Cyd has come up with some fantastic diversions that keep her daughter from wanting to be picked up while Cyd's arms are already full:
A small but often challenging part of my day involves traveling to and from the metro stop (4 not-so-flat San Francisco blocks) with my 2-year-old. It's not practical to take a folded stroller on the train, so we are either both on foot or I'm carrying her. Unsurprisingly I prefer the former, especially after work when I'm likely to have groceries, etc. in addition to my work bag and her daycare bag. I've been trying to evolve a better set of hacks for keeping her walking and avoiding the "up mommy, up mommy, please, please, PLEASE" chorus. Here are my current favorites:
- Sidewalks are full of shapes and letters–every cable access, plumbing marker, piece of graffiti is a potential target for "step on the next rectangle" or "where's an A"…same with colors of parked cars we pass
- I have her "push" me up the hills
- I suggest places (actually easily visible) like behind a street tree where she can "hide" and jump out at me
- I let her carry (well, drag) her own bag and tell her what a big help she is
Just a few thoughts…what else works? I'd love to hear other parents' suggestions.
Counting steps often works for us — we do this while going up stairs all the time. Varying the tempo and gait (walking, then running, then hopping, then skipping), and creating mini-destination ("I'll race you to that tree!") also helps.
What your best keep-the-toddler-walking tips?