The girls and I had already taken one long walk around the neighborhood this afternoon, but the cabin fever was still lingering. Granted, it was Mandi that was suffering from it, but as she's far less mobile than the rest of us these days, it's up to me to get the kids out of the house when their rambunctiousness threatens to drive her over the edge. So, after dinner, we put on our coats and headed out for another walk around the block.
Our first walk took us toward the main roads and the playground, so this time we decided to go the other direction and head down toward the nature trail. It quickly became obvious, as it often does, that Lily would need to be coaxed into keeping up with Avery and I, so I enticed her to pick up the pace by promising to walk by her friend Matt's house. The tactic seemed to work well, as she immediately picked up the pace and said, "Ooh, yeah, I wanna go play with him!"
As we made our way down the street the end-game began to evolve. The prospect of simply playing with Matt seemed to be losing its luster, so eventually her plan morphed into a much more endearing one. Now she did not want to play, but rather she wanted to go give Matt a hug. I began to formulate my rationale for not actually stopping at Matt's house, which frankly was not that difficult because it was getting both chilly and dark outside. Surely she'd go for that line of reasoning.
Then, as we rounded the corner and passed by Matt's neighbor's house, Lily changed things up again. But this time, I was ill-prepared.
As she asked to go ring the doorbell, I started in with the "It's too cold and it's getting dark" spiel. Undaunted, she replied with something I never saw coming, and the only response I could muster was one of unbridled laughter.
"Daddy, can we PLEEEEEEASE go see Matt???"
"No, Lily, we've got to get home!"
"But Dadddddddyyyy, I really want to give Matt a kiss!"
I literally laughed out loud . . so loud that I'm quite sure a few neighbors came to their front doors to see what the heck was going on. I hurried the girls along and assured Lily that not only would we not be going to Matt's house, but that the next time he came over to play they would NOT be allowed out of my sight!
They grow up so quickly, eh?