Weekly Stroller Hikes Newsletter: Transitions (1)

Weekly Stroller Hikes Newsletter: Transitions

When I was preschool age, the teachers pulled my mom aside with great concern about me. I did not respond well to transitions, and they feared the worst. This was over 30 years ago, when there was far less known about ADHD, autism, and other seemingly frequent issues of today’s youth. Yet, like all good teachers, they were diligent about noting abnormal behavior and making recommendations to parents, particularly when they feared a learning or emotional disorder. Their alarm turned out to be mostly unfounded – I just hate to leave a party once I’m fully engaged, just like boys joke that “it stings” if they have to stop peeing mid-stream (a nod to a very silly film on that one).

Max underwent some big transitions this week, when he began preschool, and we parents made some big changes as well. Now that he has to bring his own lunch, a hot topic of any school night is what Max will have the next day (we have thus far resisted temptation to provide sugar- or salt- rich prepackaged foods). By some great miracle, Max has become totally potty-trained, which is a sizable transition from having to wear one each day at nap. He also sleeps in a room with several other kids, rather than being on his own at nap. And then there is the greatest transition of making new young and adult friends and learning new routines. As a teacher, I feared the worst – that Max might start hating school, but in fact, the opposite is the case. Max loves his school and looks forward to going, and these transitions don’t seem to have phased him in the least.

Max’s versatility educated me on a few points: (1) Max did not inherit my difficulty with transitions, and (2) With good planning, prior training, and a good attitude, transitions do not have to be so tough. I attribute Max’s willingness to play with new friends to his longtime history of meeting and playing with new people at Stroller Hikes events (he even met and happily played with a new girl last Thursday). Max and I visited his prior daycare provider to thank her for an excellent two years of education, certainly instrumental to his versatility at his new school.

We hope Stroller Hikes helps you expose your children to growth experiences in socialization, nature exploration, physical coordination, and environmental values, while helping you do the same. Recall that we will have our annual Stroller Hikes camping trip Labor Day Weekend (Saturday and/or Sunday Nights) in Soquel (near Santa Cruz). If you’re interested in joining us, please indicate this on this week’s poll or by replying to this e-mail. Cost will be $15 per family per night (proceeds benefit Stroller Hikes). A brief description of the trip is provided below.

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, August 17th at 10 am we’ll meet at John W Christian Greenbelt. Amy L. and little Adelina will lead a speed walk / jog along the lovely wide, paved greenbelt in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dogs allowed but be sure they can manage on a faster-paced walk/run. We’ll take a break around the halfway point for the trip, to play at the large playground for toddlers, along the greenbelt. Meet at the pedestrian bridge on Ahwanee Avenue and San Junipero Drive (the bridge is just NW of San Junipero Dr.). Here is a Mapquest Map of the Starting Location (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Ahwanee+Ave+and+San+Junipero+Dr+Sunnyvale+CA/). For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/GreenbeltSunnyvale/GreenbeltSunnyvale.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 650- 207-6556.

Tuesday, August 18th at 8:30 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a mellow stroller jog around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Jogging strollers are best, but this is an entirely paved trail, so smaller-wheeled strollers are also OK. Walkers always welcome! For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.

Tuesday, August 18th at 2 pm join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike at Bol Park in Palo Alto. Meet at Bol Park near the corner of Matadero Avenue and Laguna Avenue (on Laguna Avenue). This trail is entirely paved, so any baby transport will work. The trail is a widely used multi-use path that was converted from an old railroad line – a little history here! Come visit the donkeys and chickens and see a piece of “old” Palo Alto. Meet at the playground in the middle of the park. For more information, see The Bol Park Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BolPark/BolPark.html). Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.

Wednesday, August 19th at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. 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. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

Thursday, August 20th at 4 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Arastradero Park in Palo Alto/Los Altos Hills. Meet in the main parking lot off of Arastradero Rd. Baby joggers or backpacks/carriers will work for this hike, but it will be designed so toddlers can walk, run, and explore. We’ll hike to the pond, then see if we can find frogs, see ducks, and find some zooplankton. For more information, see Bay Area Hiker’s Description of Arastradero (http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/arastradero.html). Debbie and little Max will lead this hike – call 650-776-1082 if you’re running late.

-Debbie and little Max

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