Today we introduced Baby S to hiking, and to being in the Ergo on our backs. I asked P to choose a trail for us. Why? Because I am the type of person that would ignore that I am out of shape, and carrying 20 pounds of love on my back. I would then proceed to select a trail that is way over our current abilities, but looks like fun. P and I have been in that situation quite a few times in the past (Baby, remember the fire lookout tower?), but it did not involve children. P selected Bumpass Hell, you can't go wrong with a trail with the words a$$ and hell in it.
Baby S was on my back during the descent and she did very well. She would turn around every so often to look for her Baba, but did not complain once. We were concerned that the smell of sulfur (see the smoke?) would bother her, but Baby S did not seem to notice. Baby S did so well that we left her in the Ergo for most of the pictures. We only took her out briefly to let her stretch her little legs.
P, always the gentleman, volunteered to carry Baby S on the way up. I am glad I relented, because we had the opportunity to notice something about our daughter. She cannot be apart from her Mama. If she could not see me, she would totally melt down. It was quite the eye opener. This led to a serious discussion about my imminent return to the work force. All kids are different, I have read about children going to daycare two weeks after returning from China, and thriving. I have also read about children attached like Velcro to their mothers for over a year after their return. We hope that Baby S is somewhere in the middle. As things stand right now, it would be detrimental to her to attend daycare. We do not mind her crying, as it is a normal part of childhood. The problem is the quality of her crying, frantic, and how long it takes her to calm down. She is clearly having a difficult time with this transition and is not ready to trust just anyone right now. We have a lot of talking to do, and some tough decisions to make.
Once we got back to the van, Baby S snacked on a hot dog and milk. She was happy go lucky and even napped on her way home. That is, after voicing her utter contempt at being in her carseat, instead of her Mama's arm. When we tell Baby S about her first hike, we can safely tell her that on this day, we took her to hell and back. :)