This is the second installment from our family trip to Mount Baker this year. We are now back in civilization and re-acclimated to life with wi-fi and distractions. The first day turned out pretty well. As I wrote last time, I woke up really early and got in a workout and some writing before the kids got up so that was wonderful. I then made everyone breakfast and found out that the cabin had an ULTRA sensitive smoke alarm (it’s just bacon, people) and that although my children couldn’t apparently care less about our fire alarm at home (which in addition to piercing whoops, also helpfully calls out FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!) freak the you-know-what OUT when hearing a new smoke alarm (not at all helping the situation, as you might guess).
After eating our extremely crispy bacon and worse than mediocre pancakes, we set out on our big hiking adventures. I have to say, that even though it was overcast and drizzling, it was gorgeous! Our first stop was Nooksack Falls. Even though we brought the leashes, I was a little nervous by the signs at the base of the trail. There were about 40 of them all saying things like: ‘This is a very dangerous area. Don’t go off the trail or you’ll die.’ ‘We really mean it. You’ll DIE.’ ‘You think you won’t die, but you will. Don’t go past the fence.’ ‘Every year people go outside the fence and DIE and you will too. Don’t do it.’ Even ‘See the pretty picture of the waterfall? You can’t get a picture like this without going outside the fence and DYING so don’t even try’. So of course we were very careful when going outside the fence (just kidding, Mom, we didn’t). But the warnings definitely served their purpose. I was so concerned we might someone die just being in eyesight of the fence (like maybe we’d just become hypnotized like a family of 5 really noisy lemmings and just kind of fall over it without meaning to) that I can’t say I enjoyed it much.
After that we got back into the car to see if we could find a less death-y kind of walk. This troubled PeeWa, who enjoyed Lemming Falls so much that he didn’t want to ever, ever leave and let us know tearfully. To our surprise, we ended up at the top of Mount Baker at a totally deserted ski hill base. And there was still snow! Well, more like calcified ice. Winter people know what I mean; that crunchy crystallized field of tiny white knives that looks inviting but actually hurts to touch? Yeah, that. So we ‘played in the snow’ (i.e. cut up our exposed flesh on freezing shards of broken glass-like ice) for as long as I could stand. #NoBen suddenly got unadventurous, or maybe was just sick of getting hurt on adventures, and politely requested someone please take him to the car, while me, Bisky and PeeWa practiced karate kicking the solid wall of packed ‘snow’ to dislodge chunks and then throw them. This not only hurt our feet, but also our hands, but they seemed to really enjoy it regardless.
Then we packed them up AGAIN to find something less painful to do. EPIPHANY 3: When traveling with small children, do NOT plan a series of adventures that requires multiple car loadings. Each time they think it’s over and are devastated and it takes forever to calm down. Not worth it. Unfortunately, I only have the attention span and patience for 45 minutes’ worth of activities at a time so this could be an issue.
We couldn’t find anything else to do so we just took them home for a nap. Bisky and I amused ourselves by throwing giant marshmallows at each other while Dreamy read and napped himself, poor dear. After everyone woke up we went back to the nice river to throw rocks (and no one got hit in the head this time) after which we enjoyed a rousing family game of hide and seek. All I can say about that is I hope murderers never break into our house, or any other catastrophe requiring my children to actually hide from anyone because they totally suck at it. The boys don’t even try and Bisky is such a little control freak that she instructs the ‘Looker’ where to sit while counting and then says something like ‘You can come find me now! I’m in the bedroom under the blanket. Hurry up!’ Not that we need coaching, considering she sits straight up in bed with a blanket over her head.
Unfortunately, while playing hide and seek #NoBen figured out how to set the alarm clock in his and PeeWa’s room so it went off at 4:00 am the next day. Dreamy figured that out but came back with the babies. You’d think 5 fairly small people (3 REALLY small) could fit in one king size bed but you’d be wrong. Maybe if 4 of the 5 weren’t all crammed into 1 foot of room. The boys clung to me like I was a life raft and the Titanic just went down and every time I so much as moved they’d wake up and cry. PeeWa loudly demanded to go play ‘in da house!’ so because I am working on my parenting skills I firmly told him ‘No, Aiden. Your choice is this bed or your crib. That’s your choice. Do you want to go in your crib?’ ‘Nooooo. No Cwib.’ ‘Okay then. This is your choice.’ To which, Bisky’s voice floated up from 2 kids over, ‘Good job on the choices Mommy. You are doing great!’ ‘Thanks, G’.
I ended up getting up with the boys at 4:50. Not quite the quiet paradise as the previous day, but not too bad either. After a fairly routine morning, we packed up and headed home. The only casualty from the whole trip was the carwash vacuum, which Dreamy told me broke after he tried to suck up an ocean of goldfish, crackers and other assorted detritus needed to keep three littles occupied on 6-hours of driving.
So yes, we survived and I’m actually looking forward to next year! In the meantime, someone has GOT to do something about my children’s behavior…more on that next time!