Whitney loves to walk on her own and I let her - as long as she doesn't get to close to the edge of the sidewalk and holds my hand when we cross the street. Usually she is pretty good about this - maybe there is an episode of sitting on the road while I insist on holding her hand. But she gets over it and once she is tired either I carried her or she got in the stroller. She fusses over that too, but usually once I get a buckle done she relents.
Today Whitney didn't know I was no longer going to carry her to class. It is about a mile walk - so longer than she can manage at the moment. She made it to the end of the block before she started with the "up, up, up". I explained she was a big girl now and I couldn't carry her anymore. I then tried to put her in the stroller. Whitney exploded - this was not at all how she wanted things to go. At this point I probably should have turned around and went home - like my mom suggested - it wasn't even our regular class. But I am stubborn too so I struggled with her to get her into the seat. Two elderly ladies took pity on me and helped me muscle Whitney into the stroller with her yelling and screaming the whole time. Not my best moment. Then I noticed a bus coming - of course. After all the struggling we were so late at this point I needed to take the bus to get there. In order to take the bus I needed to take her out of the stroller and fold it up. Score 1 for Whitney. Although you wouldn't know it - she was so wound up she struggled against me the whole bus ride. And I couldn't get the stroller to fold all the way - another Mom stopped to help me. So - the score so far - Whitney 1, Me 0, and 3 people have come to help me. I think that means I am at negative 3. I also think it means I live in an awesome neighborhood.
After the bus Whitney still wanted to be carried. I refused and she followed me down the last long block to class, whimpering the whole way. But we made it - and only 2 min late. Score 1 for me.
At the end of class - Whitney again would not get into the stroller. Unwilling to muscle her in in a room full of parents, I let her walk. I needed her to walk anyway, I told myself - need to get her tired so she will take an early nap. It was a scheduling thing. So, we walked. She did ok at first - but there was a lot of trash on the sidewalk and she wanted to pick it up. All of it. I did let her pick up a few things and put it in the trash can - who am I to argue against cleaning up?? The trouble didn't really start until we hit our first intersection. I tried to get her to hold my hand and she went into full tantrum mode - literally lying in the street screaming at the top of her lungs. Since it was just after class, I was surrounded by a group of parents with their kids. Lovely. They tried offering her some encouragement and one of the Dads took the stroller from me so I could drag her kicking and screaming across the road. Once we were across the street she decided to see how close she could get to the street before I freaked. One of the other Moms freaked first and crossed right in front of me to gather Whitney up and bring her back. Sigh. That particular game of chicken is probably not one we should be playing. Whitney 2, Me 1 and 2 more people have helped bringing this morning's total to 5.
Finally the group of parents moved on and Whitney was walking nicely again. She still wouldn't get into the stroller. After another block she got tired and sat down on the front step of a hair salon. At this point I was exhausted too so I let her sit there for a minute. The owner came out and was very nice - gave Whitney all kinds of compliments and finished off with giving her a cookie. So after all that Whitney gets a reward. I thought I about keeping it back from her and giving it to her later - but it was making her docile too and she actually let me buckle her in the stroller.
For sure the winner of the day was Whitney with 3 points. In all - 6 people came out to help me in some way. I know I am not a bad Mom - but this morning was enough to question my sanity.
On a positive note - I have found the secret to the successful play date. Lots of notice, lots of reminders and baked goods. :) Whitney and I have had two very successful play dates since that first one and people are already signed up for the next. So, a little ray of sunshine in a cloudy post.