea of becoming a parent for a long time. Unlike my husband, I had not spent much time with babies, so really had no clue what I might be getting into, when we started talking about, and subsequently, having kids. I longed for the days when you could rationalize with the little person, making deals, and helping them develop attitudes and opinions.

Max just recently started playing politic – using rationale and “sweet talking” to try to get his way. Don’t let my term – playing politic – give you the wrong idea. He’s no little Jimmy Carter or anything. But it’s a treat to see that when the boy wants something, and is well rested and fed, he’ll side with talking his way in or out of a situation, rather than whining or throwing a tantrum.

On our Toddler Trek this week, Max had insisted on bringing some trucks and cars in his backpack, so as we waited for other folks to arrive at Hidden Villa, he played with them. We shared a couple with the children who had already arrived, but with the great attendance this week, I decided that we didn’t have THAT many trucks to go around, so we put them away. Hence began Max’s political agenda; how can I get mom to let me get the trucks back out?

First came the straight request. “Can I get a truck out?”

Then came trying to please the party for which he wanted something. “I would share my trucks – how about we all stop and play?”

Then came trying to make the goal more appropriate given the current atmosphere. “I found a perfect little stick for my truck.”

Then came bribery. “Mom, do you want a truck too?”

In the end, the trucks stayed in the bag, and Max has a great time, as he usually does, playing in nature’s playground without modern toys. There were sticks, bark chips, flowers, and plenty of critters to hold, touch, and watch. And logs to balance on, tip over, and put upright again.

Perhaps the best lesson for a budding politician is that sometimes you can’t get what you want. Or that you should trust your advisors… mom knows best.

Here are this week’s events:

Sunday, March 7th at 10 am come out for the Second Annual Jenny’s Light 5K or 1/2 mile children’s Fun Run. The 5K race is a flat, paved loop through Vasona Park, beginning at Gateway Pavilion, near the entrance to Vasona near Blossom Hill Road. Prizes will be awarded to top males and females in age groups as well as top males and females with baby joggers. Walkers are welcome! Silent auction and raffle will also occur. For more information, visit www.jennyslight.org. Jenny’s Light is a 501-c-3 public charity working to increasing awareness of all perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Register before mid-February for the lowest registration fees.

Tuesday, March 9th at 9 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a Toddler Trek at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park. We will meet at the Vargas Dr. Entrance which is a break in the fence with plenty of street parking. The walk is unpaved and stroller friendly. Dogs welcome. We will make a 1 mile loop stopping midway at a playground. This will be very unstructured with plenty of time for the kids to explore and collect treasures. If we are lucky we will see some squirrel friends, acorn woodpeckers, and maybe even a hummingbird. To find this trail head south on Almaden Expressway, take a right onto Coleman (just before Almaden Lake Park), then a left onto Recife Way. Recife Way will dead end at Vargas Dr. and the trail head. If are running late give Loren a call at 831-227-6737. Come join on our adventure!

Tuesday, March 9th at 1:30 pm join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino / Los Altos Hills. 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.

Thursday, March 11th at 4:30 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose. Come out to see the wildflowers blooming, look for checkerspot butterflies, try to spy a deer, and find serpentine rock formations. Much of this route follows the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail. To get to the trailhead, take the Almaden Expressway exit from Highway 85, then travel south on Almaden Expressway. Turn right onto Harry Road, then left on McKean Road. Turn onto Fortini Road, then park at the dirt parking lot at the park entrance (where San Vicente Avenue also enters the park). The trail is a 2.5 mile loop; we’ll follow Fortini Trail along the Santa Teresa Creek for almost a mile, then turn left on Mine Trail, then left on Stile Ranch Trail for some nice views and a return back to the parking lot. There is no parking fee at this park entrance. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing.

Friday, March 12th at 9:45 am join Jenn W. and little Scott for a hike at Shoreline Park in Mountain View/Palo Alto. 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) and Emily Renzel/Byxbee Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html). If you’re running late, call Jenn at 210-859-8721.

Enjoy your time “in charge” of your kids’ political reigns – I hear it doesn’t last for long!

-Debbie, little Max, and wee “Peanut”

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