Running with a Toddler {Who said this was a good idea?}

11401237_910999225626598_3303814002061418768_nMy toddler reminds me of an elf—with her sprite smile, her devious “who-me?-I’m-not-doing-anything-wrong” giggle, and her father’s trickster ways. I melt into a pile of mush whenever the Angry Toddler smiles, laughs, or does something silly. She just hits me in the right spot and makes me feel like a kid again. That’s one of the reasons why I love taking her to a nearby park after work (not to mention it tires her out before bed). We have a blast running around, going down slides, and swinging together. (Side note: She refuses to go on the “baby” swing, yet she only wants to go on the “big girl” swing if she’s sitting backward in my lap. Is that a phase?)

The journey to get there—a mere mile if that—is another story altogether. It goes something like this:

Me: “Do you want to go to the park with Mommy?”

Her: “Yes! The big park!”

Me: “OK, let’s run there!”

{Commence gathering up ten pounds of gear such as cups, water, a pink ball, Baby doll, etc. and load up an additional 26 pounds of toddler into the jogging stroller. I’m sweating before I even start running. And can we rename “jogging stroller” to “I’m a kick-ass parent using a LIGHTNING-FAST running stroller”?!}

Me: “OK, are you ready to run fast?!”

Her: “Mommy, run FAST!”

{About five feet into our journey, we have to stop to make sure that her shoes are still on, Baby’s still in the stroller, she has her water situated just right, oh, look! there’s a bird! Wait—request to run over a squirrel!}

My left hip starts to burn a quarter of a mile before we hit our destination, but I can deal with that. A woman walking her dog coming toward us makes a comment about pushing so much weight, as I smile, give a thumb’s up, and continue up the slowly sloping hill. I’m trying not to look too out of shape, as I forgot to throw on a proper bra, I’m wearing a cotton t-shirt (gah!), and I forgot Body Glide again. {Hey, what’s an impromptu run to the park for if you have to prep YOUR stuff?} I feel like a bad-ass, but I certainly don’t look like one.

This scene reminds me of one of the last 5Ks that I ran in New Castle, DE. There was a wife and husband team, each with a RUNNING stroller pushing several children AHEAD of me the entire time. Mind you, I ran the race in under 30 minutes, so this couple was a powerhouse on wheels. I don’t know how they did it, and I commend anyone who uses a RUNNING stroller on a regular basis or during a race (hell, let’s just go with anyone at all), especially with children over 10 pounds each.

Generally, the Angry Toddler is well-mannered in the stroller, but on the way home during this particular trip, I had to convince her that yes, we were going to look at the duckies, even though we were already out of the park and well on our way home. I feel terrible fibbing to her, but it’s the only way I’ll get her back into the stroller these days. She’d much rather walk or run with Mommy when she’s in the mood. Whatever works these days!

I’d love to hear how you deal with running avec toddlers! Show me your RUNNING stroller pics with your toddlers—I’d love to see some fellow warriors on wheels!




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