Monday, January 14, 2013

What Kind of Mother Am I?

I walk to pick up my kids at school most days. It's tricky to walk and have a conversation at the same time for me, so I go very slowly  and lean on my cane at lot. But on the weekend,  I try to squeeze in a walk alone. That way, I can concentrate completely on my gait: am I walking evenly? Can I push myself to walk faster? Am I remembering to swing my right arm?

But even on weekends, sometimes the only way I can get a walk is to have my seven-year-old daughter tagging along. She chatters on, making me wish that my walking could be more automatic, so that I could have a real conversation with her. But instead, I'm rather stern: please don't walk right beside me, I say, because there isn't room for me, my cane, and you; please don't walk right in front of me, I say, so I won't trip.

A few weeks ago she accompanied me, and I strongly suggested that she walk behind me on the narrow sidewalk, so I could concentrate. So she did, but she still kept a running commentary.

"Oh Mommy," I heard her voice, " you're not using your cane much! Good job, Mommy!"

A few steps later, she commented,

"Mommy, you're walking almost normally!" Then she observed a little bit more.

"Actually, Mommy, you walk a little like a robot."

Almost normal mother. Robot mother. Watched mother.


  1. Your daughter is unintentionally being a great therapy assistant for you. By making it harder to walk she is forcing your neurons to exercise even more. We all complain about exercise even though we know its good for us. Lady Bren used squirrels as a PTA. I use smoking cigars. Dean

    1. Have you talked to your doctor about the cigars? ;)

      I'm very curious about the squirrels. Do you have the URL?

    2. I'm my own doctor, no one else can stand my arrogance. I'll have to get back to you on Lady Bren, her site seems to be missing right now

    3. For squirrel therapy

  2. Your daughter sounds too cute. Amazing how children can help with your therapy without knowing it. My son is now almost four...and WILD...AKA "spirited". He "helps" me to get better everyday, by forcing me out of my comfort level again and again. He just graduated from his tricycle to a "big boy bike". Now I'm really getting a workout. ;)

  3. Grace, your daughter IS too cute; watch out, though: don't tell her she's helping or she'll turn into a slave driver!

    Turbo helps my therapy too. I just returned from a long weekend away and he immediately started our "Barb chases the crazy dog" game in the foyer. I stand in the middle of the rug and he runs circles around me and I lunge at him from the center, then step back; it's as close as I can get to chasing him. Someday.

  4. It's so much easier to walk with adults who watch where they are going. When I see a child heading right towards me I stop. I wait for them to look startled when they find a body suddenly in front of them. As someone who had a great mother I suspect that what your daughter will remember years from now is that you walked her home from school. P.S Once again a great last line to end your post.

  5. Your daughter sounds adorable. :)

    You can always rely on young children to put the "brutal" in "brutal honesty", lol...

  6. Yeah I know how you feel. I am still very unstble so when I try to walk I stop every time my sisters small daughter is crawling on the flore. Don't to fall on her knowing that I coul loose my ballance any second.