I’ll start by giving you some background. When my husband and I got married in 2007, our kids were our two Scottish Terriers – Mia and Murphy. Our days were structured and organised, and went off pretty smoothly; religiously culminating in a late afternoon walk with the dogs on the sports field at the end of our street.
We would each take a dog on a leash to do the short distance to the field, at which point we’d set them free to run around and sniff stuff and do things that dogs typically do. The two of us would walk around the field a few times, chit-chatting about our days at work and so on.
Get about ten metres down the road and realise Elvis has squeezed his plump body through the tiniest gap in the bars of the gate and is intent on coming along.
Those were the days …
Fast forward to 2015 … Mia and Murphy are still in the picture (now aged nine and eight respectively), but so are Aidan, our very busy six-year-old son, and Zoe, our ever-so-cute, but very demanding 18-month-old daughter. Oh, and let’s not forget Elvis, our black-and-white cat that joined the family just over three years ago.
Now our walks, when we actually manage to pull them off, go something like this:
- Spend five minutes wrestling Zoe into her stroller, because you know she cannot walk the whole distance and gets too heavy to carry.
- Argue with Aidan about whether or not he can take his bicycle with him. Try to convince him that it’s not a good idea, because if he gets tired of riding it, he will have to push it back home. Give in and let him take it along anyway.
- Round up the dogs and put on their collars and leashes.
- Set off on our adventure, Ross with the two dogs and me pushing Zoe in her stroller.
- Get about ten metres down the road and realise Elvis has squeezed his plump body through the tiniest gap in the bars of the gate and is intent on coming along.
- Catch Elvis and take him back inside, closing him in the house this time.
- Set off once more. Before even reaching the field, take a screaming Zoe out of her stroller and hold her hand so that she can exercise her independence and walk, while pushing the empty stroller with my free hand.
- Scream at Aidan to get out of the road with his bicycle as there is an oncoming car.
- Finally reach the field. Ross lets the dogs off their leashes. Murphy, rather cantankerous in his senior years, picks a fight with two golden retrievers. He comes off second best – a piece of his ear missing, and blood dripping from it.
- Decide to quit while we’re ahead and go back home. Aidan says he’d rather walk as the pedal of his bike hurt his foot. Ross is now pushing the bike with one hand – as naturally Aidan refuses to have anything to do with it – and strong-arming both dogs, now back on their leashes, with the other.
- Zoe is tired of walking, but refuses to go back in the stroller, so now has to be carried. By this time, I’m cursing the damn stroller and myself for naively bringing it along and now having to push it while carrying a wriggling, angry toddler.
- Get back inside our property – four grumpy people and two unimpressed dogs – one injured, and the other disappointed, as that can hardly be called a walk.
- Disinfect Murphy’s ear and hope for the best.
- Collapse in a heap on the couch, vowing “never again”… until next time.
I am a frazzled working mom who loves her husband and her children. All six of them – two human, two canine and two feline. I spend most of my day managing the crazy chaos that is my awesome life, and what’s left, writing about it … Read more