Toddlers – they don’t understand why the sidewalk is not the same as the street

Sometimes while walking, Kaia will decide that she doesn’t want to walk anymore and protest walking, so she will literally just stop and sit on the sidewalk — you know, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. It doesn’t matter how busy the pedestrian traffic is. She will just stop and sit. Once, she almost stopped and sat within inches of fresh dog poo, and you can imagine how freaked out I was by that. Do you think she even knows what dog poop is?

Twice while walking together, she’s decided she no longer wants to walk and has tried to sit in the middle of the street, while the walking signal is counting down. In those times, I immediately piced her up, tucked her under my arm, and powered towards the other side of the street. I felt like that parent, the one with the screaming, kicking, tantrumming toddler who is just trying to appear calm, cool, and collected in public but whose head is about to implode.

Well, today was a new kind of fun. A few times while on her scooter, Kaia decided she didn’t want to use the scooter OR walk. She wanted to be carried… you know, by ME. So I had the fun job of carrying not just her but also her scooter which doesn’t even have the option of being neatly folded up. So I’d awkwardly carry her in one arm and the scooter in another. She’s only getting heavier, so I cannot carry her the way she wants to be held, so she’d get mad at the weird positioning and start fussing. Today while on our way home after school, she decided to abruptly get off her scooter with only four seconds left on the walking countdown, right in the middle of the street, and SIT RIGHT THERE.

It was rush hour obviously at that time. Tons of cars are waiting for their green light. And me. And Kaia. And the green scooter. But they all, of course, stay still and watch me as I collect my screaming child and her scooter, off the street and to the safety of the sidewalk. Two bikers who were approaching even got off their bikes to ask if I needed help with Kaia and the scooter. It was very kind and generous of them. No one honked at me or said anything. Both drivers as well as bikers and people passing by gave me sympathetic looks.

There are many very sweet, cuddly, heart warming, I-want-to-squeeze-you-so-hard moments I have with Kaia from the moment she was born to her now as an increasingly opinionated and stubborn 2.5-year-old. But this… this was not one of them. This is one of those moments that makes me think, “Oh, dear. What kind of a teenager are you going to be….?!”

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