Monday, November 14, 2011

Ditching the Stroller

Chicken and I made a big leap today.  We took our first ever 'trip' with the twins without using a stroller, carrier, monkey backpack 'leash', etc.  Nothing!  A backpack with some diapers, wipes and snacks was all we took.
How liberating!

A friend of ours just had open heart surgery and we wanted to go visit her.  Both of us were actually wondering at the same time if we should take strollers/carriers and laughed when we realized we were both thinking the same thing--let's just do it.
These days the boys want to walk more and more.  I still take them to the grocery store with me once a week and they are great in the stroller--but for the last two weeks they get restless towards the end and I am hearing "out! out!"  This is when the matchbox cars quickly come out.

If I give them the option of going to the park (playground) or going on a walk--they will usually choose the walk.
They are both very good at listening and obeying the 'rules'.  If I say "no", W2 will almost always stop but Grunter is mischievous and will gleefully run squealing.  This sometimes upsets W2 (who may end up being the tattler!).  Anyway, I give them a lot of freedom around our neighborhood because it's largely car-free in the park area and safe for them to walk and explore--as long as they stay 'near'.
However, when we head out of this area and near the streets/cars I always stop and give them a little talk about where we are going and how they absolutely have to hold Mommy's/Mama's hand and that this is very, very important.
Now, they will both hold tightly to my hands and we can go on a walk together.  It's awesome.  It took a lot of work over the past 6 months to get to this stage but we've been seeing real progress for the past 3 months.
Whoop Whoop loves to shake his index finger at a car and say "No!" And I reply, "that's right, we don't touch cars and we don't go near them."

So, today we thought they were ready.  And they were.  They behaved so well in the taxi and in the hospital, even waiting in the queue for the taxi home they were patient and nice.  The afternoon was such a success we decided to do something really crazy and went out to an early dinner.  The last time we tried dinner was in Florida in March!  It was such a disaster (even at 5:30pm) that we have just stuck to breakfast.  I know it helped tremendously that today they were tired from all of the walking.  

We have one family-friendly restaurant in our neighborhood (there are a few others, but not many...) and we had 'dinner' at 4:50!  They ate a variety of food we doubt they would have touched at home (who knew they were such big fans of trout almondine?) and we--for the first time ever--actually ate out without inhaling our plates at lightening speed.  I even had time to drink a great Belgian beer!  Total success.

This gives me all kinds of hope for the months ahead--especially our month in Costa Rica.  I love this age and I kind of want it to last forever, but I know each stage will probably be my new favorite.

Today Grunter was helping me unload all of the groceries from the bottom of the stroller.  They have both been doing this for 3 or 4 months--such good helpers!  But today, I heard Grunter saying the same thing over and over as he would put something on the kitchen counter (how did he get to be so tall already?!) and finally I realized that each time he was saying "Helpful".  Melt.  Yes darling boy, you are so helpful!  How I savor these wonderful everyday moments.  


K J and the kids said...

YAY !!! How liberating you all must feel.
I'll bet they LOVED the freedom :)

Anonymous said...

I look at families like yours and think in total awe, "How do they do that?" Because my kid, no matter how seriously I impress upon him that he must hold my hand when we're walking near cars, will rip his hand free and begin walking--nay, running--toward every oncoming danger imaginable. I have a lot of hope reading this, and I'm so excited for you that this was such a success. This really is a magical age, but if you like this, you're going to love a few months from now even more (because you're right, each age really is the new "best"). I just adore your family. Thank you for sharing this; it sounds like a magical sort of day!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

It's fun, isn't it? I've been wanting to sell our pram for ages but D insists on hanging onto it for some reason.

I'm giving it til after our holiday and then out it goes.

It frees up your hands and space :)

I'm very impressed with how well your boys listen though. K is better than C, and he's not bad but I have to give a talk every time.

anofferingoflove said...

woohoo! kudos mamas!

i love the dishwasher story at the end, isn't it so sweet when they start expressing their little thoughts?! :)

Selmada said...

I love it!
I only use the stroller now if we're taking public transit or at night. They love to walk. I wish they were as good about holding my hands the whole time, but I'm happy they do it while crossing the street.
So good to see them grow up and so sad at the same time.

Gayby Rabies said...

WooHoo! Horray for kids who follow directions. I think mine still have a few months to go on that!

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

how sweet that he knows he's being helpful! :)