What I didn't say is that the walk only takes 15 minutes when I'm speed-walking with intensity developed from my years in New York and days as a marathon runner. If Monkey walked home--and he has done on other days--it would turn into a 30-40 minute walk of shepherding him through cross-walks, stopping him from studying every blade of grass and asking why we couldn't go this way or do that thing. I'm all for Monkey walking and asking questions (can one really stop a 3-year old from asking questions?), but there is the issue of time management
No, I'm not rushing off to a manicure or a hair appointment, as Ken might suppose (he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer), but Munchkin sometimes needs a nap, errands need to be run and the cooking and cleaning I'm supposed to accomplish as a stay-at-home-mom is awaiting me at home.
Despite my to-do list, I admit I felt defensive. We've all seen those kids who are too big for strollers. The implication of Ken's comment is that either I'm lazy or my son is lazy, although that is nowhere near the truth. We don't own a car (and haven't in 20 years) so I either walk or take a train to get around. I walk to the doctor's office, to the kids' schools, to their play-dates, and to every night out or meeting that I attend. We usually walk to the various playgrounds nearby, but if we venture to the downtown area it is quite likely Monkey sits in the stroller at some point because navigating said trains is easier and safer if both kids are contained. Since Ken doesn't have children, I invite him to take a three-year-old shopping. When we go to big box stores, Monkey wanders around on his own two feet, but the speed with which a small child can grab either incredibly impractical or unhealthy items from the shelf, will surely alarm Ken to no end.
Sometimes Monkey is in the stroller to make the day or a shopping trip more efficient. Sometimes he's in the stroller because I'm taking the kids for a run. Sometimes he's walked a lot and wants to sit for the last stretch home. However, neither one of us is lazy. In the next few months, we'll phase the stroller out for Monkey completely. But on days I have to haul the kids one mile from the bus to home with a few stops along the way, he'll probably want to sit and enjoy the ride.