Last week I decided to take the boys for a walk. I’ve taken them out walking before but only one at a time while the other was left in the buggy, or both together when Husband was around to help catch the sprinting toddlers. The last time I tried to go for a walk with them on reins (a couple of months ago) it ended up a disaster that I’ve tried to block from my memory – we got as far as the end of our very short drive, turned around and came back inside crying (all of us).
I felt it was time they learnt to walk in the autumn sunshine with their mummy on a wrist strap, so that one day in the not too distant future I might feel confident enough to take them out without being tied to me *gasp*.
After putting one on T2’s wrist he screamed and flopped to the floor. He writhed around, waving his legs in the air until he managed to shake the lead off his wrist. I decided that I’d better use the reins instead.
As soon as I opened up the door, T1 steamed off and T2 started picking up stones and looking for snails. It felt like I was walking a pair of unruly dogs.
T1 then realised we were walking in the opposite direction to the park. He broke down and there were real tears.
Getting him to count the cars parked on our road (every one was “two” as that is the only number he knows) distracted him enough to get us to the end of the street. When we got to the main road the stream of buses and “rucks” (trucks) got them both so excited that they grinned and jumped up and down, pointing and shouting as each one passed.
We had a few tangled rein moments, but mostly they behaved perfectly. I started to beam and walk with my head held high as people walked past me with admiration. Odd people smiled at me and told me I was brave. And I was; I’d taken a risk and it had paid off.
I took them on a bridge over the road and we stood looking through the gaps in the railing at the cars below, then we walked down the steps at the other side like big people.
I lifted T2 up to the postbox to deliver the letter – which had been the goal of our walk – and there were tears as we turned around to walk home. We took a different route so they quickly calmed down and started to cheer up as there were new things to look at.
We came to a pedestrian crossing, so I lifted T1 up to press the button seeing as his brother got to post the letter. He bounced in my arms and said “again, again”. They both held my hand and we crossed to the other side.
T1 shouted “again, again” and tried to walk back towards the crossing. I explained we’d already crossed and didn’t need to press the button again, but he struggled and tried to run back. The lead pulled tight and he dropped to the ground screaming.
I stood waiting for him to calm down, attempting to usher him off the pavement *more screams*. I went to hold his hand and help him up *hysterical cries*. T2 went up to him and ordered “up, up”, while trying to tug him around the waist. He still wouldn’t budge.
The ten minute walk home ended up being done with T1 clinging to me, howling. I refused to pick him up as I knew if I did that T2 would decide he didn’t want to walk either and it’s not much fun carrying both of them anymore. So I had to walk with him limpet-style all the way home, as though I had a weight tied to my leg.
A few days later I tried it again, unfortunately this time I made the rookie mistake of walking towards the park (but not actually taking them there). As soon as they realised that wasn’t our destination they both became hysterical and wanted to be carried. I had two limpets on my legs that day.
It hasn’t put me off: next time I’ll find a route that avoids crossings and parks. Anyway, the cling-on leg walking is giving me pretty good exercise.