Running with a Toddler

When we found out we were expecting a kiddo, one of our first gifts was an amazing jogging stroller–a BOB! I had lots of preconceived notions of walking a mile and a half to the coffee shop while on maternity leave with junior. Ha! Little did I know how difficult I’d find the transition to mama-hood, let alone consider the logistics involved in a 3 mile round trip walk with a hungry, poopy, peey, little man.

Thankfully, the stroller is still working out great, though our not-so-little guy just topped 36 inches and he isn’t even two yet!

This summer I’ve been able to get in a groove and we now manage to go for a jog/lope twice a week or so. I’m surprised how much my little man loves it. We go first thing when he gets up. Once “the sun is up,” of course. I tuck him into the stroller with a water bottle (I keep an extra under the stroller because this kid can drink two so quickly), a snack–usually Annie’s bunnies, one or two of his hand knitted bunny lovies, and his hand knit blanket. I show up with a water bottle of my own an inexpensive digital watch with a timer I got eons ago.

Off we go.

We don’t make it too far before the commentary starts.


“Yes, honey, there is the park.” I get out between labored breaths.

“Light on” or “Light off,” depending.

He is obsessed with turning our own lights on and off–the ones he can reach anyways. And always remarks about other people’s front lights. He is very demanding that we turn them on and off according to his whims, even though I constantly tell him that every family gets to decide those things for themselves.


Yes, he knows that stop signs are shaped like an octagon and will tell you every time he sees one. On a run, on a walk, in the car, it doesn’t matter. We have Shaun the Train from YouTube to thank for the lesson in shapes.


This was one he busted out last time upon seeing the HOV symbol that also marks bike trails around us. Crazy time.

All the time I’m trying to acknowledge him, run, and push the not so light stroller. It makes for a comedic adventure when my mindset is right and lots of frustrations when my mindset is a bit off.

I have a large hill that I run up and I’ve taught him to say, “Go, go, go,” or “Go, mom, go,” or “Run, mama, run.” I have to chant it out first, but he usually picks up on it quickly and it is so fun to get to the top. We both break out in lots of “Yay’s!”

We say “hi” to the people that pass us, and the cats that survey the neighborhoods from their perches. We point out dogs, and airplanes, and squirrels, and bikes, and fire trucks.

And as long as his blanket stays put and a toe or two, or even a foot doesn’t pop out, he’s pretty content.

Everyone tells me to embrace these moments because they go by quickly and I’m learning they are right and working to relish them.

Here’s a terribly blurry, post-run photo after our third day in a row of finishing our 45-minute runs before 6:30 am!



Published by


A thirty-something artist. Married with two cats--Scotch and Sake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *