Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Long Walk Home

"I don't want to walk!"

Mighty Mouse is sitting in the middle of the school yard having just discovered I didn't bring the car. To say, 'she's not amused,' would be an understatement. A month ago I could have plead the plight of the polar bears and had her back on her feet in seconds. But today she's a rock, her steely glare screaming, "Let 'em swim."

Emma the Brave heads out the school gates and I follow. Mighty Mouse leaps up and runs after us wailing, "Wait for me."

But it doesn't end there. She howls, gasps, hiccups, and coughs for the next half kilometer, periodically crying out "I can't breathe," at the top of her lungs. Thankfully, this fit hasn't effected her feet.

In a split second of lucidity, as we turn up our road, Mouse discovers a puddle. She detours to wade through it and falls behind. As for me, I'm enjoying the ensuing silence--that is, until she screams, "You're walking too fast!"

Can four-year-olds have PMS? I stop and wait for her to catch up.

"Listen, short stuff, I normally like to walk with you but there is something you are doing that is making me not want to. Do you know what that is?"

Mighty Mouse looks at me for a second, blinks, then starts to walk again. This time she gives me her hand. For the next ten feet, she doesn't make a sound.

"Now, this is better," I say, gently squeezing her fingers,"I like our walks."

She looks up at me and smiles. "Me, too."

A minute later, we're home. Pity. It was just getting good.

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