If it were up to Atticus, we would spend every waking moment of every day walking.
Correction: I would spend every moment of every day walking while pulling him behind me in the wagon.
As it is, we usually take two walks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I try to make each one last at least thirty minutes. Atticus usually spends that time looking around and being unusually quiet. Caedmon is generally good, unless the walks stretch too long or we're in the sun a lot. Adelaide likes the first ten minutes, then starts whining because I've made her walk and it's just not fair that her brothers get to ride in the fun wagon and she has to waaaaaalk.
She usually stretches that last waaalk into at least four whiney syllables. I could take our Sit'n Stand stroller and she could stand, but I like for her to get the exercise. Plus that stroller gets really heavy when all three kids are in it.
It's been pretty warm here lately, so it's nice to get out of our non-air-conditioned-heat-sauna house and enjoy the breeze. Yesterday when I checked the weather online, I saw that it was 90 degrees outside here, but stopped feeling sorry for myself when I saw that it was 103 back in my hometown.
I'm not sure how long it will take for Atticus to turn his love of going for walks into something to fear.
Last week, I heard Atticus crying about an hour after Derek and I had put the kids to bed. I marched up the stairs, opened the kids' bedroom door, and asked, "Atticus, why are you crying?" He tearfully replied, "There's a m-m-m-m-"
Here we go, I thought. Another monster in the closet.
"-m-m-m-marching band in the closet!"
"There's a marching band in the closet?"
"Yeah. A scary marching band. It scared me."
"A scary marching band scared you?"
"Which closet is it in?"
He stretched out a shaky finger and pointed. "That one."
During the last few weeks of the school year, in April and May, many mornings the kiddos and I would hear distant drumming. It would get louder and louder, and Atticus and Adelaide would race down the stairs and onto the back deck to watch our local high school marching band as they walked past. Adelaide would jump up and down, laughing, and Atticus would stare at them owlishly. Marching bands began to crop up in their imaginary games throughout the day, and Atticus's new favorite book became My Crayons Talk, which features a "Grand, marching band!"
So now, Atticus likes marching bands in the daytime and fears them at night. I open doors to show him there are none hiding in his closets, nor are there any nefarious jazz bands or sinister string quartets.
When I try to ask him about it during the day, he says robustly, "Marching bands don't scare me. I not scared of marching bands." And I say, "Good for you, bud. You're such a brave boy."
Then I wonder what will lurk in their closet next. An evil wagon, perhaps?