The only thing worse than the Walking Dead, is a Walking Toddler

For those of you with little crawlers, whatever you do don’t encourage them to be little walkers.  Trust me, that’s when it starts to go downhill.  What is ‘it’ that goes downhill you ask?  Your freaking sanity!  Seriously, the worst stage for FTD and I so far as parents has been this new stage of Oliver wanting to walk EVERYWHERE!  The little guy has become hell on two feet.  Hell.

As most of you know, Ollie took his first steps on Christmas Eve, and has slowly but surely become a pro.  This pro status has given him the confidence to want to walk everywhere, and when I say everywhere I mean fearlessly charging into deep crowds of people, including into a moving Parade! FTD calls him a 'Concrete Magnet', because the second we put him down at the park he charges for flat ground. He runs with such focus and disregard it's scary!  

This need to walk everywhere has caused many a disagreement between FTD and I over what to do.  Well… we still do not have the answer... But I can tell you what not to do, DO NOT, and I repeat, what ever you do,  DO NOT let your child out of his/her stroller, walker, or shopping cart/trolley because once you do, you open the vortex of walking baby hell.  This vortex will suck the fun out of your family adventures by instilling into your toddler the overwhelming desire to insist on walking everywhere. Especially wanting his/her freedom when it is dangerous or inconvenient to you.

During a recent trip to a very overcrowded shoe outlet clearance sale FTD, Ollie and I each had a full-on meltdown.  Picture it... women threatening to kill each other over the last pair of Michael Kors flats. I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of knives come out, and where was Ollie?  SCREAMING in his stroller begging to be free.  When FTD could not take it anymore, he disappeared off to the men’s shoe section - leaving me with crazy baby!  So what do I do?  I decided that I would take him out of his stroller and hold him while I look for shoes, plus who is going to cut a woman over a pair of shoes that is holding a baby?
He makes that face and whine/cries at an annoying octave NON-STOP!

I get Ollie out, and am immediately treated to a punch to the clavicle and a foot to the kidneys.  Ollie has no desire to be held.  He wants to run free, to which I have no intention of allowing, so the war begins. His struggle to break free gets out of hand with intensified kicking and crying.  I beg and plead, switch him from hip to hip, sometimes even trying to sit him on my shoulder to keep the punches to a minimum. Nothing is working, this child is screaming bloody murder!  The shoe-bitches pause and look at me like I am the worst mother in the world, which sucks because I already feel like the worst mother in the world… 

I couldn’t take it anymore… I let that rabid dog go… holy shit he took off!  ZOOOOOOM!  I had no choice but to leave the stroller and run after him. (There was no chasing Ollie while pushing a stroller through aisles.)  I grabbed my handbag and began the ridiculous spectacle of a grown woman chasing after a 15-month old toddler begging him to stop.  Ollie of course not only has no plan to stop, he doesn’t even look back to see if I am there.  He is laughing and giggling and now grabbing shoes off the eye level racks and throwing them, almost like he is trying to create obstacles to me getting to him.  All I want to do is scream!  But, I try to maintain the appearance that somehow I am in control - just letting the boy stretch his legs… 

When I finally catch up to him, (or really he stops to throw a few more shoes down, allowing me a chance to catch up), I pick him up and try to figure out where I left the stroller. Of course he immediately returns to the screaming kidnapped child routine! So, being the dumb ass sucker mom that I am, I let him down again--at least this time he is running towards the stroller… I think….

The next thing I know, he breaks to the right and runs to the front of the store where the Black Friday size line is snaking through the aisles to the checkout counter.  He proceeded to run into the line and then back out again.  At this point the entire line of 50 or so people are watching him and me… most are laughing at one, or both of us… you all, this crazy ass baby stops in the middle of the front of the store with everyone watching,  looks at me, then his face turns bright red. OH. MY. GAWD NOOOO…. He releases a grunt and starts pushing what sounds, and looks like, a second toddler out of his ass. That's right dear readers - He is pushing out a massive poo right there in front of the whole bloody store!  I could visibly see his pants fill.  Thanks to this taking 10-15 seconds, I have time to look around at the amused and horrified faces staring at us. Sweet mother of mercy this is really happening to me.

He finishes the business and takes off back into the shoe racks.

At this point I am seriously near tears. TEARS! I catch up to him, grab him, find the stroller and FTD- who by the way has three boxes of shoes and a big smile on his face. Ignorant Bliss is the only way to explain it.  I tell him what happened. And of course the smile turns to laughter… I call him a douche canoe and leave him with the stroller to find the restrooms, hopefully equipped with a change table to sort out the massive pile in his pants…

Look I understand if you are laughing--Now that it is over I am able to look back and laugh too. Seriously, the look of shock and horror on the patrons faces when Ollie dropped the doodoo bomb was freaking priceless. But trust me, this sucks to live through. The incredible amount of frustration Ollie, FTD and I deal with every time we go out in public sucks. We are dealing with such a power struggle.  I pray this phase is over soon...  If anyone has any ideas on how to survive this phase without us losing our shit, or having the police called because someone thinks we are kidnapping the child, please, we need help!

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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit