Today I got the whole gang together for a walk for the first time in several weeks. It’s been rainy and cold and we’ve been a busy little family. Plus I FINALLY bought new athletic shoes. My old ones were practically talking.
The complexity of making this walk happen struck me today, as it took even longer than normal. Parents may sympathize with this familiar list; non-parents may be inspired to enjoy many much simpler walks while they still can!
Parts of my walk prep: (cat not included unfortunately….she once snuck out of the house and sneakily “followed” the dogs and me, darting behind bushes from house to house as we walked, but normally she can’t go on walks)
* Check weather upon waking up to plan the best walk time according to temperatures and rain, then arrange meals, naps, and activities accordingly (I live in a part of town that gets rain, showers, sprinkles, and misting any time there is anything even remotely nearby coloring the radar)
*Dress in my walking clothes from the outset, as in Texas, sane people almost always choose to walk in the morning anyway
*Breakfast for humans and dogs. The delay to get ready allows ample time to digest.
*Put my knee braces on. The dogs start running laps and excitedly jumping on me from this point on.
*Undertake ordeal of finding where Rowan or I last put my socks and shoes, then put them on.
*Get water bottle ready
*Find stroller- possibly in garage, car, or wheeled to a strange place in the house by Rowan, who uses it as a jungle gym
*Make sure there are dog poo bags
*Find mace and put it in the stroller; mentally encourage myself to remember to take it OUT of the stroller at the end of the walk
*Next it’s time to get Rowan ready. Hopefully he needs a diaper change by now and thus, won’t be in need of one halfway through the walk. Gather new diaper, clothes which are weather/dirt appropriate, hat, socks and shoes and apply changes.
*Next it’s the dog’s turn. Find collars. I regularly remove these jingling collars so that they don’t disturb Rowan by scratching and randomly shaking out their coat and ears while he’s napping. I don’t have a regular spot I keep the collars though, so I have to look all over the house.
*Find leashes. This presents the same problem. They could be found in either vehicle, in the stroller, or strewn in a few places within the house.
*Find cell phone. Because I have no pockets in most of my walking clothes, my black cell phone will have been camouflaged on a black marble countertop or shelf at some point during this process. I have to backtrack to find it and sometimes, like today, ultimately use my cell phone locator feature to find it.
*Find house keys. They are almost always with my purse. Find purse. It’ll be in different places depending on whether I last had it with the diaper bag or unencumbered, or if I needed to reference something from it while on the phone or computer.
After a half hour preparing for the walk, we were ready to go today. I stepped outside and realized I had completely forgotten sunscreen for Rowan and me. Rowan has very sensitive skin and we are usually out for an hour or more in the Texas heat, so sunscreen is a friend of ours. But facing the prospect of turning the squirmy-wide-load combination of two dogs and stroller around to enter the house again, I decided that at 8am the sun would probably be forgiving. And off we went.
It’s all worth it– walks are EVERYONE’S favorite thing to do most days.