A Good Walk Interrupted

The simple act of going from A to B by walking, biking, etc., can be a nice time to zone out, look at the world, listen to a podcast, and/or get some exercise. Unless you are doing it with seven-year-olds.

On the adult’s part, there is the need to instruct, explain and direct. Constantly. Repeatedly. Every step of the journey. And any gaps in the delivering of these instructions, and often during these instructions, there are the constant questions about EVERYTHING.

Going 10 blocks with Jack and Adam:

Ask/tell them to:

1. get ready
2. repeat instruction
3. repeat, louder
4. pee
5. put on sweatshirts
6. stop petting the cats
7. turn off bathroom light
8. repeat re sweatshirts
9. put on jackets
10. explain I will give them snacks I packed when we get there
11. put on sneakers
12. repeat, put on sneakers
13. put on helmet
14 wrong helmets, swap outside
15. grab scooter
16. put down leaf, grab scooter
17. repeat, louder
18. give me a ride
19. explain Jack gets first choice about who I ride with first because Adam chose last time
20. start scootering
21. answer question about meaning of “outgunned”
22. explain will discuss later, can’t hear while on scooter
23. repeat
24. repeat, louder
25. don’t stop scootering
26. stay in straight path over bridge
27. time to switch who Daddy rides with
28. don’t stop scootering
29. cross street
30. pay attention when crossing tram tracks
31. pay attention when riding in front of driveways
32. stop and tie sneaker
33. shout at person in front that you are about to pass: “on left”
34. explain again
35. show
36. explain again
37. cross street
38. take off helmet
39. hand me helmet
40. hand me scooter
41. take off jacket
42. take off sweatshirt
43. take your snacks
44. take your workbooks and pencils
45. pick pencil up from floor
46. pick workbooks up from table
47. pick snack back up from table
48. take your water bottle
49. kisses please, have a good time, see you in an hour
50. now go into classroom
51. now close door

And that is why going 10 blocks with seven-year-olds is so fucking exhausting.

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