… could be solved by harnessing the power of toddlers. It’s an endlessly renewable source! Long-lasting! Keeps going long after your sub-par, adult-sized batteries have started to sputter!
This is the steps counter from my husband’s phone today. He did not go anywhere without Hawkeye and the rhythm of our day is clearly visualised in this little graphic. the first two big spikes show his trip to the playground, taken to give mommy a chance to recover and recharge from a long and stressful week while he teaches our son to climb rope ladders. The subsequent lull in activity is nap-time while mommy finished soaking in the pool’s hot tub and went for a short swim.
Then comes the little tiny green bump, followed the the fist seriously big spurt of activity. We decided all three of us were going to go into the city centre to eat and run some errands. So we toddled down the street to the bus stop. The stroller was with us, but Hawkeye insisted on walking. The bus journey took longer because the bus driver, after accepting fare for College Green, neglected to mention that the Westmoreland Street bus stop is out of service due to construction. We inched our way through traffic to the far end of O’Connell Street, where we got off and had an extra long walk to get to South William Street, via a zig-zag path through Temple Bar. Hawkeye asked to “go up” a few times (meaning he wanted to be picked up) but since he’s now heavy enough that it feels like his bones are made of adamantium, his choices were to get in the stroller or to keep on walking. He chose to keep walking.
We did, eventually, get to our destination as can be seen on the pedometer graphic. We relaxed and watched Hawkeye demolish a fairly big plate of chips and sausages before getting under way again. He still wanted to walk. And he walked. And walked. And walked. And walked some more. We wandered around to pick up some stationery for me in Muji, then popped across the street to Great Outdoors to check out swim gear for the toddler as we’re thinking of trying to introduce him to the pool again. Their options were limited so we wandered further down to Wicklow Street to the lovely but ever-so-expensive kids boutique store Jojo Maman Bébé to check out their wetsuits where Hawkeye dazzled the store staff with his ingenuity at escaping being sized up for measurement and got a balloon in return.
Finally, we wandered over to the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dawson Street where my husband went in to contemplate his next whiskey experience while I hung outside with the toddler and the dangerous balloon on a stick that he kept using to either hit himself in the head or everything around him. After taking two steps into the shop and realising that we were surrounded by bottles which were far, far older than the toddler himself, I valiantly backed us out to the street.
Incidentally we were standing here when I glanced down at my toddler and realised that he had very little liquid to drink today, as he refused all water at the restaurant, so without much thought to my surroundings I said to him “we need to get you a drink!” As it happened, there was nobody in earshot that moment to pick up on the dangling, tantalising, juicy opening I just dropped because let me tell you, there is not a single Irish person who would let such a statement, said to a two year old in front of a whiskey shop display, slide without some kind of a razor sharp, witty retort.
And then it was time to go home, so we very slowly made our way from Dawson Street all the way back to the bus stop on Townsend Street, weaving between the throngs of tourists already choking the city streets. A much shorter ride later and Hawkeye insisted he still didn’t want to get in the stroller, even though his steps by this point had gotten very short and much less enthusiastic. Still, he walked the whole way down the length of the street from our bus stop to home, by which point it had been a solid TWO HOURS since we had left the restaurant. The stroller was returned to its resting place, having been used only for holding purchases. It makes me wonder, if Hawkeye takes at least two steps for every one my husband takes, plus all that running around the playground, does it mean he has taken at least 20,000+ steps today?
Yeah, we could definitely solve all our energy problems just by hooking our toddler up to a generator.