Live and Learn
I wrote the following post the spring after Alice was born, when I was still getting used to having two kids, and I really didn’t know how anyone could possibly handle more than two kids.
Even Steven and I were taking THE WORLD’S LONGEST WALK on Saturday morning with Miles, Alice and Big Hairy Dog. I was carrying Alice in my Beco (love it!) and pushing Miles in the jogger while Even Steven held Big Hairy Dog’s leash and a cup of coffee. It was hot. I was sweating. We had been walking for nearly two hours. Did I mention that I was carrying Alice and pushing Miles? We had gotten to the point in the walk where I was starting to whine (just a tiny bit.)
And what do we see across the street?
A woman pushing a double stroller with two large children in it. They must have been 5 years old – or freaking giants. AND – the best part – she had a backpack on her back and was lugging a 10 year old ON HER BACK!!! Okay – maybe the girl was three. But she was huge. So there is this mother, pushing a 100+ pound double stroller and carrying a 50-pounder on her back. And smiling!!
Even Steven: “Don’t ever complain to me again.”
Me: “WHATEVER! She’s not even going anywhere. She just strapped everybody on so that she could take a walk around the block and show all the other mothers what pieces of TOTAL CRAP we are! She’s just showing off. She’s not going anywhere.”
Even Steven: “Why does she make you mad? Shouldn’t you be impressed by all that she’s doing right now? She has three kids!”
Me: “Shut up. I know where she’s going. She ran out of VODKA this morning, and she loaded everyone up so that she could get to the liquor store to buy more, and the only reason she isn’t driving is because she’s DRUNK!”
Even Steven: “I sense a lot of anger. Is this something you want to talk about?”
Me: “Actually, I bet she’s so sick of her husband, that she’s out walking around with her children strapped on her back so that she can keep herself from KILLING HIM!”
Even Steven: “Honey, why don’t you let me push the stroller for awhile.”
Me: “No – look at her. She’s not out of vodka. She’s out of cocaine. She’s taking her kids on a coke run!”
Even Steven: “Let’s get you back home and out of the hot sun. Okay? Maybe you can take a little rest when we get home.”
Now that I have three kids, and I stay home, I can often be found on walks around the neighborhood. Now I push Miles and Alice in the double stroller, I wear Simon in the Beco (still love it!), AND I hold Big Hairy Dog’s leash. I definitely get a few stares, but when we’re all home together, sometimes we just HAVE to get out for awhile.
And now I know that the woman I judged so harshly probably wasn’t a drunk, husband-killing coke-head. She probably just wanted to get her kids outside and take a walk without having to wait for kids on bicycles or kids that start riding their bike and decide they want you to carry them and the bike or kids that want to stop and pick up every stick, dandelion and blade of grass from here to there…
So – lady with three kids – sorry I hated you two springs ago. Maybe we could get the kids together for a play date sometime? I can walk over anytime.