But first, a little story for your weary Tuesday eyes.
I love going for walks. Walks allow me time to think and reflect if I am by myself, or solve the problems of the world if I'm with a friend.
I especially loved walks now that I have kids. At the end of the day, when the boys are both cranky and bedtime is still too far away to be legal, I load those kids up and take a stroll around our neighborhood. We bought this super nice double stroller just so I could continue my walking tradition and then something strange happened. Caderyn grew up. He decided he was too cool for the stroller and absolutely refused to sit in it. If I forced him into the stroller, he would torment Gib to no end so I just gave up and let him walk with me.
I used to pound two miles out in no time when Caderyn was younger and he would sit peacefully in the stroller. I can do the same with Gibby, but now adding Caderyn into the walking equation it takes us 30 minutes to go 3/4 of a mile. Why you ask? Well let me spell it out for you:
1. He has to be convinced that walking is worth his while. Can we talk about LAZY? My goodness! As of late, I have just stopped asking him if he wants to go and I just tell him he is going. If he doesn't have a choice in the matter, it makes it a little easier to get him out the door.
2. Then he has to choose if he is going to walk, ride his bike, or ride his scooter. These are very big decisions for a four-year-old and one that can take up to five or maybe even eight minutes to decide.
3. Once he has made his choice and we finally get moving, he gets maybe a block away from the house and decides a) his legs are tired b) he is hungry c) he is bored. Doesn't matter to me, I just keep on going and eventually he follows.
4. After about the 30th a) "Mommy, I'm so tired" b) "Mommy, I'm so hungry" c) "Mommy, I just don't want to do this anymore" I am at my wits end and will eventually turn the corner at the next street to start heading home.
5. Then, all the way back, even though I'm telling him we're heading home I hear "Mommy, this is too far. Why did we have to go so far? My legs just aren't that strong." Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm basically going cross-eyed.
6. Did I mention that I don't even get a moment to think about my day on this walk because I spend the majority of it saying a) "You are so strong! Look at your leg muscles--they are like Hulk muscles!" b) "Keep up buddy and you can have a snack when you get home!" c) "Caderyn be thankful you can be outside right now on a walk, in a few months there will be snow everywhere." d) "Knock it off and keep moving." That last one is reserved for the very end of my patience when all I really want to do it throw him over my shoulder and march him home to bed.
7. Oh and I usually take the Corgi with me who is usually just as challenging since she likes to stop frequently to sniff or tinkle. Then there are the moments when she puts those swarthy haunches of hers to good use and completely stops. For a little 25 pound dog, she's got some breaks in those glutes and I will generally have to stop or I keep going and her collar flies off from around her neck (she's recently lost some weight). Then if we come across another dog I have to deal with a little ball of corgi-stress as she flips out. Last night a big dog charged at her and she helicoptered herself on the leash in an effort to try and escape.
8. Gibby is just a little angel during the walks.
9. Did I mention my town doesn't have sidewalks? Er, they don't have sidewalks in my neighborhood. Or, they have sidewalk in front of two houses but not the other five on the block. Makes no sense. So we are constantly navigating in and out of the street with crazy teenagers (oh my gosh I'm sounding like a cranky old lady) driving by in their hand-me-down cars.
10. But stuff like this generally makes up for it:
Caderyn: Mommy, the next time we go for such a long walk (six blocks) make sure you fuel me up really good so I don't get so tired.
Me: Fuel you up? Like a car?
Caderyn: Yep, but not real fuel. Food fuel. Like candy and cookies.
Caderyn: I never want to go for a walk again. Never!
Me: And if I get you presents for Christmas, you won't open them? (This is proof I'm turning into my parents)
Caderyn: I would go for a walk if you got me presents.
Me: Nope, doesn't work that way.
Caderyn: Then I won't open the presents.
Me: Okay, that saves me a lot of money.
Caderyn: Can you just give me the money and we won't go on anymore walks?
What...does he want a bribe?