Hurrah for Maiden Voyages! We’ve had three now. Saturday I loaded all five kids into the car and went to my Mom’s house so the girls could play. It took me 24 minutes. I timed us. Hair done, clothes on, bags packed, but no one in their car seats – I began the stop watch. 24 minutes later I had all five children secured in their car seats and was turning the ignition to our Odyssey. I’d like to think we’ll shave some time off our initial run over the next few weeks or months, but a new record would depend largely upon participant compliance. I’ll keep you posted.
Our second Maiden Voyage was actually solo. I went for my first run. Didn’t even make it out of our neighborhood. Cardiovascularly I wasn’t too bad off – but my muscular systems, recruited en masse, were JOLTED out of hibernation. They screamed with disapproval! My inner thighs, hip rotators, calves, hamstrings, and the next day? My shins! I can’t get out again until next week. So there’s no hope for improvement due to an increase in frequency. This is going to be a long recovery.
Our third Maiden Voyage? I took all the kids on a walk today. I had to order another infant double stroller online which won’t arrive for a few more days (we gave ours away in Fairfax thinking we wouldn’t possibly have twins again, right?). So for now, I am “Baby-Bjorning” Gordon and putting Spencer in our single infant stroller.
I took this picture just a few minutes before we left. (They all wanted “piggie” tails today.)
With some thank-yous to deliver to neighbors we head out. The girls LOVE to run. They always run ahead of me and I have to yell, “Red Light! Red Light!” to get them to stop. Eliza and Sami take off, but Ali, uncharacteristically, stays by my side. And she is walking SO slowly!
She is holding onto the stroller so I figure she wants to help me push. I adjust my pace. But I’m working against her to keep the stroller moving. She’s like friction.
“Ali. Run ahead with Eliza and Sami. Go catch up with them!” I urge. But her little hands remain glued to the stroller.
“Don’t you want to run with them?” No answer. “You want to stay with me? Okay. But can you walk a little faster honey?”
If she can walk faster, she doesn’t. So as not to lose my other two daughters, I pry her hand from the stroller and stride ahead trying to bridge the gap between my three wild girls.
Then I hear whimpering from behind. I stop. “Ali? Run honey. You can do it. You love to run! Come on Sweetie!”
Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle. She takes the tiniest of shuffling steps. Scoot, scratch, scritch. Her green Crocs skitter along the asphalt. Oh honestly. Really? Is she teasing me? Is she being silly? “Ali! Come on! We need to catch up with Eliza and Sami!”
“Mommy! Hold my hand! Come get me!” she squeaks.
I’m losing just the smallest bit of patience. “Come on darling! You can do it! Just run!”
She doesn’t. She shuffles.
It takes us 20 minutes to finally reach our destination (which is around the corner and down a short residential street). The journey is punctuated with a handful of mommy shouts – “Red Light! Red Light!” to keep Eliza and Sami out of the street while they dance around waiting for Ali (we have no sidewalks in our neighborhood).
We deliver our goods and abort our original mission which was to walk to the local Snow Shack for shaved ice. At this pace we will NEVER make it home for the next feeding!
Eliza, however, is undeterred. She does NOT want to go home. So if we aren’t going to the Snow Shack, we must at least stop at her friend Delaney’s house.
We shuffle along to Delaney’s house and I’m perplexed. Ali just isn’t herself. I checked her shoes for rocks. Why is she insisting on this new gait? I’ve never seen her shuffle before.
We play at Delaney’s house for a few minutes then begin the mileage home. As we come up the hill from Delaney’s driveway (Ali bringing up the rear), it dawns on me. Just before we left, Ali changed skirts. She put on a brown polka-dot skirt that Eliza used to wear and it is lined with shorts. A skort you might say. You know – half skirt, half shorts.
I walk over and lift up Ali’s skirt. Suspicion confirmed. She has BOTH legs shoved into ONE of the skort leg openings! Pinned! I can barely wiggle her out. She looks like Tina Turner in a black leather mini. I am dying. I’m laughing so hard! No wonder she wanted to hold onto my hand or the stroller! She could barely keep her balance! (Ali and Sami have been adamant about dressing themselves lately. Most of the time they do pretty well, but occasionally they can’t seem to negotiate the appropriate opening for each of their legs.)
I kneel down on the road, one hand cradling Gordon’s head, the other assisting Ali as she re-inserts her legs into the correct openings. We shimmy the skort up and I say, “Okay! Now! Run!!!” She’s off like lightning.
“Does that feel SO much better?” I ask. “Yeahhhh!” Ali shouts. We were home in 5 minutes flat. Just a short – I mean skort – walk.
FYI – Debra chose her Brain Dead Story Winner. Stay tuned! I’ll announce the winner this weekend.