Shoulder Wars

I am, all modesty aside, quite talented at carrying kids on my shoulders. It’s an unusual and singularly unmarketable talent, but that’s the way it is. To me, carrying a child on your shoulder is like being a roller coaster. Sure, you can just plod along, but it’s more fun to make it exciting. It’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a rhythm to it that most people haven’t mastered, and a whole host of choices to make. For example, I prefer holding their feet to holding their hands. That gives you more options. Hopping, spinning, turning, ducking, and bowing are all available to you. It’s a little more high risk – because they can flop over backwards if you get too crazy – but I can manage it. It also makes the “short run” move much more exciting.

As you might imagine, when we’re at an amusement park the kids prefer being on my shoulders to being on their momma’s. When both kids are so tired they need to be carried, however, I get C. He’s substantially bigger, and it’s only fair that the bigger parent carry the bigger kid.

That’s the way it was yesterday when we were down at the Magic Kingdom for N’s birthday trip. We were walking up main street with the kids on our shoulders when N called out “Wait!”

It was a very commanding little yell. We all stopped. “Yes?” I asked.

He shouted “Wait!” again, just to make sure we were ready.

We all waited for a few seconds, and then he started counting. “One….Two…Three… Switch!”

And he held his hands out to me.

There was a pause while we tried to figure out what he meant. His older brother got it first and shouted “No! No Switching! You’re on Momma, and I’m on Daddy. You’re on Momma!”

The little guy tried again. “One… Two… Three… Switch!”

It was a really good try. We almost switched just as a reward for the counting.

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