Thursday, October 8, 2009

The long road to...nowhere?

Peanut woke up in a foul mood. It was before 6 am when she started to whine; Honey went in and got her and plunked her into the bed with us. She continued to whine and I told her she could be quiet and stay or go back to her bed. So she went back to bed and I took a shower. By the time I turned the water off, she was wailing. Turns out she woke up again and her dad was advocating for using the potty before doing anything else, which she did not want to do. Now of course, she had to pee. Honestly, who doesn't have to pee when they wake up in the morning? So she pees under duress, and I think we are on our way out of crabbyville. But no. Over the next 15-30 minutes, she cries that she wants to eat then does not eat. She cries that she wants her vitamins, wants a nap, wants a tissue, wants her baby, wants to be held, wants new pants. And we end up going back to bed again. Her nose was snotty, her eyes were watery, she is either teething or sink, and so we call and cancel our playdate for this morning at Frying Pan Park. I was looking forward to catching up a bit with my girlfriend before Peanuts "farm school" tot class today, but it was not to be. So, of course, she has a tremendous temper tantrum right after Honey leaves for work. Sigh.

OK, so I want her to rest and stay still and warm today. When you are given a lemon, you make lemonade. I had a few errands to run closeby, and since we weren't driving to school, I decided to bundle the kids up and walk. This seems reasonable - the two places I need to go are probably two miles or so from the house and it is a beautiful day. We head out and all is well, until at about a mile and a half I am reminded why we do not often walk to run errands. Who the hell is in charge of the sidewalks??? They randomly end, or disintegrate into a mess of asphalt and pebble trails. In order to stay on a sidewalk and get where I am going, I would have to add at least another mile or two to my trip. If I go the shortest route, I am met with a cliff off the edge of a perfectly good sidewalk on one side of the road with no discernible trail for a good 1/4 mile on the other side of the road. I think this is one of the reasons we Americans are so unhealthy (of course our food is a huge problem, but I will let blogger Laura tell you more about that - she can take the hit for telling you what you don't want to hear). We are forced to drive lots of places that we could easily walk because there is no safe passage for pedestrians and no solid ground for strollers. How hard can it really be to have one sidewalk meet another? I have seen spots where there are maybe 10 feet of grass in between sidewalks. Why can't the people responsible for each side get their acts together and build the middle? It seems like a really great thing we could do to help encourage folks to move more. In fact, there has been lots of talk about creating "Walkable Communities" in order to increase health, decrease pollution, and increase economic growth. I actually found the page to request a new sidewalk or trail in Fairfax County. If you are facing similar challenges in your neighborhood, send them a request!

In the end, we did make it over hill and dale to the post office, paint store and stopped for a snack along the way. I returned home feeling accomplished and energetic, both kids had stayed warm and happy, and Peanut was on the road to recovery.

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