I have a lustful relationship with BOB. Every morning when I go to my car, I stare longingly at BOB’s sleek physique and reminisce about the days when we would romp freely in the cool air, enjoying the peaks that being together brought about. You see, BOB is my running stroller, and last time we were together back in July, it was painfully evident that we were nearing the end of our relationship.
Stroller runs are not a new phenomenon for me. When my kids were younger (translation: couldn’t talk), I ran with them all the time. I’ve competed in several races while pushing them and trained up to 9 miles with the stroller (when they were in diapers!). But with the introduction of potty training and toddlers that can talk and complain, stroller runs have become few and far between. Last weekend, the desire to get out there hit me strong; undoubtedly fueled by the gorgeous weather we were having, so I snuck out and visited BOB for old times’ sake.
“Hey…do you wanna go running with Mommy?”
Bubba (AKA (A)) looked up, pancake syrup dripping off his chin. “YEAH!!! I’m fast!”
“Aw, Bud, I mean do you want Mommy to run with you in the stroller?”
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!” shrieked Miss B. “You too slow and I get sick…”
I spent the next 15 minutes bribing them with the promise of snacks and juice, followed by the chance to play in “Daddy’s Garden” (our cul-de-sac circle) when we were done. They finally agreed, but by the time I changed, found their jackets and shoes, put everyone on the potty, pumped up the tires, loaded the stroller with snacks, adjusted the seat straps, found ID for the stroller and for myself, etc. an hour had gone by and they were already antsy.
I had started to get “into my groove” when I was interrupted by a voice coming from one side of the stroller.
“No, Sweetie. We need to go farther before you can have a snack.”
“BUT YOU PROMISED!!! MAMAAAAAAAA!!!!”
From the other side of the stroller came, “Juice!!!”
“No, if you have juice, you’ll have to pee.”
“No, I won’t! JUUUUUUUUUUUUICE!!!!!!”
I managed to distract them by talking about the changing leaves and that bought me MAYBE a half mile until I stopped at the end of my road to grab my inhaler from the storage basket. At that point, I discovered that I had forgotten two critical items: my inhaler and drinking water.
(B) popped up in her seat like a Whack-A-Mole. “YAY! We done??”
She sat back, pouting. “What’s taking so long??”
“I no like running with Mommy!”
Despite having no inhaler, I decided to go on. The next half a mile was relatively pleasant; however, I was breathing loudly because of my asthma, and (A) kept sitting up and looking around.
“What’s that noise?”
“It’s Mommy’s breathing.”
((A) pondered that answer)
“We being chased by a monster?? Mommy?? Mommy?? MOMMY???!!! MONSTER CHASING US??!!!!
With my kids freaking out about being chased by a monster, I finally managed to get to the turnaround point and stopped to give them their pretzels and juice. Since I had forgotten my own water, I took a sip from each juice box before handing it to them.
“Don’t drink my juice!!!!”
“Sorry, but Mommy’s thirsty.”
“Don’t want that one! I want a new one! The straw is yucky now.”
“Yucky? Sorry? I don’t have another one.”
They had no other choice, so both kids reluctantly took the “yucky” juice boxes. I started back up running while they quietly ate their snacks, but then my groove was broken again.
“I need to go pee pee!!”
“Can you hold it?”
“I NEED TO PEE PEE NOW!!!!”
“You just went before we left the house.”
“You gave me juice!”
I ran over to a section where I could discreetly let my boy pee in the woods and we stood there for what felt like forever until a TINY TRICKLE came out. Miss B was oddly quiet during the whole thing.
(A) nodded his head and pulled up his pants. Then, I heard (B) squeak from the stroller.
“Mommy? I no feel good. I car sick.”
“Yeah. You bad driver…and you gave me yucky juice.”
(B) looked at me with a characteristically green puke face, so I unstrapped her to let her puke (never happened). BIG MISTAKE. At that point, I had maybe a mile left to go, and two antsy kids unstrapped from the stroller. (A) mischievously looked at (B) and they both started running in circles, screeching like cats. It took me another few minutes to herd the cats, strap them back in and start running again. The entire way back, all I heard was:
“I no like running with Mommy!”
“You too slow!”
“Monster chasing us!”
“[Pretzels] Too salty!”
“What’s taking so long?
“Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, why you no talking???? MAMAAAAAA?????”
Holy crap…what the h*ll was I thinking??
We finally got back to our house and I stopped at the the cul-de-sac to let the kids play in Daddy’s Garden. Before I did, I took this (awful) selfie to prove that I had survived the 3.5 miles with my very vocal toddlers. Mental note – must learn how to take better selfies.
As I was taking the pic, I was interrupted by the sentiment that summed up the entire experience, “Mama, stop dripping on me!!! YUCKYYYYYYY!!! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!”
So, Dear BOB…it’s been a wonderful 3 years and we’ve shared a lot of memorable experiences together. I will never forget you and will miss you dearly. Maybe I will come back to visit here and there when the mood strikes me, but I think this may be the end of the road…