If there's one thing I've learned after becoming a mother, it's that parenting is a constantly adjusting relationship that relies upon an open communication between parent-child. Some days, I feel that everything I knew satisfied K's every need and desire the day before no longer applies. He's grown up, or he's in a different mood, or he just has differing opinions than the previous day. It's hard not to find that frustrating, but, at the same time, I'm pleased that my child doesn't operate like clock-work. He's human just like me, and I know for certain that I have a spontaneous streak and a need for exploring that which is new and 'different'.
And so it was that (pretty much from the moment I wrote my last blog post on K's sudden ability to 'walk'), he reverted back to old behaviors of adament refusal to walk. I carried him around for a while, and, when the physical limitations of hauling around a very heavy toddler forced him to walk, he would follow behind screaming and crying as though I'd just beat him. *Sigh* It's SUPER fun to walk around downtown when you have a toddler trailing behind that is screaming, "Carry ME! I can't walk! Make me feel better!"
So, I've finally swallowed the last of my residual hatred toward strollers, and resigned myself to following K's lead in walking just as I have in every other instance of parenting. I've always been hardcore into babywearing, so there's always been this feeling of giving-up or committing some atrocious mis-step in baby development by using a stroller. Which is probably why we seem to have purchased more strollers than I would have thought possible in 2.5 years. As soon as there's some sign that K might walk a bit further than the month before, we get rid of stroller (it's actually more like we move every few months, but STILL it's the general idea).
There's also this whole lifestyle thing that sort of forces a stroller on us. We have been car-less for nearly a year and a half, and it looks like we'll be staying that way for quite a while. So, I have to be able to get groceries, books, toys, house-hold goods/EVERYTHING a family would ordinarily buy/accumulate without a car. Which makes plodding along at toddler pace (while he screams!) fairly...un-fun.
But, mostly, I've just decided that it doesn't jive with the rest of my parenting philosophy to expect K to walk when I want (or need) him to walk. Certainly not when there's an easy solution to the whole shindig. He's clearly CAPABLE of walking most of the distance that we cover each day, but that doesn't mean that he should HAVE to. I expect that some day he will WANT to walk for the freedom ect.. that it grants him, but that doesn't mean he should make that choice at two and a half.
So, I'm swallowing a huge lump of expectations and frustration and following K's lead. We went out together and purchased a nice brown umbrella stroller that should last us another year or so. The thanks I received was worth it too. All day today, K kept turning around and asking, "It's a great day Mommy?"
Clearly, he's able to tell that something has moved on for me. There will be no more fights over walking, no more screaming for unnecessary reasons, and more FUN.