Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Mexican Mom Wants Birth Certificates for Stilborn Babies

New Mexican Mom Wants Birth Certificates for Stilborn Babies

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our fourth of July hike

On the Fourth of July we hiked on the East Fork Trail in the Jemez Mountains. The hike has two easy miles through a pine forest, and then you go down a steep hill that leads to the East Fork River. We went about four and a half miles.

Calvin hiked for a little while too.  It was a challenge to get him to keep walking forward. He wanted to look at and touch the trees, and walk off into the woods, and he wanted us to sing Fi-Fi-Fo-Fum ad nauseam. But he was having a good time.

Then we hiked with him in the backpack until we got to the river. He wanted to swim, so we took his clothes off and waded into the water. But it was too cold and he wouldn't even let his feet get wet, so we both ended up standing knee deep, holding a naked toddler.

Across the river there were a lot of people walking by in swim suits. I guess they must have parked in a different place, where they could get there faster.  But they said that just down the river there was a huge waterfall where people were going cliff diving. So after we had our snacks and put Calvin's clothes back on we crossed the river.

We came to a spot where we would have to wade through the water, and it was pretty rocky.  It looked like the only way to do it was to get wet.... so we stopped there and sat down on the bank where we threw rocks into the water. Calvin loved doing that, and probably could have stayed there all night, throwing rocks until the bank receded permanently.

Meanwhile people were coming back from the cliffs. One guy hurt his ankle and his friends had to hold him up while he hopped through the river. I guess nobody told him how shallow the water was.

Quinn wanted to check the cliff out and I decided to stay where I was, plopping the rocks into the water (I can't get them to skip). He came back soon and said it looked cool, but he couldn't get to the cliff because you just have to walk through the river. We would have to come back with flip flips.

Getting him to hike by following his lead

All spring I've been worried that I won't be able to keep up this hiking blog, simply because Calvin won't hike. It just seems that lately, whenever I take him anywhere, he wants to be carried by me. I can't even get him to walk by my side into the grocery store. So the idea of taking him on a four mile trek through the woods sounds pretty tiring.

It could be that he's nervous about going into busy places, and that's what makes him cling to my legs like an octopus. Or it could be that he senses that I don't particularly want to lug him around because I'm pregnant, and so he insists on it. And now my back is always sore.

I've recently gone out of my way to get him to enjoy hiking, simply by making the "hikes" a little less destination-focused. Last week after dinner I drove down to that canyon trail by the roundabout in Los Alamos.  It was just the two of us.

When I pulled him out of the car he wouldn't let me put him down - he wanted me to carry him. So I sat down in the landscaping rocks that line the sidewalk and acted like I brought him there to look at rocks. We did that for a few minutes. Then he just started to run down the trail.

I followed him, just to see what he was interested in. Rather than go down the marked trail he went up the flight of concrete stairs that leads to the road. I was nervous.  I mean, what if he jumped over the guard rail really fast, or someone went off the road just then?

I tried to stay calm and let him lead the way, because grabbing him and dragging him kicking and screaming to the car would completely defeat the purpose of us being there (trying to help Calvin hike - and not be just another piece of luggage).

He ran up the steep sidewalk, and stopped every few feet to run his fingers through a pile of dirt, or look at a column of ants, or pick up a rusty bottle cap. I'd say we walked 1/4 mile, and then I had to carry him back most of the way and we played with the rocks until it started to get dark.

If he's going to hike it will have to be slower, with more time to look at stuff. Then, if we want to just cover some miles we'll have to put him in the backpack (a long as it's on Quinn's back and not mine).