Just returned from a weekend trip with my 6 1/2 year old daughter and I was reflecting on the rules of going with children.
1. You will eventually have to go along with whatever campsite your child has chosen because you no longer have any free will. It will probably be a bug bog filled with bear scat but just accept it.
2. Upon arriving at camp everything will now be drug through the dirt.
3. They will now proceed to fall into the water, you're in the middle of the drought ridden Mohave and someone's children are falling into a seep.
4. They will repeat 2 + take off their shoes.
5. All electronic devices need to be equiped with page features similar to cordless phones [any members who find a digital camera in the Lake Wenatchee area of the Cascades please email me.]
6. Like the new viruses and super bugs, conifer pitch and deciduous sap has now evolved beyond modern industrial solvents, this is actually a good place to encourage rolling in the dirt but one needs to practice the "what pitch?" line before confronting the mother bear at the home den.
7.A. Children fall asleep differently then adults, when sharing a tent it is important for them to annoy the adult into a state of agitation. As soon as they are sure you can not possibly fall asleep they will.
B. No matter how often you attempt the pre-bedtime bathroom routine it is doomed to fail. At exactly 3am you will be fumbling for a flashlight and ... .
C. As you lay awake a 3:15 am deciding all children are terrorists and that tomorrow you are going to misplace the mosquito repellent and sacrifice them to the insect gods you will eventually drift off to sleep.
D. You will awake with a child's sleeping bag pulled up to your knees and a jacket over you upper torso, Your daughter will look absolutely angelic 3 foot deep in your beautiful down bag.
8. Even though you were looking forward to a superb cup of coffee it is possible you will be hitting the trail at 7:05 am, after both #2 and #3 occur.
9. Stopping at a quaint shop along your rural route home will cost you $44.00 for a doll even though all the other dolls in the store are $9.95. There is no explanation, it will just happen, this can possibly replace the "what pitch speech" with the "what doll speech" so practice in the rearview mirror before returning to your home den.
10. After decades of glorious wilderness hikes these will be some of the best memories you'll ever have.