24 June 2008

Al Gore Never Wore A Cupcake Backpack

I have more plans to get out this summer. The kids are home from school, full of energy and ready to go all the time. Why is it that during the school year I can get up at the crack of dawn and yet, a week into summer vacation I can sleep until 10am if they let me. I only wish I could bottle a fraction of the kids' energy and save some for myself.

All the parents say, "Amen!"

On Monday, I decided to reduce my carbon footprint and take a green, earth-friendly walk down to the store with the kids. Fresh air and a good two mile stretch of the legs seemed a good idea, right? Even the youngest, who is 5 can do it. I believe if you can walk the mall with your kids for half a day, then they are perfectly able to walk two whole miles.

One would think from all the bike lanes, that there would be sidewalks along some of the roads we took. They were far and few between, even as we passed the kids school there were more bike lanes than sidewalk. I couldn't believe how many people would roar past in their vehicles. I guess "When Children Are Present" means, "Only If It's Convenient".

The kids were pooped by the time we got to the store. The 5 year old claimed the shopping buggy and started breathing like she was dying. I managed to nurse life into them by resting in the deli and feeding them Lunchables and bottles of water. Lunchables have lots of sodium, so it was good for hydration. I opted for an iced coffee al la Starbucks while thanking God for the people at New Balance who make walking shoes you could marry (but only in Connecticut, New York, and California).

I crammed everyone's backpack with groceries for the trip home. Within two blocks, the 5 year old was declaring she could not go on, in her dramatic-arm-draping-forehead sort of way. I was already carrying the bear's share of the grocery load along with my purse slung over the top of me. I threw her backpack over my shoulders. I knew I'd get laughed at by passing drivers.

*Click photo to enlarge*
Cell phone used to show how big
that thing really is.

I did get laughed at. Cupcakes are apparently hawt and funny.

Plodding along, I was quietly cursing my decision making skills. The 82 degrees pushed us home and the blazing sun made me look more like a sweaty mountain goat than someone doing good things for the environment.

Seriously, I looked incredible. I was yelling at the boys to slow down, and mascara dripping down to my chin. I had four kids ahead of me. My oldest limping from blisters. My damp hair in a sweaty beet red face, and my cupcake backpack boldly trumpeting the latest in motherly fashions.


I promised the kids we'd go swimming when we were just blocks from the apartment. The youngest gained a newfound strength and took over as point man, while booking down the road at a breakneck walk. I nearly dislocated my tomatoes trying to keep up.

Completely unrelated I have to show you my new red shiny shoes. These are so cute, I couldn't help but post them. Talk amongst yourselves....I'll be back after I leave my carbon footprint planted in Mother Nature's backside because next time? I'm driving.



Kimberly Vanderhorst said...


I'm suddenly glad that I live 9 miles away from the grocery store.

Phew. Dodged that bullet.

ancient one said...

Ha ha... I'm with you.. bet Al Gore never walked to the grocery store in 82 degrees...LOL

Your shoes are cute!

Anonymous said...

Love the shoes!!!!! Thanks for the giggles. I needed it after Miss Sam had a severe allergic reaction to one of the puppies we went to look at for possible adoption today.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

What is it that Kermit sings?...

It's not easy being green.

Anonymous said...

You know, for such a "green" city, this place isn't very pedestrian-friendly. The city peeps ought to think about that while we're dying from high gas prices and trying to be all ecological and everything. The big nimrods.

Anonymous said...

ha ha,

i'm with you on cursing the global warming thing....it's makin everything so freakin inconvenient!!!

...."the bear's share", is that for real????

...we say "the lion's share"

That Janie Girl said...

Lord, girl, you make me laugh.

Love the shoes. I think you should complement them with the backpack.

Then again, maybe not.

Jodi said...

Fabulous shoes...had you worn those and just clicked your heals together maybe you would have made it home faster and with less blister?

Rock on girlfriend!

Granny said...

Love the shoes and nice going with the walk. I should do more of it.

Not to be picky, but it's Massachusetts, not Connecticut.

Momo Fali said...

I love shoes...and I really love THOSE shoes!

I have walked the three mile round trip to the store, but I took the stroller along for pooped out kids.

holly said...

i am totally with you. kick the S-H-ONE-T out of that b*. mother nature has so many many things to answer for.

i LOVE that after you and your children exhausted yourselves...you went swimming. nice. then for fun you lifted pianos. right?

Doozie said...

Yes, you should be reprimanded for such a decision.

maybe next time don't wear a bra

Heffalump said...

I admire you for even taking all your kids to the store, let alone having to walk.
I would never survive a trip like that. My kids would run me into the ground. Its bad enough taking them when I can drag them all out to the car!

... Paige said...

I think you bought too many groceries.
When I was a kid we walked everywhere, mom didn't drive, not that we had an extra car. Miles & miles and miles-like the song.
Perhaps next time y'all should only walk 1 mile.
take care

VDog said...

OMFG, this is TOO bizarre...I'm going through my Twitter followers b/c apparently Twitter didn't notify me of all new followers (including you). So I check you out...

First post I see...we have the same phone and the same new shoes.

I think it's a sign. ;p

Mary Alice said...

Because I am big huge nerd, I have read several books about the history of urban planning...cheap oil prices and auto culture helped create the climate for suburbs and the planning of cities that are completely compartmentalized and non pedestrian friendly. Perhaps the tide will turn and we will begin to build with pedestrians in mind again.

The red shoes are fantastic...but I would recommend only wearing them on driving or biking adventures. They don't look suitable for hiking with the children although they would probably complement the cupcake back pack.

R said...

I am crying, I am laughing so hard!!! I SO understand this scenario!!! Love the mascara description. I am dying...

Made my day.

And I LOVE those shoes. Give them to me, my precious.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh my Bob that was so funny. And it was all worth it for the shoes right? I would do things for those shoes they are so pretty. I hate walking in hot weather. My head burns my face melts and it makes me want to kick puppies.

Whistle Britches said...

I want YOUR shoes!!!!!!!!

Gwynne said...

I would walk 2 miles in your shoes...cute! Of course, I'd also have blisters and runny mascara, but still. The cupcake backpack really takes the cake, ahem, though. :-)

Jaina said...

But you gotta admit, that's a pretty darn cute backpack. I think you'll be okay to drive next time though ;) I love those shoes!

Anonymous said...

I was just going to lurk, but then I saw those shoes; ADORABLE!

Lia Hollander said...

Oh! You should have called me. I would have been able to watch you and laugh! :)

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