|Top – Ruche; Jeans – Gap; Boots – Threadsence; Necklace & Bird Ring – Lulus.com; Bracelet – F21|
The Toronto Star recently wrote about how your living environment, specifically your neighborhood, plays a determining factor on your kid’s activity level. Namely, that children in suburban neighborhoods spend more of their day on physical exercise because of the luxury of quiet cul-de-sacs perfect for unsupervised road hockey, roller skating, and skipping. Their urban counterparts spend more time indoors, and have less safe green space in which to play. Obviously, the major factor are parental role models. If parents spend time exercising, walking to do errands, and playing sports, their children will value it and tend to do the same.
But it did get me thinking about the ways in which I hope to model living to my baby girl. I run and workout for stress relief, the endorphins, and cardiovascular health. And it’s always been important for me. But I also run only to the point in which I feel satisfied – where I’ve worked my body well but not to the point of exhaustion. I didn’t think about how my attitudes and behavior affect my child because I thought she was still too young for my behavior to have that much of an impact.
I was wrong.
When we go into the bedroom, one of the first things she does is climb all over my treadmill. She gets on top of the thing and starts to explore, stand, walk, and dance. It must be because she sees me on it a lot – so she wants to do what Mama does. And after breakfast, she routinely heads for the sunroom, grabs her jacket and boots and climbs into the stroller ready for our morning walk.
Finally, she gets so excited for our daily afternoon jaunt down the street to the park and slides she somehow manages to skip despite her unstable gait. The 5 minute walk takes about 30 when you’re doing it with a wobbly 16 month old, and then the slides, stairs and all the climbing marvels easily swallow another 30 minutes. The walk home however takes just 6 minutes – me carrying her while she tries to squirm, wriggle, and in every way rebel against me taking her home.
And I have to say I like that. I like the fact that my baby can only watch sesame street for about 10 minutes in the morning – her attention wanders and she’s out and about exploring something, stacking blocks, moving chairs, and trying to reach Husband’s cell phone. I like that she has ants in her pants.
And I love the big, scrunched up nose grin when she knows we’re heading out for a walk…without the stroller.