How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Pocket Guide to a Child’s Tracks and Movement Patterns


Pocket Guide to a Child's Tracks Footprints and Activity Movement Patterns


[ click the image to enlarge ]

The American Indians used to say: to see the tracks of an animal is to see its life. To know its day. And, at some point along the trail, to know what it had for breakfast.

Okay. I just completely made that up, but it sounds really good, you have to admit! In any case, it’s important to know how to spot tracks and “sign” (outdoorsman speak for poop) and familiarize yourself with the wild animals you’ll encounter as a parent, your children.

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31 Responses to “Pocket Guide to a Child’s Tracks and Movement Patterns”

  1. Chris says:

    Thing of beauty. Nice laugh to start my day. Right now I’ve got one in the ‘kid’ zone and it’s very accurate. #2 is almost in the crawling ‘baby’ zone, but right now, after getting the knees moving, there’s always a face-plant – the hands don’t quite move in time yet.

    • andy says:

      Hah! I was going to render a face-plant at the end of the trail of crawling because it’s such a standard maneuver for rugrats-in-training, but it just looked… really weird.

  2. From now on, I will use the banana as a scale of measurement!

    • andy says:

      😉 We should start working on a banana ruler. It’d be shaped like a banana with lines on it for 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 banana. The right tool for the right job!

      • Doyster1000 says:

        I totally agree 1. Banananana to be international style oc measurment.
        2. I have.been there and done that with the.young ones. Face plant needed. On teenage stage can I suggest a fart dinner plate bogie stains. Etc. and also zzzzzzeds.for.zleep. Only suggestions but great though. Nice one mate.

    • Wendy says:

      I find it slightly worrisome what other things these guys might measure with bananas…. hehehe

  3. Chris says:

    Love the scale measurement unit.

  4. This is hilarious! I love it. Nice. “A banana is not a standard or scientific unit of measure.”

  5. Tad says:

    Unfortunately I have an easier time tracking my toddler by scent.

  6. Desiree says:

    I’ve been tracking animals since I was little, and we always just called it “scat” not sign. Amateur, of course. I don’t kill things, generally, unless they’re coming after me.

    I love the teenager. So true. Mine are just entering the final stage, and the banana for scale will definitely help make it easier to spot once I find such a track.

    • andy says:

      That’s amazing. I wish I’d had a chance to track more. And by more I mean more than the homeless people that lived in the abandoned baseball field near where I grew up. “Sign” always sounded euphemistic to me, from people who (it seemed to me) weren’t supposed to be euphemistic. I’ll go with skat.

  7. […] This is hilarious: a guide to recognizing the “tracks” of children. From How To Be A Dad’s “Pocket Guide to a Child’s Tracks and Movement Patterns :: How To Be A Dad” […]

  8. joanne says:

    LOL.You should have made the face blob. But mine usually left their face on glass doors, etc. The teen is so true!

    • andy says:

      Ha ha! Yeah the faceplant is a common one, but we knew that a small percentage of people get really sensitive about child harm, and we wanted this one to be pure mental marshmallows. 😉

  9. Manda says:

    I just love the newborn! It looks like it has flippers! You can just see them wiggling around like a little squid (True story. In one of my youngest’s ultrasounds, it looks like she has three legs! We can’t figure out where the third appendage came from…….).

    • andy says:

      Whoa! That must have been a little unnerving for a moment. I love science fiction, but not when it relates to child birth. Unless its some kind of rad super power like laser eyes or levitation abilities or something.

      • Natalia says:

        I’m not sure I would love to carry a levitating baby on my womb, though (and let’s not talk about the laser option! It sends chills to my spine)

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, I love super powers but the idea of laser sight in a fetus made me wince too. Ha ha!

          • stacey says:

            My wife cringed when I read this to her and she said, “Uterine Ablasion anyone?” Personally, I think that is the real reason that all the comic book superpowers didn’t manifest until puberty. Kind of hard to sell comic books when ALL THE FLIPPING HEROES don’t have moms… That and those comic book teenagers had weapons to fight back with when the parents started beating them with banana shaped yardsticks for being so lazy…

  10. Vee says:

    I dunno guys, my almost-8-month-old just figured out the crawling thing, and that boy can MOVE. He’s not graceful about it yet, but he’s quick!
    His tracks would look more like a mix of the Toddler and Kid patterns, but Baby tracks. xD

  11. Kerry says:

    The banana is such a fantastic measurement – not only length but also girth! No need to ever say “about this long and this wide” ever again! Love your blog, by the way.

  12. sabine says:

    My three oldest kids never crawled on all four, they were kind of sliding around on their butt with their legs in a half-lotus position, one leg stretched out in front and the other bent inward. I guess the tracks would look like some kind of slugtrack with handprints along the sides.

  13. Lacey S says:

    My son at very-nearly 2 is somewhere between toddler and kid…. if you have the toddler constantly darting off the sheet, chased by the adult foot-prints, that’s where we’re at. Funny enough, there’s still the butt-prints (and sometimes tummy-prints) because he things falling on purpose is hilarious. When we go to the aquarium or children’s museum he usually ring-leads 5 or 6 other kids into doing prat-falls with him….

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