My first mistake was signing Alexis up for something that requires driving halfway across town at 8:00 in the morning. I know that's not that early, but I have a Mila now. Mila doesn't do 8:00 in the morning.
I feel for Little Miss Mornings Are Stupid, so I let her sleep until we're walking out the door. A quick diaper change and she's in her car seat, pajamas and all. It's up to her whether she wants to fall back asleep or not, and that's where my second mistake comes in. I just met the kid seven weeks ago, but I already know she unleashes a special brand of horror every day shortly after waking.
I can sit in a conference room and have Oracle developers explain complicated customizations to me then translate that to plain English for end users in my sleep, but I can't figure out how to contain the special brand of horror that is Mila's first poop of the day. There's some sort of weird trajectory thing that happens if she's in a car seat. It causes the diaper to completely miss out on the action.
Poop. On the car seat. Every. Single. Morning.
THAT is why I shouldn't try to be anywhere early in the day.
Another good reason is that I might make my third mistake. My third mistake involved seeing a sign that said "Trail Head" and thinking "a walk would be a good way to pass an hour." After dropping Alexis off, I pulled into the Trail Head parking lot. I discovered and cleaned up the Pooptastic Horror then wrapped a clean Mila up in the mei tai.
There were multiple trails to choose from, so Mila and I started to the left. We quickly retreated, however, when we ran into a pack of kids. I like kids just fine, but when they're traveling in packs, I run away. We headed in a new direction and I thought to myself, "this is a nice trail."
That's a funny word.
Given that I was in the middle of the sort of neighborhood where people consider shopping at Gap instead of J Crew to be "roughing it," I was surprised the trail was as rustic as it was. I mean, gravel! Not pavement! And it was only about three feet wide! It was practically a scene out of a Lewis and Clark adventure it was so rough and tumble.
I like trails that are like that. A little challenging, but let's not get all nature-y or anything dangerous like that.
50 yards in, I had to move a branch out of my way as I walked. I thought about telling Mila about my act of bravery, but she was asleep. I congratulated myself instead and moved on.
As I moved forward, things started to get a little ... woodsy. It was good, though! You couldn't even tell that I was in the middle of civilization! There wasn't a single soul anywhere! Go me! I thought about how great the trail would be for a photo shoot and trudged on, occasionally stomping on an overgrown plant that was trying to block the trail.
As I walked, the overgrown plants became more common. And more common. And more common. Without realizing what was happening, I suddenly found myself drowning in nature. DROWNING.
THAT WAS NOT A TRAIL.
It couldn't possibly be overgrown for long, though, so I trudged forward. I climbed over a log (go me!), pushed aside a branch, and shuffled through some plants. All the while, I expected the trail to fully reappear in all of its domesticated glory.
Instead, it disappeared. It shrunk to just a few inches of mud surrounded by woods and wildlife and nature. SO MUCH NATURE.
You know what nature has? Spiders. Tons of them.
Every 20 feet or so, I found myself furiously brushing spider webs off myself and Mila. Then I found myself brushing a mother trucking spider off Mila's head and OMG I DIDN'T SCREAM THEN BUT I MIGHT NOW.
The clearly ungrateful child didn't even thank me for saving her life. She just kept sleeping, completely ignorant to the danger.
I considered my options. I could turn back, but the alleged trail was a loop, so I HAD to be close to returning to the beginning. I could just stand there and give up on life, but Mila. She has her entire life in front of her. I could text a friend and ask if it would be appropriate to call 911.
I texted the friend. She gave me the courage I needed to persevere.
As I trudged forward, it suddenly dawned on me that my car key was in my pocket. I hadn't been checking to make sure it was still there and OMG I SAW THAT MOVIE. It wasn't until the idiot woman doubled back to find her key that the man-sized spider ate her!
Fortunately, my key was still in my pocket. I clutched it tightly as I returned to trudging.
I kept knocking webs down with leaves and little sticks because once you've walked face-first into a spider web, you're done. DONE, I TELL YOU.
Except that I walked face-first into another one, spider and all.
Mila learned a new word in that moment. I mean, she was still asleep, but I know she heard it because I yelled it louder than I've ever yelled anything. The baffling thing is that the rest of the spiders didn't run away scared. Instead, they kept looming over the alleged trail, laughing at me as I struggled to find civilization.
An eternity later (or maybe it was 29 minutes and 57 seconds from the time I started the walk-- I can't be sure since it wasn't like I definitely knew exactly how long it had been), the trail opened back up and became acceptable again. I nearly broke into a run when I finally saw my car because baby wipes! I had a GIANT package of baby wipes in my car!
It took longer to wipe the nature off of me than it did to put it on. During that time, I thought about my mistake.
I will never again put myself in a position where nature can attack me like that. Mark my words.