1. If you can't make it fun for the kid, don't even try going.
2. Allow for deviations in the plan, especially for things like chasing ants and listening to bullfrogs.
3. Enjoy said deviations. Or at least make the best of them.
4. Don't plan on catching fish. I can illustrate that one.
|"Daddy, look! I a dolphin!"|
Damn, that picture makes me laugh. And groan. Good luck fishing anywhere near there! Even as recently as March of this year, I was having trouble with basic outdoor parenting stuff - getting Hank to take an interest in fishing seemed impossible, since even keeping him on a damn trail was totally impossible. But as any parent knows, things can change overnight. For anyone who doubts that, here are two pictures of Hank in the same spot, just 10 weeks apart. First one is March 2012, second one is May 2012.
Yeah. That was fast. Hank and I have been out twice in the last week and the difference has been amazing.
|Does not stand still.|
|"C'mere fish! C'mon!!!"|
Breakthrough #3: A Reason to Fish. This was the second biggest surprise (to #4). On our first (recent) trip , which was to the lake a few miles from our home, I didn't bring the fishing rods. "Why bother?" I thought. Well, let's just say that Hank was displeased about how I didn't bring his "Spida Man Pishin Pole," and selected a marginally suitable stick to be his stand-in rod. He explained to me, "Daddy, I wanna say hi to the fish. I not scared." To which I responded, "How do you wanna say hi to the fish?"
|Holds reel under the rod, like Daddy's spinning and fly reels....|
|Pouring freezing spring water on crotch equals hilarious!|
There are surely many more challenges ahead, but I'm enjoying that we've turned a couple of small but significant corners. Hank talks about fishing almost daily now, and it's just amazing to watch him grow into the sport.