It’s Not All Mary Poppins

In which Mary kicks temporal ass

You know, I will never understand people who say they can’t go grocery shopping with a toddler.

One toddler? One??

Pshaw. That’s practically ALONE.

We bombed out of the house this morning, Tyler (2.5), Noah (2.75), Nissa (2), and Lily (16 months), all four in the stroller, because Mary was in a HURRY. We left at 8:45 and had to be back by 10:30 for Emily’s arrival off the Junior Kindergarten bus at 10:45.

Fifteen minutes’ grace is what I call “cutting it close”, because with toddlers, even toddlers all safely strapped into five-point harnesses… you just never know.

The mall is a 15-minute walk away when I’m on my own. Pushing 35 or 40 kg, I’m not sure how long it will take. I’m pretty sure two hours will do it (there and back, I mean) but today we are not strolling. We are motoring.

(I wish this thing did come with a motor, come to that. You should SEE me powering that thing, fully loaded with four, up a hill. I don’t maintain my girlish figure sitting on the couch eating bon-bons. But some days I do dream about a little motor that would give me a boost. Just for the hills…)

The toddlers love it when I power up a hill, because to make it up a good hill? It helps to get a running start. Speed up on the flat. Dig your toes in and take short, fast steps as the hill steepens. With any luck, you don’t grind to a halt a metre before the top.

I have that dark fear in a back corner of my mind. Slowing, slowing, sloooowing, STOP, inches from the top, and then the inexorable slide backward.

It’s never happened, but you worry about these things when you’re behind 75 pounds of toddler. There are also some hills around here I just don’t tackle. There are some hills I make one or two get out and walk.

But not today! Because I’m in a HURRY! So we POWER up the hill, we run, we speed, we DIG IN … and the children squeal with excitement! The THRILL OF IT ALL. (Toddlers are speed demons, one and all.)

“That was FUN!”
“That was FUNNY!”
“FUN, funny,
fun, FUNNY,
FUN, FUN, FUN!”

Oh! The adrenaline rush!!!

They play call-and-response with “FUN!” for the next five minutes, eliciting outright laughter from passers-by. Who can’t at least grin at the sight of four smiling babies, three of whom are carolling “FUN, FUN, FUN!”??

We arrive at the mall. EIGHTEEN MINUTES. Three extra minutes because of the 35 or so kilograms I’m propelling.

NOT. BAD.

I’m also sweating a bit. Heh. The walk has moved from ‘light’ exercise to ‘moderate’. I’m calculating points in my head. I think I’m earning myself a Mike’s on the porch after work. Mwah-ha.

Into the mall.

“Are they all yours??”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

In the grocery store, we collect our craft supplies. (But of course. What else could possibly make a daytime trip to the mall, not my all-time favourite destination, a necessity?)

“Are they all yours??”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

We have rainbow-coloured muffin cups. Tyler, in front, hold those. (THOSE will, with the addition of some pipecleaners and tape, become pretty spring flowers.)

“They can’t all be yours!”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

We have large Zip-loc storage bags. Noah, second, carries those. (Put a dollop of chocolate pudding in those, squeeze out all excess air and seal tightly shut, and you have reusable finger paint medium.)

“Are they all yours??”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

Lily, in back, is asleep now, so nothing for her.

Nissa, third, carries a tin of tuna. Bet you can’t figure out what craft that’s for!

“Don’t tell me they’re all yours!”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

And I pop 4 litres of skim milk in the basket at the bag. (That’s for me and my girlish figure. And my not-so-girlish bones.)

“Are they all yours??”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

I stop at the bank to deposit some cheques, and we leave the mall.

“Are they all yours??”
“No, it’s a daycare.”

It took… 26 minutes. Not bad!

And off we power home. Three blocks from home, I take the toddlers out. Lily slumbers blissfully on. They can walk because we’re 45 minutes ahead of the bus (can I stick to a schedule OR WHAT?)…

and there’s a freakin’ enormous hill between me and my home. Well, enormous if you’re pushing 35 kg of toddler. Perfectly reasonable if they’re propelling their own selves.

We arrive home with 35 minutes to spare.

NOT. BAD.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | crafts, Ottawa, our adoring public, outings | 8 Comments