Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes, all you can do is laugh. Or cry.

My mom put a quote on her blog a while ago: The LDS Prophet, Heber J. Grant said, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our ability to accomplish it has increased."

I decided to apply this principle to Taking A Walk With My Kids. Where we each walk a short distance (across the street and past 6 houses to the corner, and back). The idea is to say "hey, lets take a walk" and we all move toward the door in an orderly fashion, walk down the street and back, then get home and say "that was a nice walk".

We are a loooooong way from this ideal.

I've tried to do this off and on every few months. Every time it backfires on me. This week I decided we are going to take advantage of the beautiful fall-ish weather and try it again and again until we finally could do it. This entire week we have gone either once, twice, or three times every single day. We are still a loooooong way from the ideal.

Today I decided to do a photo documentary to detail just how hard it is to "take a walk".

First the shoes.
We had only been out of the car for an hour, but they all had taken off their shoes, and socks, and no one could remember where they had put any of them. So I took a good 5 minutes to locate Jack and Aidan's shoes and put them on. Abigail wanted these:

And we spent another 5 minutes arguing about why she can't wear those to go on a walk and I waaaaannnnnnt to. So I told her it was her choice, but that if she wore them, her feet would hurt. Guess what she chose? And guess how many houses we passed before I heard this: "Mom, you were right- my feet hurt" (1.5 houses).

Ok, shoes are set. Now for accessories. I used to try to go on the walk without carrying or pushing or bringing anything. I finally, after many, many arguments, gave that up. Now they each get to bring something.

Abigail chose a Dump Truck. Which we have 2 of. But apparently she chose JACK'S dump truck. I can't tell the difference, but it was vital. She wasn't giving it up, and Jack wasn't giving in and getting the other one. So we cried for a while. Jack finally went and got the other one, and we were ready to go.

Except Aidan wanted a train. That we had to find. And put back together. And after 10 minutes of negotiating all this, he left it here:

But then he remembered he needed this sign:

Ok. Everyone has shoes, toys, all that we need right? Right! Let's go! Oh- Jack has to go potty. (pause... wait). He's back. Let's go! Nope, he forgot the monster truck. (pause.... wait).

Finally, about 20 min after the initial idea, we are ready! To take a walk! We made it to the end of the driveway before Aidan decided he WASN'T GOING. So he went back inside.

That's ok. I am going to persist. So we keep walking. We get across the street, and Aidan changes his mind.Jack and Abigail are happily walking for the moment. But Aidan is sad, and tired, and wants to be carried. That is one of the cardinal rules of the walk- MOMMY WILL NOT CARRY YOU. But I gave in. There is pretty much no way that this walk will fit the ideal anyway.

Have I mentioned our problems with fally-down pants?

Jack is usually the happiest walker. But he likes to run way ahead. This running away has cut our walk short many, many times. But today he just ran ahead a little bit, then sat down to wait.

While waiting, he was blowing dandelion seeds. And when we caught up to him, Abigail and Aidan thought it was a good idea.

But we can't do it without contention and competition. So Aidan snatched all of the 3 seed pods that were available. And Abigail let him have it.

Yep. That is what ended our walk today. We were almost there:

See the corner? Our goal? We didn't make it to the corner. And definitely didn't make it without issues.

The reaction to my declaration that when kids act bad, we have to go home:

When all 3 are crying, I must be doing something right. ;)

At this point, I was still enjoying myself, capturing all these moments on the camera, and Abigail was quite mad about that "MOM! You are supposed to be MAD! And you are HAPPY"! I said "yea, I'm still happy". Abigail then took a swing at me:

And we went home.

We will try again later today. Or tomorrow. Or both. Because I really want to be able to walk outside with my kids.


Rebecca said...

I've so been there. The littlest things are so hard! Good for you for staying calm & not losing your temper!!!

Astarte said...

She took a swing at you?!?! HA! I'm sorry, but that's really, really funny!!!!! I also love the 'Junior' sign. What a sight you all must have been lurching on down the street, him with his sign, her in her shoes, and all of them crying!!!! HAAAAAAHAAAAAAA! Oh, oh, my. A few years from now everyone will think this was hysterical. :)

Adam and Lisa said...

I love the photo documentary. It is perfect!! And I thought I had a lot of drama trying to take Ellie and Mitzi on a walk at the same time. At least they were both contained.

Shanna said...

Staying calm was surprisingly easy today. I felt some satisfaction, knowing that I would be blogging this, and it was turning out just like I thought it would. See, Kydon, told you blogging is theraputic! :)

Colleen said...

I didn't say how long you had to persist! It may take a few years for you. Keep trying.

Sue said...

I'm laughing so hard! And crying just a little!

The Petersons said...

Great post! I love it! Especially the part about the shoes. That sounds so much like something my daughter would do.

Your neighborhood looks beautiful btw.

Mary Kate said...

thanks for the laugh....pretty funny that we stage our blogging experiences isnt it!! you probably enjoyed it so much because you knew what to expect!!

Jen said...

Shanna--I love that you took pictures of all of that! I'm glad that you chose to laugh. It's funny that Abigail knew you "should" be mad and weren't. I look forward to seeing your blog entry that you finally made it to the end of the block.

Lisa said...

Shanna, I think your blog is just about the funniest blog I read! I died laughing at this one!

Trent Family said...

I think husbands should read this post and learn that nearly all tasks with children are this difficult.

Keep it up, it will pay off in the end. You will be a walking family. We are still working on that.

Cecilee said...

Whenever I think my life is hard with my two children, I just read your blog and feel better. Thanks. ;o) ha ha

The Clanton Gang said...

You're so good! One day of craziness, and I give up! And i never attempt to walk--Georgia is just too darn hot to go outside until early October. I'm a wimp!

Kydon said...

You have some great blog entries, but this is one of my all time favorites. It really captures the personalities of the kids (good and bad) as well as the struggles with trying to manage even the simple day to day activities. I think Aidan’s junior sign is so funny. I wonder if he was trying to be funny when he held up that sign like that?