It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Astute AND cute

walk“Okay, everybody. Hang on.”

We’ve packed our drinks and our snacks. We’ve visited the potty, or had diapers checked/changed. We’ve put on shoes and hats, we’ve gathered sand toys, we’ve grabbed the diaper bag, we’ve hauled the stroller down off the porch. (The two-seater. With so many older toddlers, I’m not using the four-seater much this summer.)

The rain has stopped!! The sun is shining!!! It is tropically humid (ugh), but, after days and days of being housebound, we are ready to GO!

As I buckle Nissa into one seat of the stroller and toss a bag or two into the empty seat, the other four arrange themselves around the stroller. There are four hanging-on spots: front right and left, rear right and left. (Well, five, if you count me, but given that I propel this little circus, I’m no mere hanger-on. I’m the flippin’ engine.)

There is a small kerfuffle when both Tyler and Noah attempt to inhabit the same six square inches of space on the rear left. You know how sometimes you watch toddlers do things, you know they’re going to do them, you know it’s just one of those toddler things, but you still find yourself wondering WHY? WHY do you not see there’s someone there already? WHY do you try to fit in the same spot, anyway? And when the first child objects to being stepped on and squashed over, WHY do you object to his objection?

I’m not even exasperated. I’m just curious. How DO their wee minds work? (Or not.)

“Not there, Tyler. Noah’s already holding on there. You go to the other side.”

(Bet you thought that was me. Sure sounds like me, huh? Not this time. That was Emily. Because she is smart and articulate and Knows The Drill. And Tyler is her Baby Brother, and she is quite the mini-mum.)

Tyler trots round to the other side. He’s used to doing what his sister tells him. Emily nods her approval. There. NOW we are ready.

We have the two Big Kids (almost four!!) at the front, the two Middle Ones (almost two!) at the back, and Nissa, resident kamikaze baby, securely strapped in. There is a method to this.

The Big Kids can be directed verbally, so they can be at the front, out of arm’s reach (though not by much). The Middle Kids are responsive to verbals, but they’re impulsive and slower to register verbal instructions and so often need a hand to guide — or grab — them. And Nissa? If I let Nissa walk to the park, she’d run under a bus, eat something poisonous, and fall down a manhole before we even got to the end of the block.

There’s no way on God’s green earth I am letting that child wander free by the river… Emily, as she does from time to time, appears to be reading my mind.

“I can be up here, because I am a Big Girl.”

“That’s right, Emily. You and Timmy are both Big.”

“And Tyler and Noah have to be back there, close to you, because they’re not big.”

“Right again.” That seems to be the end of the conversation, so, curious, I give it a nudge.

“And Nissa?”

Emily laughs, a high-pitched river of giggles. “Oh, Nissa HAS to be in the stroller, because she is a Cuh-RAZY baby!”

July 29, 2009 Posted by | Emily, health and safety, Nissa, outings, the things they say! | | 4 Comments