A Glimpse Inside the Minds of Two 7-Year-Old Girls (and a Dad)

It is our strict policy to never tell the children anything fun that we are going to do until we are already doing it.  Plans change, things happen, and we don’t need twelve hours of two crying children because it rained on beach day.  So when we told the kids on Saturday morning that we were going to hike up a mountain, they were happily surprised.  Well, Edward was happy.  Ruby was quite upset, because she had promised her best friend that the next time we hiked up a mountain, she could come too.  So, simply to calm my daughter down, I agreed to text the parents, though I held out little hope that they would be free.

They were free.

On our way to the mountain, we stopped to pick up Ruby’s best friend, Mace Greedo.  Mace was jumping around and squealing in excitement as she entered the car, so we put her in the way back with Ruby where they could plot things and talk in their secret made-up language.  Ruby and Mace sprang from the car as soon as we arrived, and took off up the mountain before we could do anything about it, so we decided that one parent had to walk with Edward at 4-year-old speed, and the other one was going to have to chase after the two 7-year-olds.  I took the first shift with the girls, and as I caught up with them, I heard this conversation.

Mace: “Can you believe we’re already this far up the mountain and we’re not even singing Let It Go yet?!’

Ruby: “Hmmmm, well, we’re not at the top yet, but I guess we should start singing it anyway…”

Mace & Ruby: “THE SNOW BLOWS WHITE ON THE MOUNTAIN TONIGHT, NOT A FOOTPRINT TO BE SEEEEEEN…”

They finished the song, at which point my daughter said: “At this rate, we can sing the whole Frozen soundtrack by the time we get to the top!”  Luckily it turned out that mountain climbing was an activity that required heavy breathing and the singing eventually faded away.  Not that I don’t like singing…

As we progressed farther up the mountainous trail, my wife and switched on and off between the two groups, so I probably missed a lot of good and insightful conversations.  As I resumed my original post at one point though, I managed to hear this snippet of exchange:

Mace: “I wish we were taking the road.”

Ruby: “I only like hiking up mountain trails, not roads, because I am a true Vermonter!”

Mace: “Yeah, me too.  I’m a true Vermonter too.”

Ruby: “TRUE Vermonters only hike through the mountains.”

Mace: “Yeah, I only like to hike on mountains too.  I just wish I was on the road right now because I’m TIRED!”

*tons of giggles from both of them*

Ruby: “And TRUE Vermonters wear shorts and a t-shirt in the winter!”

Mace: “Yeah, I KNOW!”

*more giggles*

It was very clear to me as I listened to their back and forth that they were great friends, willing to adapt to what the other had to say.  But it was also clear that, as they begin to make their way in the social world, all 7-year-olds are a little like Kristin Wiig’s SNL Character Penelope.  If you want to see how they think, watch this video.  It is all a game of one-upsmanship.  Whatever the one does, the other does it too, and possibly just a little bit more.  It was actually pretty cute.

When we got to the top of the mountain, the most important thing was that they arrived before Edward, since he was only four and should not be faster at climbing than they were.  But since they had been lollygagging about, looking at bugs and plants and rocks, they had to make a mad dash around him to secure their first place finish.  Once that was settled we brought out our picnic, where it was time to compare drinks and snacks.  There was much sharing, and even more giggling.

When it was time to go, I realized that my sunglasses were gone.  I knew that I had been wearing them when we arrived at the top, and I hadn’t really been anywhere since then, but they were nowhere to be seen.  I scoured the grounds for several minutes, starting to really freak out, when I decided to ask the children to help me look.  And that was when I found my sunglasses.  On Mace’s face.  This was apparently the funniest thing that had ever happened.

With sunglasses finally in hand (or on face, really), we packed up all of our trash to take down the mountain with us, and as we started down the path Ruby suddenly realized that now her sunglasses were missing.  She was sure that they had been in her bag, but now they were gone.  We started tearing through all of our packs, until we looked in the one place we should have looked to begin with: Mace’s face.  There they were.  Phew.  Hilarious.

I was on Edward duty for most of the way down the mountain, so I didn’t get any more tidbits of 2nd grade social structure.  We hiked and hopped and skipped and bumped our way down, stopping only to climb on the most dangerous rocks and tiptoe across the most dangerous logs.  Everyone agreed that it was the best hike ever, and while the hike was fun, yes, my favorite part of the day was seeing my daughter in her element, interacting on her own with a friend, and becoming a person that I have less control over.  Terrifying, yes, but oh, so exciting!

Posted in Edward, Frozen, Hiking, Mace Greedo, Ruby.

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