Both my 4 year old and almost 3 year old love to ride bikes and my 1 year old loves to ride in her push car. So we spend a lot of time outside on our acre, riding on our long driveway and cul de sac. Even on hot days – today it is a balmy 100 degree Texas day – the trees add enough filter to keep us from melting into the pavement.
So out we go, two on bikes, one in the car, Mommy pushing. Great fun.
My girls are doing so well on their bikes that I decided I will let them ride to the end of the street, cross and ride on the other cul de sac across the way.
They will get their exercise, I will get mine and when they are done, they will be ready to rest and I will finally get the clothes put away and the kitchen mopped.
With such a well thought out plan, what could possibly go wrong?
We made it across the street OK. In fact, everything seemed to be going really well. Megan was happy, Sarah was happy, Katie was elated! My mood, having left the house for something other than errands and school bus interpretations, was improving. I felt the motivation to actually get my house in some sort of order flow through my veins and anticipated my arrival home with very tired children.
I saw Katie start up a circle drive in front of a vacant house. I know it was vacant because we tried to buy it 6 months ago and it went into foreclosure before we could. So it sits, empty and lonely, its stories trapped in its walls along with mouse droppings, I am sure.
But I notice, at the end of the drive, a car. Thus meaning someone was there. Someone who might not be appreciative of a 4 year old riding, sort of wobbly, next to their very nice car. I tell Katie to exit the driveway and not use it again. I tell her to turn around and that it is time to head home.
“NO Mom! I want to go again!”
“Katie!!!!! Turn that bike around right now!”
Fury climbs from my pinky toe to the split ends in my hair. I can not stand blatant defiance! I tell her – well, yell at her – that she is to turn her little butt around, go back to our house and there will be no more bike riding the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, Sarah has decided she is all done with riding her bike and now wants to push Megan. So she gets off her bike, leaves it in the middle of the road walks to Megan’s car. Leaving me to carry, or try to push, her very heavy Tigger bike all the way home.
I am thrilled.
Not near as thrilled as I am, however, to look up and see my chicken killer dog running straight for us. He’s obviously found yet another way out of our expensively reinforced yard. I debate chasing him. I decide against it. I have my hands full. Luckily, he is headed in a different direction than the new chickens our neighbors bought to replace the terrier slaughtered ones. I calculate in my head what I can afford to pay the next guy with livestock.
So back we go, Katie crying and half heartedly peddling, Sarah pushing Megan’s car very slowly, me pulling Sarah’s bike, twisting in an awkward position because it is so low, sweat running down my face, back and arms. Dog off to create more mayhem for me to write a blank check for.
So happy to have gone on a simple bike ride.