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by: Candace Alnaji, mother lawyer.
HOW TO GO ON A WALK a 3-year-old and 8-week-old twins in 51 easy steps:
1. Get all the kids ready. Like, ALL the kids. These are a lot of kids.
2. Change babies, put them in sweaters that make them look like bears, and strap them into their car seats. Put a blanket on each baby’s lap.
3. Dress 3-year-old in probably way too many layers. He’d probably be OK with less, but he’ll be exposed to the elements. The sun is shining and it feels sort of warm, but kind of cool. Is it actually cold? No one knows.
4. Prepare bottles for everyone including the 3-year-old and myself. 1% milk in a sippy cup for him and ice water in an adult water bottle for me. We’re not weirdos.
5. Return from making bottles to find someone smells funny because of course.
6. Handle that situation.
7. Go outside to get double stroller from minivan.
8. Try and fail to open stroller. Cannot figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve definitely done this before.
9. Continue struggling for a while. Like, a really long while. Like what is even going on?
10. Consider setting stroller on fire. We don’t need a stroller.
11. Text my husband for help and hope he’s not dealing with real adult problems, but still very dramatically tell the tale of this broken stroller that’s about to be set on fire.
12. Husband replies.
13. Never mind, I got it.
14. But wait, there’s an extra piece. An extra piece is never good. Where does this thing even go?
15. Text picture to husband asking where does this thing even go.
16. Husband responds: “do you need it?”
17. Sure hope not. Decide I don’t need this thing.
18. Retrieve babies from house. Place car seats in stroller.
19. Retrieve 3-year-old from house. He’s been pressing his face against the glass asking what’s taking so long.
20. Grab shoes for 3-year-old. Can’t walk without shoes.
21. Grab backpack harness for 3-year-old. Yes, a leash. Wonder if it’s really necessary. I could babywear a twin and put him in the stroller, but I want him to be able to walk beside me and explore things too.
22. Briefly ponder whether I could hold 3-year-old’s hand and push double stroller with one hand.
23. Decide that I cannot.
24. Strap backpack on 3-year-old. This is fun. It’s like an adventure.
25. Feel a little weird, but on the other hand, I don’t want him getting hit by a truck. Truck > feeling weird.
26. Mailman walks over and 3-year-old introduces him to our entire family.
27. We’re finally on the road. Until a gust of wind blows one of the car seat covers and my 3-year-old rushes to save the baby from the wind.
28. Run over the 3-year-old’s shoe with the stroller.
29. Stop stroller to readjust heel of 3-year-old’s shoe.
30. Pat myself on the back for how well things are going. Only like 300 hours have passed since we started.
31. “Ohhh, a pine cone!”
32. “Another pine cone!”
33. “A stick!”
34.-40. Stop for every stick and pine cone we pass. Literally all of them.
41. Feel confident in my choice to use the harness.
42. Spot a man walking a dog with a small towheaded child following closely behind. The dog is on the leash. The child is not. Immediately re-think harness.
43. 3 YO: “Mommy, I can run really fast into the street!”
44. Immediately confident in the harness once more.
45. Sticks and pine cones. What, did you think he forgot about those? Stay on your toes, people.
46. Continually redirect 3-year-old off people’s lawns.
47. Explain trespass law to 3-year-old.
48. Have flashback to the bar exam. Not today, Satan.
49. Continue walking, picking up every piece of nature within the 4-block radius we walked, including an enormous stick. Like, where do you even find such a stick.
50. 3-year-old puts giant stick down and picks up smaller stick to keep for his records.
51. Arrive home, safe and sound. Promise we’ll do it all again tomorrow.
Candace is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. Checkout her Facebook Pageand email here at candace [at] themomatlaw [dot] com. This articleoriginally appeared on April 30, 2018 on www.themomatlaw.com and is republished here with permission of the author.