Well, we’ve been making an effort to get out of the house and go on walks around the neighborhood. And, apparently, so have LOTS of other people. Walkers, runners, joggers, bicyclers, stroller pushers, scooterers, dogs… you name it, they are out and about. While this sounds counterproductive to the intent of a “shelter-in-place”, I think our neighborhood is handling it quite appropriately. When two groups of potential disease carrying peoples meet on reciprocal (head-on) courses, kids tend to have the right away (because let’s be honest, they are terrible as social-distancing). Adults without kids (or directing kids) typically move to the grass off the sidewalk, stick to the street edge, or just cross the road to walk on the opposing sidewalk. It works.
A few evenings back, Wife, the Lollipops, Daisy, Jolie, and I decided to go out for one of our zigzagging, don’t-pop-people’s-personal-bubbles walks through the streets. Before heading out the door, however, Lollipop #1 stated her need to make extra preparations by the way of a backpack and a bag/purse. Lollipop #2 followed suit. Wife and I exchanged knowing looks and gave the typical, parental, pre-going-out warning of, “if you get tired I’m not going to carry that”. And the kids were ignorantly agreeable.
So out we went and Lollipop #1 set the goal of walking over to their school (which she misses dearly). Lollipop #2 (who won’t admit to missing school, but absolutely loves seeing her teacher around the neighborhood every chance she gets) was agreeable to the destination.
Along the way, Lollipop #1 told me all about the items she had packed away. “Just in case we get bored” … “Just in case we find something interesting” … “Just in case you and Mom get us lost and I have to keep myself busy for a few hours” … this girl, she cracks me up.
After a short 0.4 miles, we made it to the school and had a seat on the sidewalk to rest. Lollipop #2 had brought a granola bar and had spent the last 0.39 miles asking to eat it. By this point we all needed her to eat it. So, she started unloading her bag in search of the chocolate chip snack.
What came out of her bag had Wife and I surprised, delighted, confused, and befuddled all in the same moment.
- Stuffed animals (ok, that was a given…)
- Water bowl for stuffed animals (um, ok?)
- Her Bible (can’t be upset about that one, right?)
- Water bottle (finally, that makes sense)
- Granola bar (bingo!)
- Giant heavy painted ROCK (what!?!?)
Why did she have a giant heavy painted rock? We never could figure that one out. Lollipop #1 decided that it would be useful if a bad guy attacked us … so at least there’s that.
Lollipop #1 has coined our walks as “adventure walks”, as she brings things like a water bottle, magnifying glass, and toys (of course). But Lollipop #2’s rock was so unexpected. To her credit, Lollipop #2 did continue and finish our adventure walk without needing any assistance carrying the load.
I really have no problem with whatever they put in their backpacks as long as they take the responsibility for managing it. But I am VERY curious to see what makes the packing list on our next adventure walk.
I did make an attempt at having them carry the dog’s used poop bags. But apparently, while there is room for a giant heavy painted rock … there’s no room for that. Kids…