Walk This Way

We like to take neighborhood walks with the girls. Sometimes we get a little crazy and bring the dogs, all 120 cumulative pounds of them. We have a one mile route in the neighborhood that we regularly take. Usually it is quite serene and a nice bit of exercise.

However, in just a matter of minutes the other night what was intended to be a leisurely after dinner stroll ended up being a comedy of errors…a 2-year-old in tears who was taken back to the house by her daddy who acquired a splitting headache en route, a 4-year-old convinced she was choking inbetween sobs and who continued to whine that she had to pee but refused to walk back home with me so she could use the restroom, a nearly 10-year-old stubborn dog who was overjoyed with the opportunity to drag aforementioned 4-year-old around the block and who demonstrated her canine joy by taking a leisurely poop on someone’s front lawn, and a 70-plus pound Akita mix who just wants to RUN LIKE THE WIND.

Ahhh, good times.

So, here is my advice on how to keep the peace during an after dinner stroll:

Give up the cute little red wagon walks for the 2-year-old and strap that girl in her jogging stroller so she is not tempted to climb out every 2 seconds and scream “NO” each time you sit her back down in said wagon.

Make sure your 4-year-old has gone to the bathroom before you head out the door.

Make sure your dogs have adequate park time so they are not tempted to poop on a neighbor’s front lawn.

Or, just stay home and have a bowl of ice cream.

p.s. I would never buy a “kiddie leash,” but let’s just say that sometimes I think the mama and daddy sanity fairy needs to drop a kiddie leash off on your front doorstep as soon as your child turns 2. That and maybe a jumbo bottle of Ibuprofen and some ear plugs. And beer. Or no, tequila. The hard stuff.


  1. Nancy says:

    Your walking method sounds completely like ours. We love our little red wagon but there’s no way we could use it because Rosie would jump out at every opportunity.

    And yeah, those words I dread to hear from Mimi as we’re halfway around the lake near our house: “Mommy, I need to go potty.”

  2. Ivy says:

    When my oldest was 2, I had to spend a lot of time at the airport (picking relatives up, going places myself, etc.- this was pre-9/11) I bought him a kiddie leash, because he would break free from me and in big crowds, he’d be lost. That only happened once, and I bought him a leash. I only used it at the airport- he didn’t mind it, but I thought he looked stupid in it. Of course, I’d rather he look stupid than be snatched away from me.

    Fortunately, the rest of my kids haven’t been as bad about breaking free as my oldest was.

  3. Colleen says:

    I used to be suspicious of those toddler leashes. Until my daughter learned to walk (sprint) away from me. I still won’t buy one but I can definitely see the allure.

  4. Cyndee says:

    We actually bought one for our daughter (now 13) when she was about 2. We live by a large mall and would walk there in the winter. She would always wander away. After the first or second time of using it, we could never find it again. We truly believe that she threw it in the trash – she truly hated that thing. So, we resorted to suckers and a stroller. When the suckers were gone it was time to go home. Good Luck!


  5. Bluegrass Mama says:

    We had a harness/leash for our now-21 year old. We didn’t use it that often, but I remember being mighty glad we had it at places like Niagara Falls. I never judge a parent with one harshly.

  6. Erin says:

    this is great advice as I always have visions of us walking down the street as if we are in a magazine, red wagon included.

    I promise not to judge mommies with leashes…

  7. Blonde Mom says:

    Bluegrass Mama:

    If we went to Niagara we’d DEFINITELY have to buy a leash for Amelia! 😉


    The red wagon works for a little while and is really cute until they figure out they can escape.

  8. Pattie says:

    Ice Cream. I would vote for ice cream every single time! 🙂 Call me lazy, that’s ok. I’m good with it.

  9. mrsmogul says:

    I would buy a kiddie leash. My baby crawls around all the place and I don’t think I could keep him with me at a mall!

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