Let’s be real for a moment. As much as we like to get outside and do stuff, there are times Emma just doesn’t want to. So what is an outdoor parent to do?
In our text-book, listen-to-the-experts parenting moments, we make our ideas to hit the trail, paddle the canoe or search for geocaches sound like irresistible adventures filled with scavenger hunts and the wonders of the world around us.
In our luke-warm parenting moments, we bribe her to go just a little bit longer on a trail. Heck. We’ve bribed her just to get to the trail-head.
In our less-than-stellar parenting moments, we just yell at her and “make” her go with us. Those trips are never as much fun as any of the other options.
Sometimes, we just give up and she gets her own way.
And then, there is the compromise. Like the time we went geocaching around Grundy Lake Provincial Park. She had been pretty patient as we hopped in and out of the truck looking for a few treasures, but she finally had enough when we parked at the side of a logging road so we could find “just one more”.
“I’m staying in the truck,” she said. Knowing that we’d only be a few feet away as we searched for the cache, we agreed to let her stay in the truck and watch us poking around bushes and poles for a little, camouflaged container.
It kind of took longer than we thought it would. But she was patient, and we didn’t hear a peep of complaint. It turns out, she was finding creative ways to keep herself busy. With my camera. I called the resulting photo essay, “Waiting for just one more geocache”.
I think she had the last laugh. We didn’t find the geocache. And I didn’t discover what she’d been up to with my camera until we got home a week later. But she did get the “geo-smiley” for creativity.