Over the past 8 months, my thought process has gone a little something like this:
Stroller/Tricycle/Ergo? I'll let E decide.
Getting colder/snowy...Ergo is easy. E likes it. Let's do that.
Oooh, it's like cardio and weightlifting built right into my day! Awesome. Let's never stop.
Are people looking at me funny for having a three year old strapped to my back?
Should E be able to walk to school by herself now?
Maybe I'll get her to start walking in the spring.
Am I teaching my child to be lazy and not do things for herself?
Is it even within the realm of possibility that E would manage to propel herself in a forward direction continuously for 800 metres using only her two feet?
I'm a bad mom. My child will grow up to be an obese shut-in with diabetes.
Do I look like an idiot?
But I really don't want to spend 45 minutes every morning cattleprodding my child along the sidewalk.
Seriously - where did I learn to be like this?
Soooo...last week I made a snap decision. No more free rides home from school. Getting to school is one thing, when we're both on a schedule, but after school is easy breezy. We've got time for meandering and intermittent collapsing onto the sidewalk and coaxing and bargaining and backtracking. So I did it. I left the house with nothing but a smile (oh get out of the gutter), leaving the well-worn Ergo hanging sadly by the door, and went confidently in the direction of my goal.
Guess. What. Happened.
E and I walked home. Hand in hand, mostly, except when she stopped abruptly for an impromptu roadside yoga demonstration. And there was a stick or two that needed to be collected. And some wildlife to be observed, a few flowers to be gently patted. Lots of jumping. But not a single complaint, not a peep of a whine, no desperate pleas for the Ergo that was not there, or to be carried like a little baby. It was really, really awesome. So we did it again the next day. And every day since. Magic.
You see, nine times out of ten, things are much, much worse frittering around in my brain then when they are finally released out into reality. As soon as I nail down that fact and make regular use of its wisdom, I have a feeling that my neuroticism will surely fade.
And I haven't even told you the best part yet. Also last week, I started pulling her out of the Ergo a block or so away from school in the mornings. Then a block and a half, then two blocks. Today I decided that this baby steps nonsense is really more for me than for her. I do love the Ergo. I've been "wearing" E since I brought her home from the hospital. I love having her close, I love that we can whisper to each other, I love the unsolicited hugs and snuggling that comes so easily when she's attached to me. I just love how it feels. I don't necessarily want that to end, but I recognize that it needs to. And that I'm the one holding on more tightly.
So this morning, we simply walked out the door. Elle grabbed my hand, looked up at me and said "No Ergo?" And I replied "No Ergo." And we walked to school. Together.
E, surveying her findings.