Monday, February 11, 2013

Family Bike Ride

The weather is absolutely perfect in Florida right now. I know the rest of the country is buried in snow, so I thought I would share with you some of the family fun you are missing out on by living in the cold. The sarcasm in that comment will be evident in a moment.

We decided to go on a family bike ride and enjoy the sunshine. My oldest has a new two wheeler and has been wanting to go on a "real" bike ride. He rides it every morning but I am usually walking behind him with my youngest in tow. A "real" bike ride would consist of all of us on our bikes and our toddler in the baby seat. We would go a, "really really long way," according to my oldest and spend some time together.

My oldest had his helmet on for a full half hour before we got organized enough to go anywhere. My husband pulled the bikes down from the garage hooks and pumped all of our tires with air. He attached the baby seat after a long conversation about which baby carrier we should install. We have a seat that sits on the rear of the bike and a trailer that would fit both of them. We elected for the seat, buckled our toddler in and got ready to go.

Except my toddler had another idea. "MAMA MAMA! OFF!!!" he yelled as he tried to yank off his brand new helmet.

"We have to keep it on if we are going to go on a bike ride, bud," I told him. "Let's take pictures to remember our first real family bike ride!" Notice his enthusiasm.

We pressed on and, before we made it two blocks, my oldest said, "Daddy! Wait! My legs really really hurt! You are going too fast!" We slowed down a bit remembering that his bike tires were only about the size of birthday balloons. Then he saw the trash truck whom he has named Rowdy. He really loves Rowdy. This meant that we had to stop every time the trash truck stopped. Every time.

We decided then and there to head back home and put both boys into the trailer instead so that we could at least go somewhere. Anywhere. My toddler thought this was a complete affront to him. He started screaming at full blast. "MAMA MAMA! OFF! HAT OFF!!!" he screamed. We grabbed a bowl of goldfish and gave it to him to try and distract him. It worked for a few minutes. Then he was mad all over again. "GO! DONE!" he said through a flurry of tears and snot. We all pulled off the road and I grabbed him out of the trailer to settle him down. After some hugs, I put him in the seat and he was a much happier guy. Especially because we were heading home.

Sometimes, in the middle of nonsense like this I think, "Why did I think this would be fun? Have I been watching too many Hallmark movies?" And yet, I will keep trying because, at some point, we will all really enjoy a family bike ride. Someday I will hear them say, "remember how you and Daddy always took us out on bike rides?" and I will have long forgotten the torrents of tears. That's the beauty of time. It blurs the bad and accentuates the good. Already, giggles are replacing frustration. But I still think I need a bit more time before the next family bike ride.

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