Overheard in a Suburban Phoenix Neighborhood
Are you really done with the stroller?
Because we’re six blocks from home. Are you really going to make me carry you six blocks?
You do realize there’s a reason we bring the stroller, right? See those things down there? What shape are they?
That’s right–they’re circles. See, the circles are wheels, and they make it so Daddy doesn’t have to carry you and your brother while we walk around the neighborhood because if Daddy had to do that, Daddy would probably throw out his back.
In fact, Daddy’s feeling his back right now. Do you see what Daddy’s carrying you with?
That’s right! That’s an arm. Good job, Baby Girl! How many arms is Daddy using to carry you? Let’s count them. Ready?
That’s right. Daddy’s only using one arm. Where is Daddy’s other arm? Do you see Daddy’s other arm? Where is Daddy’s other arm?
THERE’S Daddy’s other arm! Daddy’s other arm is pushing the stroller because your brother is still in the stroller. Do you see how good your brother is being? See that? He’s even drinking his juice.
‘atta boy, buddy.
Wait, a minute, what’s that? Do you see that? Do you see the other thing in Daddy’s hand that’s pushing the stroller? That’s right! It’s a leash! Good job, baby!
Why is Daddy holding the leash? Oh, look! It’s our doggie. What is the doggie doing?
Oh, crap. The doggie is DOING. We gotta pick that up with this little baggie.
Are you sure you don’t want to get back in the stroller? Let’s just try it out.
Okay, never mind. Obviously, that was a bad idea. It’s okay, Baby Girl. Daddy’s sorry. Daddy just thought it was worth a shot because Daddy has to bend down to pick up the yuckies. Here, let me wipe your eyes. Daddy’s sorry. Daddy loves you.
Here, we’ll bend down together. Just don’t touch the yuckies. Daddy forgot to bring wipes.
Aaaaaand…count it! We got it!
Good job not touching, Baby Girl. Now we’ll tie this baggie up and we’re gonna put it in the bottom of the stroller, and when Daddy sees a garbage can we’re gonna get rid of it because it smells pretty bad, huh? Yucky.
How you doing, Big Boy? Haha, I know. It IS funny that Daddy’s carrying Sister, isn’t it?
So how many more blocks, Baby Girl? Do you remember? We have to go down that way and then take one… two… more turns until we’re home. That’s right–two blocks!
Oh look, there’s a garbage can. Watch–Daddy’s going to OPEN the can, put the yuckies in, and now Daddy’s going to CLOSE the can.
That IS funny, isn’t it, Baby Girl? Want Daddy to OPEN and CLOSE the garbage can again? I know! Daddy is hilarious!
So, baby, I just want you to know that Daddy’s arm is starting to feel the burn a little bit. I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, but somehow it feels better to say so than to keep it to myself. It’s probably good for me anyway. It’s not like Daddy has time to go to the gym or anything, huh? It’s kind of like doing one really long curl and holding it for six blocks. Maybe Daddy should do this more often. Daddy would be a beast.
Of course, this can’t be good for Daddy’s back. Maybe Daddy should wear a weightlifting belt when we go for walks. Daddy would look like the coolest Daddy ever, wouldn’t he?
Haha, don’t look so concerned. Daddy’s not really going to do do that. Daddy knows he wouldn’t look cool–Daddy was being sarcastic. You and your brother are going to need to learn how sarcasm works or else you probably won’t understand anything Mommy or Daddy ever say.
Are you sure you don’t want to get back in the stroller for this last block? It’d be easier for Daddy to get us back in the house. Here, let’s try.
Okay, never mind. Sorry again. It’s naptime, isn’t it? I think somebody’s tired.
Buddy, what do you think? Naptime?
Oh, look, Baby Girl. Buddy’s already asleep. It is most definitely naptime.
So what’s so different about today, anyway? Every other time we’ve ever done this, you’ve either fallen asleep in the stroller like your brother or kicked and laughed the whole way. What’s the deal?
Is it because it’s a Monday? Do you miss Mommy? Daddy misses Mommy, too, especially because if Mommy were here Daddy wouldn’t need to carry you and hold onto the stroller and the doggie at the same time.
But we’re almost there.
Do you see it? Do you see our house?
Daddy can’t wait.
Daddy’s arm is spasming.
Watch this–Daddy’s going to push this button and the garage door is going to go up. Do you want to push it?
No, no, don’t put it in your mouth. We need to push the button.
Did you really need to throw it, Baby Girl?
All right, let’s pick it up.
Okay, Daddy’s going to push it this time.
Look, baby! Do you see the door going up? How magical is Daddy?
That’s right. Very magical.
All right! We made it! Wave buh-bye to the outside.
Good waving, baby! Buh-bye!
You may also enjoy these other neighborhood-walk adventures:
If not, be careful out there.
So I’m submitting this post to this contest thingy. If you want to know what it is, Erica, the woman in charge of it, has left an excellent description of it in the comments.
It’s funny because it’s so true. They say teacher’s kids are more linguistically advanced because we feel the need to explain everything and often over-narrate.
On a totally unrelated note, check this out: http://youtu.be/0fn_vAhu_Lw It’s a new Canadian comedy about a horrible teacher named Mr. D
I believe it. Since I tried to get 7th graders to care about reading and writing for half a decade, I found repeating and over-explaining to be very effective.
Of course, then I’d go home and talk to my wife like she was twelve, so that was fun.
It’s definitely been weird not talking all day since I stopped teaching, so I’ll bet I talk more than the average at-home parent since I’m practiced in the art of narration (and over-narration).
I’ll definitely check that video out. Thanks for the recommendation.
My oldest is going to be four this year and he’s more than half my size (I’m a staggering 5′ 1″–without heels!) and he still wants to be carried. Then, when my 2 year old sees me carrying his older brother, he gets jealous and demands I carry him at the same time, which I sometimes do, just for fun, until my back gives out. ;)
I’m assuming you use a double stroller. Fun stuff. I always got asked if I needed help whenever I had to lift the double stroller into the trunk of my van..
Enjoy those moments! You’ll miss them soon enough! :)
Yeah, we have multiple double strollers. In fact, we have a fleet of Twin Utility Vehicles in the garage now. They take up about the same space as a grown-up vehicle.
I’ve heard that the wanting to be carried doesn’t go away for quite some time, but I’m going to have to start drawing the line with carrying them both at the same time.
Daddy’s no good to anyone when he’s sprawled on the sidewalk writhing in pain.
Thanks for linking up. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at your “I don’t get it, but I’m doing it anyway” endorsement of lovelinks, but allow me to explain:
Lovelinks started as a goof on my personal blog as a way for my readers to share their recent blog posts without having to stick to a theme. That way, we wouldn’t have to read 100 different posts on our one favorite ice cream flavor.
It’s now grown to about 30 bloggers getting together each week to share our best posts of the week with other writers, readers and bloggers voting on their favorites and two specific writers (me and my friend Flood) choosing editors’ favorites. You stumbled over us during a contest week for other cool prizes, and here we are.
Hope this clears things up. Have fun with us this week. We’re a good group of people.
Thanks for the explanation. A buddy of mine recommended it, but I didn’t really understand it. However, now I’m on board. In fact, I’ve modified my “endorsement” to point people down here to this very comment if they want to know more.
And that’s why I should win.
You don’t really need to take them for walks anymore, do you? I mean, what’s so great about being outdoors? Let their teachers show them the difference between the sky and a tree when they get to elementary school. That’s apparently what the parents of some of my students do.
As a former teacher myself, I hear you. I definitely don’t want to be one of “those” parents.
Mine are going to be the ones that raise their hands too much because they know all the answers and say “Me! Me! Me! Pick me!”
I can send them to your school if you’d like.
Since I teach gifted students, that’s pretty much my whole class. So they would definitely fit in. I would welcome them with open arms!
All right! They’re coming your way in a few years, then, and will ask you deeply personal questions about Wonderbutt all day.
You have described parenthood exactly.
Right down to the very last spasm.
I spasm so they don’t have to.
I don’t really know what that means, but it sounds catchy, doesn’t it?
I remember the first time I carried my newborn daughter on a walk, and how my arms hurt from the position on the way back. They never really stopped hurting, but my mantra is “dontbetheguywhodropshiskiddontbetheguywhodropshiskid…”
I did throw my back out the other day, though, bending over to pick up a Squinkie. Ahh, life.
That was totally my mantra. I’ll be damned if I let my baby girl faceplant on the sidewalk because my poor widdle arms are hurting a widdle bit.
THIS! IS! SPARTA!
Oh my God – loved, loved this. It’s like a stream-of-consciousness piece of prose Steinbeck would’ve written, if he had a stroller, twins, and a dog on a leash. Really funny.
Wow! That’s a helluva compliment! Thanks so much!
That is exactly, to a tee, what I sound like with my boys. Constantly narrating every.little.thing. we do out loud. I love it, love it! Welcome to lovelinks! It’s a great blogging community.
Thanks! As a former teacher I do kind of love the sound of my own voice, so narrating is good for everyone. Except maybe the dog, who I’m sure teens for the peace and quiet she once enjoyed.
I hate holding a baby and pushing the stroller. Why do we even bother with the stroller sometimes? My most recent doesn’t really like it, so I strap on the carrier and use it most of the time. At least I have my hands free then!
This post was hilarious. I hope you were actually saying all those things the whole time. I talk to my baby the whole way through the grocery store or anywhere else if we’re out together. I wonder if people think I’m a little crazy.
Welcome to lovelinks!
