The above is just one way to quiet down a kid when they're being a blabbermouth.  (Wouldn't it be nice if you could do this with adults, too?)

I'm glad I didn't pinch her mouth shut the other night, however.

Taking after me, Ashley is very honest about her feelings, so like me, good chance she won't have a lot of fake friends in her life - or so I hope.

So, after a "hike" at Pineridge Natual Area with her Brownie (Girl Scout) troupe, I thought she would be complaining about it being too slow, short, or even boring - because at just 7, she is a seasoned hiker.  She's been at it her whole life.  We've hiked for hours before.

Here was Wednesday night's hike itinerary:

  • It began with about 10 minutes of one girl scout after another using the public restroom.
  • We went over some rules about respecting nature, e.g. staying on the trail.
  • Hike begins, and stops after less than one minute because someone saw a caterpillar.
  • Hike continues for perhaps 15 seconds, until someone spots a spider.
  • This pattern continues, although the hiking spans did lengthen to up to a minute at a time.  Prairie dogs, owls, and the moon were discussed, and everything was used as an educational lesson.

For me, this was a cross between meditation, entertainment, and relief - as I went along to see if the girl scout leaders knew anything about safety - ya know, hiking at dusk in the Fall - and indeed, they were on their game, so kudos.

Ashley surprised me with her review of the hike, which I was sure had disappointed her: