Firstly, Happy Mothers Day to all the mums out there!
I asked to spend the day at Mt Glorious today. Its a forest reserve with some walking trails that I had read were suitable for young children.
Thats why I say I have turned into my mother. I can remember my mother planning many, many trips to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. And guess what the number one activity there is? Walking along the trails! I absolutely hated it. My parents still remember me moaning throughout all the walks we had. It wasn't that I found them tiring, I just did not enjoy it one little bit. Not the cool air, or trees, or monkey cups or anything about it.
And now, I've become a mother that looked forward to walking the trails with her son. The difference is that Aaron had a fantastic time. Adrian toggled between being whiny (like the old me) and also having an exciting time.
Aaron was looking for some adventure and after I sent him 'off-trail' the first time, he felt great and wanted more. I'm not saying that I'm a better mother than my mother because she's obviously the best but I made a slight improvement on her way of enjoying nature. I had three little games to play with the boys as we made our way through the 3km trail.
First, I would look out for alternative routes that Aaron could take, away from the designated trail. He would have to work out his own way in the general direction I pointed. They were just short deviations that cut across to join up with the main trail again. Can you see him? For this one, I asked him to climb down from where we were and walk across the trickling stream (without getting his shoes wet) and then wait for me on the trail on the other side.
The second game we played was hide and seek. He got to run up ahead, hide, and then try to give me a shock when I walked past. Adrian joined in on this game and gave them away every time.
I was struggling to think of a third game but it turned out to be the simplest one of all - pretend you're a hunter. Hah! I told him he had to move around without making any noises - no talking, stepping on dry leaves or sticks or even coughing. I used this game sparingly but it worked well.
When my mother gets back to Brisbane, I'm going to drag her along to one of these days of roaming the sub-tropical rainforests. I wonder what she thinks of it now....