What is a nature-loving family to do, when the 4 year old fairy princess has two left feet?

I’ve written a few times, since falling for my lovely Lori, of how keen I am to get my newly acquired step-kidlets out on the trail as much as possible. They adore spending time in nature, so I’m keen to pass on my love of hiking if I can.

Our oldest is pretty tough. There’s only ever been one bushwalking trip where we’ve heard a complaint from him, and that was because we stupidly left the snacks at home and by the time we reached the half-way point of our hike, the poor kid was starving.

The fairy princess, on the other hand, is quite… How do I put this? Delicate? Precious, perhaps?

Don’t get me wrong, in many ways she’s incredibly resilient too. It’s just that she’s not really used to doing a lot of walking, and she’s a little uncoordinated.

On a recent visit to Olinda Falls, we opted to park at the Olinda Falls car park, making the total return walk only 600 metres. During this short walk, our poor little girl managed to stab herself in the leg with one of the many small tree branches that litter the trail; she stumbled and fell no less than eight times; she even managed to fall into Olinda Creek twice.

“I hate this place!” she screamed hysterically, stomping her feet and waving her clenched fists. After a bit of prompting we discovered that this wasn’t so much due to the frustration of falling over, but rather the fear that she would float away. She has an amazing little imagination, but it doesn’t always serve her well.

As adorable (and somewhat amusing) as all of this is, I’m really hoping the wee cherub isn’t ultimately turned off the outside world by these semi-regular misadventures.

Each time she trips, I tell her that it’ll mean she’s less likely to do it next time; that she just needs to remember to lift her feet and watch where she’s putting them and eventually she won’t fall over so much.

Practice makes perfect, as they say.


Do you have your own kidlet with two left feet? Got some tips for how to encourage them? Please let us know by commenting below.

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