Saturday, April 12, 2008

There's No Such Thing as a Brisk Walk with Preschoolers

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my chiropractor wants me to walk more. He’s been telling me this for several months (which I’ve been obeying off and on . . . okay, probably more off than on). But then I had the misfortune of wrenching my lower back last weekend while swinging a forty-pound kid in the air, so I figured I’d better start getting a little more exercise or I’d end up in a wheelchair before the age of 45. Fortunately, after a little acupuncture (very cool) and some help from Mother Nature, I’ve graduated from the “knife-like pain” stage to the “merely sore” stage. Nonetheless, my chiro says now that I’ve got to keep walking so I don’t stiffen up. Sigh . . . I’ve always found walking a little dull when I’m by myself. (By the way, I’ve added an MP3 player to my Mother’s Day wish list. Perhaps a few motivational tapes will inspire me to walk briskly! I figure if I add a few items like a new car, a kitchen makeover and a luxury cruise to that same list that I’ve got a pretty good chance of getting the MP3 player.) Therefore, to ward off the boredom, I recruited my four-year-old twins to go along for my walk. I envisioned that I’d be so busy trying to keep up with them that it would be a good workout. I couldn’t have been more wrong; I have never been on a slower walk in my life!

First it was the flowers. “Mommy, look at these beautiful flowers! I’ll pick some for you!” Well, they were actually weeds, but I didn’t want to discourage their generosity, so I let them pick them. Then we saw the neighbor’s kitty out in the yard. “Maybe we could put some of our flowers on her,” they suggested. No, I didn’t think kitty would be too happy about that. We continued on until they discovered a sewer grate. It was a new game. How many things can you drop down a sewer grate, and what kind of sound will they make? I discovered, actually, that our neighborhood is filled with these sewer grates, and we had to stop at every single one of them. The boys picked up worms (dead and alive), grass, sticks and bugs, all of which either went into their pockets or down the sewer grate. I finally got the boys headed in the general direction of home when another neighbor passed by with her two little dogs, which the twins had to pet, of course. “Why are the dogs so little?” “What are their names?” “How come that one is black?” It was 20-questions time.

At long last, we made it home. I don’t think I got much exercise from walking, but I definitely did some great squats as I inspected various weeds, bugs and rocks on the ground. I’m certain that my chiropractor wouldn’t be too impressed with my walking regimen, but I wouldn’t trade my “walk on the wild side” with the twins for anything. I know the days are numbered when a flying bird, a leaf or a scurrying lizard will be a source of fascination. I’ll walk alone sometimes, too (perhaps after I get that MP3 player), but I’m also going to make sure I take the time to just explore the neighborhood through my children’s eyes. Wanna see a cool bug?

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