My grandma used to say, "I'm just gonna run into town."
She never did. She always drove a car.
However, I run into town. I mean, I run. I don't walk. Or rather, my kids run, and I follow!
I'm never sure how far ahead to let them go. Sometimes, after hearing stories from other parents about white vans stalking local children, I ask them to walk beside me. Other times, I let them go, as long as they wait for me at the street crossing.
Today was a funny one. I was tempted to let them run, but the roads were busy, so I asked them to stay with me. This was hard, especially for Mr J. He is very tired after two late nights in a row, and he wasn't able to hear me as I asked him again and again to stay close to me.
Finally, I pulled out an ultimatum. "If you can't walk with me, next time we come to town, I will have to bring the reins."
They're for babies.
Mr J felt entirely unable to comply with any of my requests after this, because I thought he was a baby!
Why, oh why didn't I think of this before issuing the ultimatum? But I didn't, and I had to live with it. We waited for Mr J while he put his listening ears on, which took a long time; and finally he returned to my side, walking beside the pushchair. But he seemed sad, and I know why.
Because he thinks Mummy thinks he's a baby. And he knows he's not. How to ever prove it to her?
Before I run my mouth off next time for what seems to be a quick-fix solution, I'll be thinking. What is going to build him up, not tear him down?
"Wow, Mr J. You run really fast. Can you run back here to Mummy and show Coo how a big boy like you can walk beside her pushchair now?"
So easy. And yet so difficult!
Shutting my mouth and thinking before letting words run out.
Running into town with him instead of walking behind and demanding that he stay with me.
So, yeah... running.