There was a time, when Norah was a wee-baby, that she seemed to enjoy the stroller. Especially when she was very-wee, she enjoyed it so much, she fell asleep before we were even able to cross the street. Ahhh, those were magical times...
...fast-forward to her now, at 19 months, a toddler who literally runs away from me and thinks the phrase "Norah, stop! Get back here!" means "Keep running! Faster!" and she can hardly stand being strapped into the stroller. Thankfully, the BOB is outfitted with a very secure, and adjustable harness, so once I wrestle her into the stroller, she's in there for good, unlike the cheaper Chicco stroller we have that she can MacGyver out of (which led, incidentally, to THE WORST WALK OF MY LIFE last Saturday -- but, that is perhaps a story for another day).
Still, even though I can harness her in and she can't escape, I prefer to walk or run without a screaming, unhappy child. And Norah doesn't love walking -- she'd prefer that if she's gonna get strapped in, that she be moving at a faster pace -- but as I indicated in yesterday's post, I'm really just walking right now. So, how to bribe her into not just wanting to get into the stroller but to remain happy whilst in it?
First, there are two mandatory items we must have: a pacifier (yes, she still uses one and this doesn't concern me one bit -- I was a kid who sucked her thumb until she was in 1st grade, so to me, the pacifier seems way easier to eventually take away when the time comes) and her "Bo-Bo" which is her pink bear. Those items are a MUST, and once we're walking, they're generally enough to keep her happy. So the trick then becomes simply getting her to want to get into the stroller, so new to my bribery is a treat. And Norah's current favorite treat? Buddy Fruit.
This is basically squeezable, pureed fruit. She loves it. No, wait, let me re-phrase: She LOVES it. So much so that I hide them behind other things in the cabinet because if she spies them, she goes ape-shit until I cave and give her one. Therefore, we've developed a little pattern pre-walk: I get out the Buddy Fruit, she has a seizure of pureed-fruit-anticipation, I lure her into the stroller with the promise of handing it over to her, and then I wait to un-cap it until we're out the door.
Because there are just two faults of the Buddy Fruits (one is their cost; they're a $1 a piece, which Jerry views as highway robbery), and one is that they take Norah all of about 30 seconds to devour. That doesn't get us far on our walk. Thankfully, most days, once she's in the stroller, she's content as long as we don't dare walk too far, so if I can convince her to get in, we're generally good. But, definitely, there are days when I wish those Buddy Fruits were gallon-sized so she could suck on them like a tick on a dog, but then later, I'd probably have a kid with a shitplosion-diaper to deal with, so I guess things even out.
And when the day comes that the Buddy Fruits fail to entice her? I guess I could always slip her half a Benadryl ;)