One of our family activities is taking a walk around the neighborhood in the evenings. It’s really a lot of fun. Not only does everyone get some exercise, but we also get to stop and chat with the neighbors. Sometimes, we have other kids join us for our walk as we go. Since the neighborhood is basically a circle, that’s really not a problem. We can walk the kids back to their houses without any problem.
The other day, however, things were too hectic. C (the four year old) had his girlfriend join us for the walk, and they were doing everything they could to get in trouble. One of our rules is that when we’re walking we move as a group. Yes, the kids can run ahead a short distance, but not too far. There are lots of driveways in the neighborhood, and not everyone looks when they’re backing out.
On this particular walk, the two little miscreants were determined to drive me crazy. As soon as we started out, they took off running. They stopped when we shouted, but as we got closer they took off again.
The second time we had to shout several times to get them to stop. J had a talk with them about staying safe.
The third time they took off, they didn’t stop at all when we shouted, and I had to run after them.
The fourth time they took off running I was really angry. This must have seeped into my voice, because my first shout stopped them both in their tracks.
As I walked up to them, fuming, I heard them chatting to each other:
“Your dad really has a strong voice.”
“Yep, and it can sound angry sometimes too.”
“I don’t like strong voices.”
“No. Me neither.”
J caught up to us before I had a chance to show them just how strong my voice could get. That was probably a good thing.