Chasing a Toddler

During visits to the hospital to see my dad, my daughter, understandably, had trouble sitting still. Not only is it a three-hour drive to the hospital but the visits also mean a lot of waiting in cramped areas that really aren't designed for toddlers.

As a result, I wound up carrying her a lot whenever we moved from one section of the hospital to another to keep her from running off. That only works for so long, though, because at 25 pounds, my little girl gets heavy after a while.

On the most recent trip, I forgot to diapers. The gift shop in the building my dad was in didn't have any, so I decided to walk to the maternity/children's building, thinking its gift shop was bound to have a diaper or two. A long enclosed catwalk connects to the two buildings, which is good because it was cold outside and I didn't want to have to mess with crossing streets and parking lots with a restless toddler in tow. Not many other people were on the catwalk, so I set her down so that she could walk, only she didn't walk. She ran. Fast. So I had to run, too, and my 42-year-old knees could take that for only so long.

When I caught up to her, I grabbed her hand and told her to walk with me. That didn't go well either because she had had a taste of freedom and wanted to continue her run. To make her point, she dug in her heels or continuously try to wrestle her hand free, and when neither of those worked, she just laid down on the ground. So I had to pick her up again and carry her, which lasted until my arms began to ache, so I set her down and grabbed her hand. She wriggled free and took off. I caught her and again took hold of her hand. That lasted for about 10 steps then she tried again to wriggle free then dropped to the ground when I didn't let go. So I picked her up again until she became too heavy, and thus the cycle started all over again.

If we make the trip again, I'm taking the stroller.

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