Mabel has no cute mispronounciations. She's a stickler, that one. At 3.5 she almost always conjugates correctly, she speaks idiomatically, and she likes to note when words rhyme. She can't wipe her own backside, but she can tell you all about it in no uncertain terms.
Yesterday, when we went to the arboretum, I brought the stroller because I thought there might be some walking. There were three children younger than Mabel, but she was the only one riding in state to our destination. A four-year-old went on strike a little way along; his mother was having none of it, and he soon started plodding again without complaint. I looked on in amazement.
The problem, I realised, is that my children both have their father's stubbornness (or tenacity, as I like to call it when filling in school forms About My Child). I, on the other hand, was well-known to be a pushover years before we were even married. There are few issues I care strongly enough to really hold my ground on; if you want to insist that you have it your way, sure, you can probably do that and I'll go along with it. So I know that my kids will both hold out far longer than I care to on almost any point of dischord. And when the issue at stake is whether someone is walking or being carried, I like to split the difference, save all our faces, and take the easy option - a.k.a. the stroller.
Does this make me a worse parent than my friends whose children were walking? I like to think instead that I'm a parent who knows my child, and myself, and understands that the inevitable outcome of forgetting the stroller is a lot of complaining. Mostly from me, as I piggyback the child and carry the remains of the picnic lunch too. Maybe it just makes me a worse person, for being lazy, and allowing my children to keep that lazy gene in good working order by pandering to it. I shall call it "practical," if you don't mind.
I did make Dash walk, mind you. It's not like I ferry them both around in a double stroller. As if.