I can’t guarantee I was able to remember it word for word, but yes, this was my actual external monologue. I often wonder if anyone besides my kids are listening, and sometimes wish for it because I wind up saying the most non-sequitur things when I’m narrating unfiltered.
I use to use a Baby Bjorn, but the kids are too heavy now, so I’m actually thinking about getting a carrier. Got any recommendations?
Welcome to lovelinks! I’m still a newbie too, but I’m really starting to like it.
Love your post by the way. So true. Next time though switch arms. You don’t want to have one huge arm and one flabby one. That wouldn’t be cool.
Yeah, switching arms was going to come next if I needed to. Thing is, I just wanted to get the whole tribe home, and switching it up on everyone would have thrown it off. I have Pavlov-ed my dog into walking on only one side of the stroller so she doesn’t boa-constrict the stroller, so that would definitely ha moved her canine cheese. Was best to power through.
You’re right about the uneven biceps, though. I should watch for that.
Oh m God, this great. I love that you were feeling the burn. And that the dog was DOING. Funny, funny stuff.
Thanks! So psyched you enjoyed it. Y’all come back now, you hear?
Very funny! (Sorry I’m laughing at your pain.) I know how that goes, though, I’ve had many a walk where I’m carrying a kid home that was way to tired to walk while I had another one in the stroller. No dog, though. That seriously would have put me over the edge.
It’s fun to meet a fellow teacher (I know….you’re not in the profession now, but do we ever stop being teachers?) :)
No, we never stop. I’m thankful for my teaching experience because now I can use it to teach my kids.
Oh my god, I loved that. I only have ONE child, who at 2 years old and 35 pounds, has decided a month ago to make his pregnant mother with the increasingly large belly, carry him around everywhere.
Fortunately I don’t have a dog whose poop I have to pick up.
Thanks! Yeah, my household dependents are quite the handful when it comes to walks, but they love it–all three of tem. Do it’s worth it.
It also makes for particularly entertaining blog fodder.
I often find myself playing a game of chicken with my 2 year old while we are out walking the dog. Once he goes a reasonable distance beyond where the dog is doing her biz, I inevitably have to drop the leash to get him. It’s his little game, but terribly frustrating.
I bet. My dog is one of those dogs who thinks running away while I cuss her out is a super-fun game, so I’m hoping yours doesn’t belong to the same school of dog thought.
I hear ya on the one arm spasms… I have to constantly carry my almost two year old… and only on my left side!
Good luck, I hear we are at the top!
That’s funny that yours has a side preference. Mine aren’t picky–they just want to be held, especially my daughter.
I love it. My kids hated riding in buggies, strollers, carts – you name it :)
Yeah, well, given the option of being carried versus riding in one of those contraptions, I can’t really blame them.
Especially my kids, because I smell fantastic.
Were you in my neighborhood when you overheard this?!?
Could be. Seems this is a common occurrence among my blogospheric peers.
We have arms of steel, and we’re not afraid to threaten to maybe possibly use them.
Haha! Loved this! Baby Girls sounds like my kinda girl!
Thanks! Yeah, she’s quite the character. Definitely knows what she wants and always lets us know about it.
Hehehe so, so very true! Love your style, I’ll be back for more reading!
Thanks so much, man! I’ll have to check your blog out, too. If you like my style, you’re probably awesome.
I dare you to be the dad in the weight belt. I think you could start a trend, then a following, and then you could make some kind of fitness-training DVD: “Work out like a parent! Biceps of steel! Patience of iron! Gain the ability to scoop, push, talk, and notdro all at once!” It would be huge. Then you could afford to hire a sherpa whose job it was to carry the child and/or walk the dog and/or scoop the poop. I’m telling you, this is brilliant.
This is a brilliant idea! I especially love the sherpa part. If I can somehow wear one of those camera rigs so I can film myself, I can actually get most of the shooting done while I’m on walks anyway. Multi-tasking, baby!
. . .
“Baby Girl, no, don’t hit the camera lens. Daddy is trying to make kajillions of dollars so Daddy can have a sherpa.”
Wow impressive. But what if they were 8 years old and both wanted you to carry them and the dog only had 3 legs.
Just trying to help.
Way to look on the bright side! You’re absolutely right. There could always be more child weight and less dog limbs. I’m going to remember that during my next six-block curl.
Thank you. I got here from the LoveLinks this week (congrats, btw!). The laugh I got from this is JUST what I needed right now.
My pleasure. Glad to help. I actually used a Mayan calendar to predict that you would happen upon this post at this exact moment, so you should really thank them.
But they’re all dead, so I guess I’ll accept it on their behalf.
Ah yes, arm spasms are a b***h, huh?
Which is why being an Aunty is so great. My arm gets tired, I just toss her back to mummy. ;)
But you’re depriving yourself of bulging biceps when you do that. You’ll never be buff like me if you don’t power through.