Getting some fresh air is always a great idea when you have a toddler; fill their lungs with oxygen and let them run off all that energy. You’ll both come back feeling relaxed, more awake and refreshed – or will you?
Here are nine things guaranteed to happen when you take a stroll with a toddler:
- They will search high and low for the perfect stick that will be used as a light saber or magic wand and if you’re lucky they’ll find one for you too! It may be covered in mud, bent and soggy but in their eyes it will be capable of wondrous things.
- They’ll need to use the toilet/have their nappy changed (regardless of whether you changed them or made them go before you left the house). If you’ve only taken a stroll around the block then a mad dash back to the house will ensue. If you’re further from home you’ll have to think fast. A nearby bench, bush or bin may come in handy.
- You’ll see someone you know. Of course you’ve got no makeup on, your hair is scraped under a baseball cap and your child’s outfit clashes horrendously. If you keep your head down they may not spot you, though if your toddler decides now is the time to scream at the top of their lungs this is unlikely.
- They’ll decide they’re hungry. If you’ve packed a snack you can simply make a pit stop. No doubt you didn’t bring anything for yourself so try to resist the temptation to ask for a bite of theirs. If your pockets are empty then beware, they’re sure to find something on the ground that will satisfy their appetite instead.
- He/she will fall over and you’ll feel extremely guilty about letting it happen, whether or not it was your fault. You’ve been avoiding the wet grass, keeping off the mud and bypassing any stones that could be tripped over but that slippery drain cover caught you both off guard. No doubt a big hug and a kiss will be enough to take away the ouches.
- Dogs and cats beware! There’s a toddler on the loose. What he/she has is a very particular set of skills. Skills that make them a nightmare for animals like you. If you let them stroke you that’ll be the end of it but if you don’t they will find you and they will kiss you.
- They’ll find a puddle. Even if it’s a dry day they will find rainwater that has collected somewhere. Unfortunately it’s the one time you didn’t bother putting their wellies on and their legs and feet are now soaked. What seemed like a good idea at the time; doesn’t seem like it on the long squelchy walk back home.
- They’ll get too hot or too cold; in fact they’ll probably experience both at different stages of the walk. Hat on, hat off, gloves on, gloves off, coat on, coat off. Unfortunately you’ll have to draw a line at shoes off – that is unless you’re lucky enough to be strolling on the beach.
- He/she will demand to be carried. This is made significantly more complicated if you had the bright idea of bringing a trike or other ride-on vehicle on the journey. That leaves you carrying your child with one arm and the 3 wheeler with the other. By the time you arrive home I guarantee that you will be feeling neither relaxed, awake or refreshed…