May 27, 2009
While cleaning up after dinner this evening, I determined to take an evening stroll. The fantastic spring weather was calling to me. "Come bask in my goodness!" it cried. I couldn't help but answer the call.
With Daddy and the big boys at t-ball practice, I set about preparing the Littles for our walk. A fairly simple task, no? I knew their bellies were full and their bums were clean, so I just had to load them in the stroller, change my shoes, and grab the house keys. No biggie.
This is when the comedy of errors began.
First, I removed the double jogger from its hanging spot on the garage wall and discovered the front tire was missing. I quickly located it, mounted it, and loaded Gavin, who was super anxious to begin this adventure. Lexi was next. It quickly became apparent that a side-by-side stroller may not have been the best purchase, Craigslist "steal" notwithstanding. Gavin set about poking his sister in the face. I distracted him with his stuffed bear and a cup of water. (Even as I handed him the water, however, I wondered if it could be turned into a weapon, so I let him have a sip and took the cup away).
Then we were off.
Except that we had three flat tires. Not to worry...the pump was in the garage and I knew how to use it. Gavin helped.
I opted to text Garry so he'd know why we wouldn't be home when he returned with Zach and Tyler. (They were due back in ten minutes.) He suggested I wait for the big boys, who would surely love to come. So we did a few laps around the cul-de-sac and waited.
Once home, Zach bolted for his scooter. Tyler had to change his shoes. Lexi started to scream.
I asked Zach to walk with me instead of ride. He threw a fit. Tyler was taking for-ev-er finding shoes. Lexi continued to scream. I took her inside to see if a diaper change would calm her down. Zach stayed outside with Gavin.
As I changed the diaper, Tyler came running into Lexi's bedroom in a panic. He blurted out that Zach had tipped the stroller backwards, causing Gavin to hit his head, hold his breath, and pass out (this is his oh-so-stressful reaction to pain...it freaks us all out). By the time I got outside, Gavin was screaming and Zach was looking guilty. I assessed Gavin for damage, Zach was uninvited, and Lexi continued to scream.
I gave up. No walk tonight.
But then Garry intervened. He took the baby and ushered Tyler, Gavin, and I down the driveway. He knew the walk would do me good. And so we went.
We got to the end of our street when Tyler started to complain. He didn't want to carry his water bottle, but he hadn't brought the lid, so I wouldn't let him put it in the stroller. I invited him to return to the house. He declined.
A block later, Gavin, who had somehow retrieved his cup in the earlier melee, threw it on the ground. It sprouted a giant crack and spilled everywhere. Excellent. It was brand new.
I set a brisk pace at first (my natural instinct) and Tyler struggled to keep up. I slowed down to accommodate his little legs, but he complained about walking and about holding his water the entire time. He wanted to take Lexi's spot in the stroller.
I was so frustrated at this point that steam was probably coming out of my ears in great, billowing clouds. Was an outing really worth all this hassle? I decided to focus on the thing that had compelled me to start this ridiculous journey in the first place: the gorgeous Colorado evening. The bright blue sky, the vividly green trees, the colorful flowers, the snow-capped mountains, the fresh, light breeze...it was truly breathtaking. With every step, it was easier to tune out the whining five-year-old, the jabbering toddler, my aching foot, the frustrating hour. Blue sky...green trees...tulips...mountains...breeze...yes, this was good therapy.
Eventually, the three of us rounded the last corner and we were home. I was refreshed. I started hatching a plan to walk again tomorrow. But guess what? I'm going alone.