Running with Your Toddler in 52 Easy Steps

Running with your Toddler in a jogging stroller is fun, easy and somewhat safe. Just follow these 52 simple steps.

1.     Retrieve the jogging stroller from the storage unit in the basement.

2.     The jogging stroller has been banished to the basement because the stroller-to-human ratio in your apartment is already one-to-one and all of the closets are already stuffed with car seats even though you don’t have a car.

3.     You should probably put the car seats in storage.

4.     Choose a child to run with. Consult the wheel-chart on the fridge to see whose turn it is.  Don’t play favorites

5.     Unless it’s cold. Then you should ignore the wheel-chart and take Jacob, the oldest, because he is sturdier and can handle the weather. It’s also much less of a pain in the ass to get him dressed in layers.

6.     Notify your wife several days in advance that you will be running with one of the kids in the jogging stroller.  She will be alone with two babies while you are out “gallivanting” and thus requires plenty of notice. Give yourself a buffer and say you will be out for an hour even if you’re only running for 30 minutes. This will allow you to stretch and/or hit the liquor store after your run.

7.     Pump up the tires to your jogging stroller.

8.     Find the pump.

9.     Get really angry because you can’t find the pump or anything else for that matter in your apartment, which is a God damn mess.

10.  Feel really embarrassed when your wife finds the pump in 30 seconds.

11.  Stock the stroller. This will take some time and concentration. Do it while your kid(s) is still napping. 

12.  Bring the following: snacks, water, an extra sweatshirt, tissues, diapers, ipod, headphones, credit card, cash, keys, extra snacks, a flashlight, potable water, cell phone, flares, sun tan lotion, toys, wipes, cell phone.

13.  A word on snacks. You can never bring enough. Snacks are all that separates you from a detour to Kidville. The normal rules of nutrition do not apply. Sugar, candy, corn starch and artificial flavoring are all permitted.

14.  Kidville sucks.

15.  Get your kid dressed. This will take approximately one hour so plan accordingly.

16.  Adjust the strap settings on your jogging stroller, which are set for your other, substantially smaller child. This will take approximately one hour so plan accordingly.

17.  Plop your kid in the jogging stroller and put on Sid the Science Kid while you get dressed.

18.  Make sure to DVR Sid the Science Kid and every other PBS kids show in existence.  Like snacks, you can never have enough PBS kids’ shows.

19.  Unlike other forms of television, PBS will not rot your kids’ brains because it is publicly funded and celebrates multi-culturalism.

20.  Take several Advil because your back is hurting from leaning over the jogging stroller adjusting the straps for approximately one hour.

21.  Curse at the heavens when you learn that your DVR is full and there are no Sid the Science Kid episodes available.

22.  Scream at your wife for DVR’ing every season of Housewives leaving no room for Sid the Science Kid or HBO: Real Sports.  Tell your wife that she is changing the subject when she says that you also watch Housewives.

23.  Scream at your wife to put that video on from Youtube, which you can’t find yourself.  Get really angry when she is in the other room changing the diapers of your twin one-year-olds and either can’t hear you or refuses to answer. Probably because you did not give her sufficient notice of your plans to go running with your kid in the jogging stroller.

24.  Take your kid out of the jogging stroller because he/she just pooped.

25.  Change his/her diaper.

26.  Plop him/her in the highchair for a snack. You want your child stuffed to the point of vomiting before going on a run. Even though you will have snacks, they should be used only as a backup.

27.  I repeat: snacks should only be used as a backup.

28.  Prepare yourself a light snack because you are starving. 

29.  Place your kid back into the jogging stroller and put on Thomas and Friends over their vociferous objections.

30.  Thomas and Friends sucks.

31.  Get dressed to go running.

32.  Get really angry because either (1) all your clothes are in the laundry; (2) all your clothes are clean but somewhere inside a huge laundry bag; or (3) your clothes are clean but placed haphazardly in your dresser drawers by the cleaning lady who comes once a week.

33.  Yell at your wife to tell the cleaning lady that your “running stuff” goes here or there.

34.  Your wife does not respond because she is feeding the twins who have been constipated the last week. 

35.  Put on running shorts and a running shirt that barely fit you five years ago when you were 20 pounds lighter.

36.  Put on a sweatband because you sweat a lot and who the fuck cares.

37.  Put on neon-colored Asics that were on sale on Zappos and look absolutely ridiculous.

38.  Take off the Asics because you’re not supposed to wear shoes in the house.

39.  Don’t forget the ipod. This will allow you to drown out your kid’s complaining.

40.  Charge the ipod.

41.  Thomas and Friends is ending. Don’t panic.

42.  Put sun tan lotion on your kid.

43.  Find the sun tan lotion.

44.  Scream at your wife about the location of the sun tan lotion who will proceed to find it in approximately 30 seconds.

45.  Get into a fight with your wife about the management of the home.

46.   Don’t fight in front of the kids, which would be emotionally scarring.

47.  Tell your wife that you are sorry and ask if you can continue the conversation after your relaxing run.

48.  Remember to get your wife flowers after your run.

49.  Go to the bathroom.

50.  Leave the apartment to enjoy a nice, relaxing run.

51.  Lightning flashes, thunder cracks and the heavens open.

52.  Find the rain cover to the jogging stroller.