Thursday, April 22, 2010

Directionally Challenged

I try to go for a walk with Baby at least once a day, weather permitting. Lately it has been raining on and off, so I haven't wanted to venture out for fear of getting caught in a surprise rain shower.

Baby has an Evenflo Travel Stroller System that I find works great for our daily walks. She sits in the carseat part and can look at me as I push her along. If it gets too sunny, there are two sunshades, one from either direction, that I can choose to put up. Or if she is crying, it does a nice job of muffling her. Seriously. I hate to have people hear her cry. Usually it's just because she is fighting going to sleep. She fights sleep with a passion.

Walking is my only exercise as of late. It's hard to find time to exercise when I am taking care of Baby. When she takes her long nap, that's when I do laundry, dishes, eat lunch, prepare dinner (which we later reheat when Husband comes home), and write my blogs. If I'm lucky, I might lay down for a nap as well (Baby usually senses when I want to do this and thus refuses to fall asleep, so I usually never get a nap.). Therefore, I really do make it a priority to take a daily walk with her. Plus, she gets fresh air and her daily dose of Vitamin D.

Usually I can finagle someone to go along with me. My sister comes, or my mother, or Husband, if he is home at the time (that's rare, though). I don't mind going by myself, because then I can walk as fast as I can. I tried jogging, but this stroller is not meant for such speeds and gets caught. (I'm looking into getting a jogging stroller so I can move a little faster.) However, the real reason I like people to go with me is so I don't get lost. You may laugh, but it is very true.

I am one of those people who can't find their way out of a paper bag. Or around their own backyard. Or, in my case, my own neighborhood. I'm very serious here. Those who know me automatically give me directions whenever I go somewhere. If I drive to the local store, my family members will tell me when and where to turn. And don't get me started on backtracking. I like the feature on mapquest that tells you how to get to a location, then you can switch it to tell you how to get back. I have the hardest time figuring out how to go the opposite of the way I came.

I usually end up getting hopelessly lost and having to call for help. My younger brother, who is usually near a computer, has often gotten my frantic calls of, "I'm on the corner of here and here, and I need to get there, which way do I go?" He will then patiently stay on the phone with me until I find my way back. I have various friends who I call for directions, depending on which town I'm in. As a last resort, I call Husband who will also patiently walk me through which way to go. He looks at me with a mixture of amusement and disbelief, though. We drive around the neighborhood and I ask him which way to go, and he replies that I should know this by now. Well, I don't. I have a disease and I haven't found the cure.

The other day I took Baby for a walk. I couldn't find anyone to go with me, so I went on my own. Instead of taking my normal route, I decided to go the reverse. Big mistake. I ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere. I still don't know where. I told my sister she had to go with me again and I'd show her what I did and she can show me what went wrong. That hasn't happened yet.

Well, I couldn't tell if things around looked familiar or not. Do I usually see this house? Do I remember this fence? Does this hill always make me winded? Was this creek always here? I kept walking and walking, and was starting to get a little worried. This was taking longer than my normal walk, and I knew Baby was going to get hungry soon. After going up and down a hill that I know for a fact I usually don't climb (I think), I turned around and headed back the way I came. Luckily, I hadn't made very many turns to begin with and I was able to find my way back home. Next time I go for a walk I am sticking with my normal route.

My mother tells me my grandmother has a hard time with directions as well, so perhaps this is hereditary. I really hope Baby inherits her father's sense of direction.

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