My speedy Namibian cousin, whose gorgeous little family has just welcomed an equally gorgeous new member to their midst, recently shared a picture on a social network that depicts how their once simple family walks have now turned into expeditions of note. On this picture one can see an impressive collection of items being lugged along for the (short) journey: A baby stroller (for New Baby), kick bike (for Big Brother), play trucks, blankies, warm tops, and, and, and. She jokingly says that the only thing still missing, is a brass band and drum majorettes, ha!
Although I appreciated and had a good chuckle at my cousin's picture, I couldn't 100% relate to it at that stage, because our family walks were still pretty simple: Baby Girl would happily sit in the stroller the entire way, Will would have a dog leash in each hand and we'd be out and back before you knew it. Until recently.
Baby Girl has now officially become our own little Dora the Explorer: Within 15 to 20 minutes of being strapped into any shopping cart, jogging stroller, or other restrictive device, you're sure to hear the following words: "Out, out, out!". Not in a tantrum or a negative way at all - she just wants in on the action. All of a sudden shopping, walking and running are spectator sports no more.
So yesterday afternoon we took our first Sunday afternoon family walk with little-big Dora. She predictably was content in her stroller for the first 20 minutes, and then came the request: "Out, out, out!". And I just love what followed: I hung back a little bit with the stroller and the camera, while Will took the two dog leashes in one hand, and Little Dora's hand in the other, and they strolled and chatted for what must have been the best part of a kilometer. I could have watched them for hours.
Every so often Baby Girl would stop, pick up a few stones and then hand them to Dad with a shriek of excitement and a huge smile on that gorgeous little face of her's; or she'd stop and stack them into little heaps, saying "oeeee, pretty, pretty, pretty!" as she went along.
So I guess our simple, quick out-and-back family walks are, just like my cousin's, also something of the past. But I love it. And although I'm pretty sure our walks will become even more expedition-like in future, when Baby Junior arrives, I'm counting the minutes. Life is good!