My daughter is in kindergarten at the neighborhood school this year so we've been walking back and forth. The younger two kids generally ride in the stroller on the way over in the morning so we can go on our run after we drop her at school, but in the afternoon, the baby rides in the infant carrier and both the 2 1/2 - year old and the 5-year-old walk. Some days are slower than others. The kids like to play with sticks as we go. Sometimes one is eating a snack as we meander home, but the other day I timed it and projecting the pace into "runner's terms," we were doing a 90-minute mile! Wow! That is slow. Painfully slow. It is hard, as a grown-up, to walk that slow.
So, "Why torture yourself?" one might ask. I think that they are learning a good lesson. Walking is good exercise. It is better for the environment than driving. It is a nice opportunity to talk about our day. We can watch as the leaves start to change colors. It is a routine that they can expect everyday. I think that it is even good for their self esteem to see that they can accomplish this - because sometimes they find it difficult...or so they say.
It is also good exercise for me since sometimes I do have pity and give piggy-back rides. My 2 1/2-year old coined it a "Mama sandwich" with the baby on the front and the toddler on the back! I continue to have the highest respect for Sherpas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherpa).