It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Motivation for the Inert

The children play in the living room. I sit in the loveseat and glower at the whitish glop falling from the sky. It’s not particularly cold out there, but it’s certainly not appealing.

“Think we should take them out?” I ask Emma, hoping that her inertia matches my own, and her refusal will allow me to stay in with a clear(er) conscience. My plot is slightly foiled, though, when Anna lifts her head. Emma and I may lack enthusiasm, but 18-month-old Anna has caught the magic word.

“Out! Out! Out! Out!”

Emma stares at the slop outside for a moment. “Welll… It’s a little cool, but it’s not bad.” Her tone is ambivalent. She’s having the same internal battle. Virtue – Fresh Air for the Children – arm-wrestles Vice (in the form of Sloth). And a disinclination for wet feet.

“Soo! Soo! Soo! Soo!” A slipper is slapped onto my left breast. And left there, while Anna toddles back to the front hall.

“Do they all have boots with them?” I peel the slipper off my chest. Lately, given the mild weather, some have been coming with running shoes.

“Butt! Butt! Butt! Butt!” Anna returns from the front hall with one cherry red and one pink boot. Neither of them hers.

“Anna has butts, at any rate.” Emma giggles as she peeks into the hall. “Yup. Five pairs of boots out here.”

“Butt! Butt! Out! Out!”

I stand up before the tot can hurl another piece of footware at my anatomy. I may be feeling lazy, but I have a job to do, and Anna is holding me to it.

“All right, baby, you’ve convinced me. Let’s get our butts out there.”

April 13, 2007 - Posted by | daycare, individuality, outings


  1. You’re inspiring. I’m in Texas and when it gets below 60 or so or feels the slightest bit chilly we don’t go out.

    Comment by kelli in the mirror | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. Haha Anna, how cute! The mispronunciation was totally appropriate for the situation as well. And she brought you the shoes!

    Comment by Angela | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. I’ve taken to wearing flip flops in stern anticipation of summer.

    … I walked home in the snow yesterday in flip flops. Possibly not my brightest moment, but it sure was amusing…

    Comment by Joel | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. I learned the hard way not to say the word “hike” to my 2yo unless I’m read to head out NOW. Video on

    The mispronunciation reminds me of Finding Nemo. “Wow. That’s a really big butt.” Grin!

    Comment by Allison | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  5. That’s cute…I just posted a daycare/child story on my “real” blog, go check it out… might seem a bit disturbing but heck, they are only 3

    Comment by Jerri Ann | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  6. Kelli: Gracious. Everything is relative, I see. Sixty degrees is about 15.5 C – balmy, for a spring day! A week or two ago (before it chilled and got snowy again) it hit ten degrees (50F) and sunny, and people were out in droves, mostly in jeans and sweaters, and a few lunatics in shorts! But everyone agreed that it was beautiful weather. We wouldn’t appreciate it so much in July, mind you, but in April? We love it!!

    Angela: She brought me the (ouch) shoes, yes she did. She looooves to go out!

    Joel: You’d have been right at home with those people in shorts on Elgin Street a couple of weeks ago! Or my eldest stepson, come to that, who wears his shorts until the first snowfall, as a matter of (frigid) principle.

    Allison: Heh. We love Ellen!

    JerriAnn: Seems Hellion-boy needs to learn some manners, and Whiney One some vocabulary… You have your work cut out for you!

    Comment by MaryP | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  7. I wish you spring, very soon. (I can barely conceptualize what Canada weather is like – our winter is less snowy than your spring!)

    It’s been hot here already. (You won’t envy me this summer, believe me!)

    Comment by Heath | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  8. We canceled our outing today due to rain – I feel so wimpy when I see snow coming!

    Comment by Lady M | April 14, 2007 | Reply

  9. Heath: Well, if I were honest instead of blinded by ‘should be’s’, I would admit that this is early spring in these parts. I used to tell my kids that spring is a fight between winter and summer. Some days winter wins, but gradually, summer takes over. Today, after an afternoon and night of rain and mild temperatures, the snow is gone. In another week or so, the snow will have been replaced by rain, and the weather that everyone thinks of as spring will have arrived!

    LadyM: Don’t you live on the west coast? Doesn’t it rain a lot there? Wouldn’t cancelling an outing due to rain be like me cancelling one due to sno– oh, I get it… We stay in a lot during the winters, a lot more than we do in the summer, at any rate.

    Comment by MaryP | April 15, 2007 | Reply

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