One thing is becoming increasingly apparent in the last few years (especially since having a second child with whom I can compare all my former parenting experiences) – I have a lazy preschooler.
Arlo has never really been one to run wild, or throw tantrums because he wanted to get out of his buggy. Arlo is a champion dawdler. And really not very fond of walking at all.
He’s been this way since his very first steps – always preferring to be carried, or to be pushed in a buggy. Never straying far from my side when he did walk.
Whereas Rory is constantly begging to be free of the confines of the pushchair, Arlo doesn’t miss a beat in clambering in as soon as Rory has vacated the seat.
On our recent trip to London (which I blogged about, and quite a few people thought we did it buggy-free, which would have been CRAZY), Rory walked for about a mile in total, whilst Arlo happily languished in the reclined position of the pushchair as I wheeled him around in a manner reminiscent of a sedan chair / servant set up.
Living in London, we do a fair bit of walking and journeys on public transport. It IS a big ask for an almost-four year old to be on foot for the full duration of a busy London outing. But, then again, London is really not the place to take a double buggy.
Our buggy board has been the ideal ‘best of both worlds’ solution, but after 16 months of this set up, I worry that we are still very far from waving goodbye to the buggy board and progressing to full time walking.
I was asked to write this post about our transportation situation, and my ideal pushchair scenario for navigating London solo with two young children would be for Arlo to be on foot, and to have a foldable, lightweight stroller that can be collapsed and slung over my shoulder whilst I carry Rory when going on tube escalators/stairs, etc. I’ve seen the Babyzen YoyYo in action on the tube, and I’ve found it a really intriguing concept that certainly looks like it makes London life with a baby that bit easier.
But because of my reluctant walker, I am finding it hard to imagine an end to the buggy board days.
I start each journey with the buggy board up, encouraging Arlo to walk as far as he can, all the while re-enforcing the message that big boys and girls don’t use buggies or buggy boards, and reminding him of his friends that have just been to London all day without using a buggy at all. But he never lasts long without pulling the board down himself and climbing on.
I guess there is no real rush to graduate from the buggy board. He’ll do it when he’s ready, etc. But I have written before that there are certain aspects of a buggy board set-up that I don’t like, and I have to say that frequent use of a buggy board with an older child has taken it’s toll on the frame of our pushchair – which is now slightly wonky after over a year of extra strain on the handle when turning left or right.
I’m not brave enough to dismantle the board, even though I know it would be simpler in some ways to remove the option completely. I know I’d end up carrying him and pushing Rory in the buggy. Which is far too much work to think about.
I know he won’t walk. On the occasions that I have left him with no option, he lies down on the floor and refuses to move. Which is very helpful.
My own patience levels also play a part in our reliance on the buggy board. “OH, I’VE GOT PINS AND NEEDLES. I CAN’T WALK. I FEEL DIZZY. I’VE GOT TIRED LEGS. I’M GOING TO FALL DOWN”. I don’t care if it sounds bad to say this, but Arlo moaning is such a constant part of every day that it really does bring me down. If I can cut down the moaning in this one area, it makes the rest that little bit more bearable.
I do wonder if we will EVER mange to get rid of our buggy board, but for now, life is easier with it.
Have you had experience with a reluctant walker? Do you have any tips for encouraging less buggy board use and more walking? When did you first brave the move from buggy to no buggy or buggy board with your preschooler?