Walking a 3 year old to pre-school


First day of pre-school, back when it was sunny.

“Why are the leaves on the floor Mummy? Why isn’t it snowing yet? Why do snails have a shell? Why do dogs poo on the ground? What is that flower? Can I have some cake now?”

Walking my 3 year old to pre-school is to endure an unending barrage of questions, many of which I don’t have time to answer before the next inquisition hits me in the face. From the colour of the sky to the reason she has to go to pre-school in the first place, Frog wants to know it all. And I mean ALL.

“When you have another baby Mummy? Why Daddy not have baby? Can Daddy have a baby? I want a rabbit. Can I have a cat? Oh I wish and I wish and I wish it would snow! Why can’t it snow NOW?!”

Pre-school is a ten minute walk down a steep hill. I often manage to cut the journey to five minutes when I’m walking alone to collect Frog (often running late. Scrap that – always running late). In the mornings though, we leave half an hour before we need to arrive, because the journey takes so long.

We have to stop to examine every leaf. Every snail shell. Every spider web. Every flower. We have to stop to wave at every car that goes past and listen to every cow mooing in the field. Every doorstep needs to be jumped on and every kerb needs to be paused at, even if there are no cars around.

Walking a 3 year old to pre-school is the greatest test of my patience yet.

On Friday the walk was a bit different. It was rushed, in the buggy, with tears and shouting. It was in the eye of a huge tantrum that spat us both out and left 3 year old and mum exhausted. That day the tantrum meant we only had ten minutes to do the journey, so there was no meandering to look at the spider webs and snail shells.

It made me realise, as much as I find myself gritting my teeth and swallowing back a tense “Come on, we’re going to be late!”, I’d far rather the slow walk and incessant questions. It’s a little bit of normality that I missed this time last year, when I was already out of the door for work at 4.30am. Some of our best chats take place between 8.45am and 9.15am, even if they are completely and utterly random. The walk gets me started for the day and marks an important place in our Monday to Friday routine.

So next time my 3 year old stops to stroke a dandelion leaf or poke a stone with the toe of her boot, I’m going to remember that these ordinary daily moments won’t last forever. Before I know it she’ll be running out of the door with a piece of toast in her hand, ready to catch the school bus on her own.

For now, I’m going to try and treasure the slower pace and make the most of the questions. Even if they are taking place in the pouring down rain while my fringe is getting wet.


I’m linking this post up to The Ordinary Moments over at Mummy Daddy Me Makes Three. 


  1. says

    Ah yes. I know that feeling. The endless amblings and ramblings of a toddler. Great for slowing you down and getting you to look in macro detail at your surroundings. Not so great for getting anywhere in a hurry. Lovely post.

  2. says

    I was just thinking this morning about whether Cherry is too old to be pushed in a pushchair as I was contemplating walking her to pre-school. I drove in the end as she refused to put her jumper on for ten minutes making us late! I think it’s too far for her to walk but maybe one day I will brave it! X

  3. says

    This is such a lovely post Molly. And I agree, as much as the ‘Why?’ every two minutes and the bizarre and crazy things she comes out with, I wouldn’t change them for anything. We have some of our best conversations when we are out walking, in the buggy actually. She chatters non stop. x

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