In our neighborhood, there are less than 15 kids–probably less than 10 that live in the neighborhood full time. I see three get on the middle school bus each day, I live with 1, and there are two little ones across the street. So the Babe doesn’t have many examples of what “kids do” in a neighborhood.
Instead, she watches the adults walk their dogs (no fences, so they’re all leash trained) and the dog-less adults just walk. And walk. And walk. That sort of purposeful fitness walking marked by the MP3 player, sports bra, reflective clothing and the bent arms. I think only one or two people jog. The rest of us, myself included, walk. So when she points to the men walking by and says, “Dada!” I say, “That man’s walking.” And she’ll repeat, “walking”. When she points to the dog walkers, I’ll say the dog’s going on a walk. And she’ll say, “walking”.
So now, when the Babe wants to go outside, she says, “Walking? Go walking? Go walking baby?”–which roughly translates into, “I’d like to get out my stroller and put my doll in it and barrel down the sidewalk.” !!!!
It occurred to me today that she doesn’t use the word “Play”, like I think kids generally do–her word for going outside is “Walking.”
Definitely a sign we live amongst old folks.