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April 7, 2005 / allyo

How to take two dogs and a baby for a walk

Put on your sneakers. Surreptitiously get yourself and baby ready to go without tipping off the dogs. Fail. Dogs absolutely crazed at the idea of going for a walk. Don’t know why since it’s only been…wait. Oh. Two weeks.

Consider method of baby conveyance. Stroller – easier on you but a lot to juggle with the leashes and all. Sling – can be tricky but hey, we’ve got the hip carry down pat. (Read, we’ve done it successfully about three times.)

Put baby in sling first or leashes on dogs first? Decide to put leashes on dogs. Excitement reaches fever pitch. Put on sling. Adjust sling. Put baby in sling. Adjust baby. Tighten sling. Pick up leashes. Make sure keys are in pocket.

Somehow all four of you make it through the front door. Aaahhh. Sun and warmth. It’s been a long, long time. Realize baby has never seen this type of weather as was rainy October baby. Revel in experience of walking dogs and showing baby the world. Round the corner of your block. Wave hi to v. pregnant woman pushing her two children on the swing set. Smugly think to self v. pregnant woman probably thinks you’re very clever using a sling, bet she’s never used one. Congratulate oneself on eschewing all the unnecessary baby contraptions Americans so foolishly rely on. It’s just you, your baby, and the dogs, out in nature. Round the next corner.

Baby enthralled with dogs. Baby leans forward to get a closer look at dogs. Baby begins to slip. Adjust baby, tighten sling. Baby slips. Adjust baby, tighten sling. Baby still slipping, sling ring moving from proper position on collarbone down to the sternum. Sling fabric getting bunched in some places, tight in others. Baby begins to look faintly alarmed. Dogs oblivious. Have gone about a half a block’s distance from house.

Reassure self that things are going fine. Baby slips more. Baby starts to get cranky look on face. Dogs having a ball. Have probably forgotten for the moment that baby even exists. Realize the situation is going down the tubes quickly and turn around. Round the corner. Wave hi again to v. pregnant lady. Maybe she’ll think we were at the end of our walk rather than the beginning. Round the corner again.

Stroller is in trunk of car, what a relief. Baby hanging on for dear life. Dogs confused. Drag v. heavy stroller that husband absolutely had to have even though he’s only used it a handful of times out of the trunk. Unfold stroller. Put v. concerned baby into safe, secure stroller seat, strap in. Baby relieved. Dogs thinking this is some new game. Oh boy!

Start pushing stroller. Decide to head in opposite direction. Baby starts waving arms around, is having a ball. Dogs begin to look faintly alarmed.

Pushing stroller. Baby v. happy. Dogs keep fighting for spot farthest away from stroller. Inside dog keeps trying to walk sideways.

Still pushing. Baby kicking legs and waving arms. Baby v. much enjoying the warm breeze and pleasant walk. Dogs refuse to understand that walking in front of the stroller means they’ll be rolled over. Dogs begin to get cranky. Round the corner. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Pushing. House in sight. Baby v. content. Dogs resigned. Oh good, v. pregnant lady and her children have gone inside. Fish keys out of pocket, open car door, use garage door opener to open garage. Somehow get two dogs and a stroller through the garage completely filled with yard gear and baby gear boxes without running into things…more than a few times.

Inside. Baby happy. Dogs happy to be off their leashes and proceed to put as much distance between them and the stroller as possible. Take baby out of stroller. Kick off sneakers. Stretch. Realize a visit to the chiropractor is in order.

Tomorrow. Without the baby. Or the dogs.

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