Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mama, the Pack-Mule

When Norah was born, I was filled with great trepidation that it was entirely possible that I would never, ever, ever, ever leave the house again.  It was a complete and utter mystery to me how it would be possible to load up both kids ... and their many bags ... and my purse ... and extra sippy cups ...  and snacks ...  and my sanity ...  and get out of the house.  Period.  I still shudder a bit at the thought.

I pondered how I would be able to go grocery shopping with my two little people (the big boy in the seat and the little peanut in her bucket in the basket) and have any space for even a gallon of milk in the cart.

I was perplexed about how to get two little tykes in and out of the van in bad weather and get to our destination - dry, intact and smiling.

I was practically unnerved thinking about how I would ever get outside to enjoy some exercise again if it meant that I had to carry one little bundle on my chest and push the stroller for the bigger guy.  I guess that would be considered cardio and weight-lifting ... but not very motivating!

I was puzzled ... and a tad bit overwhelmed.

Then came the gift of all gifts!  The gift that had the potential to free me from my home!  The gift that would allow me the ability to go out from those four walls and breath!  The gift that would free me from (most of) my pondering, perplex-nicity and puzzlement!

Drum roll please ........

Thanks you, Gramps & Grammy!

The Double Stroller!

Suddenly I was able to bundle my little peanuts up (even in the middle of December, apparently) and get out of the house!

I actually remember this outing because it was one of the first times I used the stroller.  I had bundled up Aaron and then tortured Norah in to a fleecy body-suit.  After buckling them and piling them up with blankets, we were ready to head out.  You can't see it in this snapshot, but there is a little turquoise pacifier keeping my baby girl happy.  And it was Aaron's job during our walk to pop it back in as necessary ... which was several hundred times during our walk.

Oh, the things we mothers do for a little exercise, fresh air and me-time.

Over the years, we used it for all the kids.  When Aaron got too big, along came Ashley to fill his seat.  Then along came Lydia and Norah got the boot!  I do wish there was an odometer on it ... I can only imagine the miles I covered, trekking here and there with my kids happily cruising along thanks to Mommy's pedestrian power.

Almost eight years later and we still have that wonderful double-stroller.  We still use it almost daily, but now it seems to serve a little bit different purpose.  That of the pack mule.

On sun-shiny days, the little girls and I enjoy walking up to school to pick up the big kids.  At the beginning of the school year, it was a given that both Ashley and Lydia would snuggle into the seats and enjoy the trip up the steep/daunting/heart-pumping/hiney-tightening hill.  With them riding, we could quickly get to school (or as quickly as a panting, sweating, heaving-45-pounds-up-the-hill mommy can) and then if Ashley wanted to walk a bit, she could stroll back down on our way home.

Fast-forward eight months ...

Now we are back to warm weather and we have resurrected our afternoon jaunts.  But now, nobody wants to ride.  At least, not the whole way.  Now Ashley wants to walk ... at least until her legs get tired.  And Lydia wants to walk if Ashley's walking ... at least until Ashley's legs get tired. :)

But, it gets even better.

For Christmas, Ashley received a scooter from Gramps & Grammy (is there a wheeled-theme here??).  Throughout the winter, she lamented that she couldn't ride her scooter, so now that the weather is warm and we are out walking everyday, she chooses to scooter rather than walk. Again ...97.6% of the walk.  The remaining 2.4% of the time, she's in the second seat and her scooter is balanced precariously on the canopy.  Mush, Mama, mush!

Of course, if Ashley's scootering, then Aaron and Norah want to scooter home, too.  That means that I need to pack two extra scooters and two extra helmets.  Thank goodness the double-stroller also has a trunk!

Now add one dog who needs some exercise and a little two-year old who likes to jump out to pick dandelions and we have a three-ringed circus on wheels!

I actually had a fellow mom comment on the parade headed down the hill recently:  three kids on scooters, one two-year old walking the reluctant dog and one mommy with a double-stroller filled with back packs and sweat-shirts.

She said I was brave.

I thought to myself, "Nah ... I'm just happy that at least we were outside ... in the fresh air ... smiling."

I love my double-stroller/pack mule ... and I desperately hope it has a couple more hundred miles in it.  Because I don't want to carry all that stuff!  :)


Just a reminder to check out "What's for Dinner?" and "Trekking Thru the Bible" ... new additions this week!


  1. Stopping by from SITS. Getting out of the house with one little one can feel like a workout, I can't imagine two. I find that if I pack the diaper bag the night before and leave it in the car it makes it a fraction easier.

  2. LOL. Yes! I knew there was a reason I'd want to keep my double stroller for a while even as they start to have different interests/out grow it!
    As mothers we do become pack mules, don't we? Much better the stroller to carry it.
    Stopping by from bloggy moms...


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