My son has learned the following requests since our last outing:
Back on the trail.
[That stick is] too big.
I'm able to maintain a chirping, sing-song voice learned in my year as a Waldorf School of Princeton classroom assistant, now that I have to repeat the above requests once or twice. My son gets "multiflora rose" with no help from me.
I fed my son broccoli. My son fed me almonds, and then himself one without my noticing until the next broccoli floret was delivered. He was ready for a nap and did not appreciate an index finger probing his mouth. After the almond was ejected, we worked on nap time and my son fell asleep in my arms.
Already bulky with a backpack and wool jacket on, I didn't dare stuff him into the Ergo Baby carrier dangling from my waist. He became heavy very quickly, so I trotted down the trail until reaching another trail junction - all trails in all directions were marked with yellow blazes.
I hewed left and recognized a fallen and resprouting flowering dogwood, a triumph in the deer ravaged Princeton area.
If for no other reason, having botanical interests can help in trail orientation. I recall an acquaintance telling of two hikers lost calling in for help via cell phone. "What do you see around you?" they were asked. "Trees," they replied. Luckily, they were found.
About halfway back, a hiker with two dogs approached. The dogs began to bark hysterically and strain at their leashes.
"Do you have a dog?" she hollered.
"No, I have a baby. A baby that was asleep."
Not ok, I thought, as I rushed past her barking hounds. My son stared with bleary eyes. The parking lot was visible. As we neared, my son became proportionally heavier. Back at our car, my son was happy to explore the parking lot and the car.