Mommy & Tater Tot Take a Walk
I hate walking by myself. I feel awkward and soon enough I get bored and start talking to myself. Inevitably, I'll be singing away and some guy in his huge, honkin' "I'm from the South and don't you forget it" pickup truck will pull up beside me at a street light. Then we'll have that awkward moment of, "Did you see me singing to myself? I wasn't.. wasn't doing anything.. umm... Will that light turn green already???"
But for some reason, I'm more comfortable taking a walk around town with the Tater Tot. I pack her up in the baby sling and we walk the 8 blocks down to the riverfront. I've done it a couple times now (it's 71 degrees here, in February - don't worry, she's not freezing!) and I think she enjoys it! The gentle rocking while I walk reminds her of being in my belly and she's not in a stroller, away from me, with the sun shining in her eyes and cars and fumes assaulting her. She's tucked away, close to my body, where I can hug her and pat her back if she starts to get upset. Plus, it's good for me to carry a little bit of extra weight to build some strength in my arms and back (as well as all the good exercise from walking!).
The other day, Tot and I walked down to river and passed by the court house. We recently had an ice storm and there are still a bunch of tree limbs and debris on the ground. I noticed people cleaning it up, like they're doing all around town, but then I noticed the van next to them. On the side of it was printed, "Daviess County Prison."
Then I read the men's t-shirts. Their MATCHING t-shirts, as well as matching pants and hats. "Daviess County Inmates." Now, I know that they're paying their debt to society and doing their time and are out on a work-release program because of good behavior and there is a strong possibility that these inmates may be in there for only tax evasion but.... I was walking very close to INMATES! AND ONE OF THEM HAD A CHAIN SAW! A chain saw! To cut up fallen branches ----- and my limbs! Granted, he couldn't get the damn thing to start up but I didn't see an officer anywhere and Joe Convict had a dangerous weapon near my baby!
So, I start talking to myself. "What do I do? Mama, it's ok, they're probably not even going to notice you. There are plenty of people driving and walking by and you're being elitist. Just let it go. Ooh, the 'Walk' sign is going - to the right. I could... no, I shouldn't. They'll know that I'm crossing because of them. Maybe I just... want to look in the window of that shop over there. Yeah, yeah, that's it."
I give Tot a reassuring pat. And sprint across the street just as the orange hand starts flashing.
I'm not taking chances any more.