Some days there is just so much going on at our house and it seems like it’s a hassle to get it all done. (Well, maybe I should say EVERY day!) After the whole work/school thing ends, there come the tasks of making dinner, cleaning up, feeding the pets, walking the dog, shoveling (a lot these days!), doing laundry, taking baths, etc.
Scott and I normally have to trade off. If you do this, I’ll do that. It works fairly well. One of us sticks with the kid while the other does an errand or a chore. But sometimes I forget that Devin can actually participate in some of these activities. For example, he likes to help feed the pets. And he’s good at fishing laundry out of the dryer or sweeping along with us.
The other night I was feeling tired and wondering how I was going to find time to walk the dog and get some other stuff done before giving Devin a bath. Then it occurred to me: why not take him along? Sure, it was raining and slightly unpleasant outside, but what 3-year-old doesn’t yearn for the opportunity to jump in some puddles? So we donned boots and jackets and leashes and headed out.
I initially thought just a walk of a few blocks. The dog had other plans. The park, of course. That just didn’t seam feasible, though. It’s only about six blocks from our house, but the rain was falling on several inches of slushy snow that most people hadn’t bothered to shovel from their sidewalks. The boy decided to take sides with Juliette. “Let’s go to the dog park, Momma!” I huffed a bit about it since he often walks to the park and then wants to be carried home. “I can’t carry you tonight, Devin. You’re too heavy and I’ve got the dog to hold onto.”
“I can walk myself, Momma!”
Decision made. We tromped slushily through the rain and snow to the park, unleashed the hound, and tried to tramp our way through the semi-deep snow. Snow, we discovered, that was the perfect consistency for rolling massive snowballs. We each started pushing our respective mounds of snow when I got the bright idea of pushing one to the hill and seeing what would happen.
When Dev saw how large mine was, he abandoned his own and helped me push with all our might. Because it was a seriously heavy lump of snow, weighed down by lots and lots of liquid. We barely reached the hill. I was grunting, he was grunting. I almost fell over the top of it. He lost a mitten for a minute (which spurred a fit of giggles). Then we rearranged ourselves and gave it one more huge shove.
And off it went!
For 10 seconds. Before splitting into two giant halves. Uh-oh. Well, it was an experiment. One that left big “mountains” we could climb on.
Now fairly drenched, we lassoed the dog and trudged back through the park to the sidewalk. That’s when I heard it, “Momma, I’m too tired to walk.”
See, I know my kid. I also knew that there was no way in heck I could carry him home, as I mentioned before. He’s about 40 pounds now…more when he’s soggy. Ugh.
So I took hold of his hand, to which he replied, “I like holding hands with you, Momma,” (cue the “Awwww!), and came up with a brilliant and effective distraction.
“Do you want me to tell you a story, Devin?”
“Yeah! The three pigs!”
So I told him the story of the three little pigs as we made our way through the slush. And I didn’t hear another peep about not being able to walk.
Those moments. When we’re together like that. I love them so. Walking along with his little hand in mine, his adorable voice shouting, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!” I’d walk in the rain and slush with him every day if I could.