Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mountain Child

I have been drilling Kristina for years on what to do if she can't find me (aka 'gets lost'), repeating over and over again that she is to find SOMEONE (soldier, another mommy or daddy, policeman) and to show them her ID bracelet.

She has yet to get actually lost, mostly thanks to my awesome parenting cross-airport sprinting skills, but I'm fairly confident she knows the deal at this point.

But now we live in mountains.

Not just near the mountains mind you, but rather nestled IN them off a small dirt road right up against a national forest with minimal neighbors. 

And that means I've been working on a new set of childhood survival skills with her.

Now if she gets lost, she is to find a rock to sit on or a tree to stand next to and STAY THERE. This is a particularly hard one for her, since she isn't exactly a child gifted in the art of sitting still, but it's also huge for being able to find her should she ever be misplaced in the woods.

I've also been discussing what forest rangers are, and keep meaning to try to and find some kid program put on by them so she can meet a few and get a better idea of who these fabled finders of lost children really are.

And then we get to the animal survival skills.

I actually remember when they taught us this back in my kindergarten year up here in these very same mountains, and while I go over it with her I keep coming to the comically bad realization that my child is so lunch should she ever actually encounter a mountain lion.

But just in case, I keep repeating that she is to make herself as big as possible using sticks if readily available. She is to back away slowly and NOT to run.

And to think untasty thoughts.

Ok, I don't actually tell her that last part. But it'd probably be about as helpful as the official instructions at decreasing her snackiness appearance.

Should the furry friend be a bear (like she'd actually be able to correctly identify these things in a crises situation), she is to pretend to be asleep. And this instruction includes sub-instructions over her needing to NOT pretend to snore and to NOT wiggle all about like she does at bedtime.

I kinda suspect a better approach might be to tell children to always have a snickers bar in their pocket and then to throw it to the bear for a distraction while they make their escape. But then I suppose there might be complications with the bear being attracted to the pocketed snickers bar in the first place.

Yep, just keep thinking untasty thoughts....

1 comment:

  1. Dear Marty,

    Do you have a high resolution version of the picture used on this blog entry of 'what to do if a mountain lion attacks'? If possible, we would like to use it in a book we are publishing called Big Cats? This is for an Educational UK publisher called A & C Black. Unfortunately, we can't offer any payment for the image, as this is a charity project in conjunction with London Zoo, but we can send you copies of the finished book and will make sure the image is credited to you.

    If you are able to help, please email me on

    Thanks for your time,

    Rachel Kellehar