I want to start walking again. I feel better when I do it. I even eat better after I walk. What better time to start than while my five-year-old is at pre-k? The weather is beautiful. I know the perfect park.
So... I drop Clyde off at school and Claudia, my precious curly headed 2-year-old, and I head to a park that has a mile long loop. I start on the side AWAY from the playground. I'm not a complete idiot. I strap her into her stroller... Which, by the way is a pink, just a bit sturdier version of an umbrella stroller. I like it but I'm about 4 inches too tall for it. When we purchased that stroller my husband decided we should get rid of our big clunky stroller to clear some space. I agreed. Not my best decision. She goes in fine. I have brought along her travel size Magna-Doodle to keep her occupied. She's doin' great. There are some horses near by. We're listening to birds. My heart rate is up but not too high. I'm making good time. All is right with the world.
Then IT comes into sight. The playground. No biggie. It's about 3/4 of a mile from where we started. I can let her play and do some stretching. I explain to my angelic little girl that we will play for a little bit and then get back in the stroller and continue our walk. 'OTay Mommy' this sweet little doll says to me. We play for about 15 minutes and I say, "OK Claudia, It's time to get back in our stroller". I mean that is how I explained things right? She had said 'OTay'. Apparently it wasn't time to get back in the stroller.
I tried bribing her with Yo Gabba Gabba. My girl's a junkie with a hard habit. Yo Gabba Gabba ALWAYS wins out, well, almost always. It wasn't gonna work today. I say, 'just a couple more minutes then'. This is met with a dimpled grin and a look of love, OK, so there was more than just a hint of the 'ha, ha, ha, ha, I won' look in her eyes but I'm the one telling the story and love is what I choose to believe. A few minutes pass. We need to get going.
I go to pick her up and she does the flop. I swear she must have been a passive protester in a past life. She can become dead weight at the drop of a hat. I tell her I'm going to spin her, which I do but then I try to get her into her little pink stroller. You know the ones. The ones that tip at every opportunity . The ones that are not meant to hold a tall 2-year-old who is ready for a fight. I manage to coerce her in and get her strapped. I'm back on my way. Feeling good, ignoring the screams of protest.
Then, she figures it out. By pushing down with her feet she can stop the stroller. She's twisting around yelling 'Tarry me Mommy, Tarry me'. I'm not gonna give in. I am the adult. She is a small child. I (like to pretend) have the upper hand. I am the boss. I reach down and give her a small swat. I don't spank as a rule but I needed to get her turned around so I can tighten the straps before she figures out how to slide her legs out. I continue to push and she continues to drag her feet.
I explain to her that we are almost to the car and she needs to behave. As you know, that ALWAYS works. Finally I let her out. I tell her she can walk. Welp, she doesn't want to walk. She places herself firmly in front of me and won't let go of my legs. I inform her that she can walk OR ride in the stroller. The cries of 'TARRY ME' are getting louder. I cave. I pick her up. She's heavy AND I still need to push the stroller that I'm too tall for. I convince her that she can push the stroller. This works for about 2 seconds before it hits her that she's been duped. More screaming. More deep breathing on my part. I'm ready to scream at the cute firemen out for a run 'Tarry Me' or at least ask them about their child drop-off policy but I don't. I stay relatively calm. I pick her back up.
Now, my daughter sucks on the back of her hand and plays with her belly button to soothe herself. It is at this point in the walk she starts to decide that I need to cradle her so that she can do both of these things. Keep in mind I'm still pushing the stroller. I swear the car is getting farther away by the second. I talk her into riding on my shoulders. I throw my keys in the stroller seat. She notices this and needs down. She goes to the front of the stroller, picks up my keys, hands them to me and climbs in. She won't let me strap her but at this point I don't care. Finally, I am at my car.
My darling snookums, my lovey dovey does not want out of her stroller... She wants to do another lap. I think not.