Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

It seemed like a good time to get some exercise one day last week, as I do on occasion while Hannah and Emma are in gymnastics class, so I headed out to the van with Olivia. It was not, however, according to my plan to find that packed in there instead of the stroller was the wagon, still there from trick-or-treating in our friends' neighborhood two days earlier.

Determined to burn some calories anyway, I decided to just go ahead and use the wagon. My arms and back were not thanking me the next day, but the hilarity of Olivia's Wagon Ride Adventure far outweighs the agony.

We thought it would be marvelous for her to have more room to play in the wagon. We even brought along her "Cinderellas," as we call them - eight little character figurines she likes to play with. Since I didn't have a handy little tray with cup holders like I do on the stroller, I had to stash my keys, cell phone, and water bottle in there with her, too. There are two seats in the wagon, so she sat in one, and I folded the other one down to make a table for her to play on. Oh, and I also set my tall stainless steel water bottle on that "table" too.

It turns out that going fast with a wagon makes for a pretty rough ride. I guess we usually only use the wagon on slow occasions. For the first several minutes, all Olivia could do was lean over with her arms encompassing all of her Cinderellas and my water bottle. She was yelling, "Can you slow down?!" and "I should have remembered the stroller!" and I was laughing uncontrollably. She was in such an adorable crisis mode, little drama princess that she is. Naturally I really didn't want to slow down and lose any cardio benefits I was getting. But it WAS pretty loud.

After a few minutes, I stopped and put my water bottle on the floor of the wagon. She was terribly concerned that it was going to get dirty, but I assured her not to worry about it. And then we started up again.

It's a lovely, shady sidewalk to be on - there's even a pond on our route. I looked back at her to check on her after a few minutes and caught her waving to a passing vehicle, like she was the main attraction of a parade float. Of course the next time I turned around, she was hugging her bare arms like a cold, neglected child. Mind you, the temperature was an icy 79 degrees at that point.

We finally got back to the van. "I couldn't even talk!" Olivia declared. I began unpacking the wagon and she asked me to unbuckle her. I hadn't buckled her in, so I asked why she did it herself. "Was Mommy driving too crazy?" I asked with amusement. She narrowed her gaze and with a somber face declared, "I didn't want to fall in the lake!"

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