Biking With Babies

We are still getting quite a bit of exercise by riding the bike… minus those training wheels, which created so much drag, Thing 2’s race times were unacceptable.  It’s mainly because Thing 2 loves physical exercise, and his biceps are not quite big enough to handle a wheelbarrow full of pea gravel yet.

(For wheelbarrow loads of pea gravel, we have the boy.)

(He’s so excited about that.)

(We also raked tons of leaves this weekend and cleaned up flower beds.  We were productive, responsible homeowners, as we showed all the neighbors that YES!  WE REALLY CAN LOOK CLASSIER THAN WE USUALLY DO OVER HERE!  One of our boys worked like the proverbial ant, carrying loads twice his size and asking what else he could lift, rake, push, pull or carry.  The other boy of ours slumped on the patio steps and said things like, “Seriously?  We’re going to do ALL OF THIS today?”)

But on days when Hubs and I are not employing the boys as underpaid manual laborers, we take the Orange Crush out, and we ride.

Last Thursday evening, we met our good friends at the park.  They brought Vivian June to ride with Thing 2 again, because it’s a proven fact that preschoolers who cycle after dinner sleep better.

We are big supporters of every activity that encourages better sleeping at our house.

While Thing 2 pedaled the Orange Crush around the sidewalks, Vivian brought her sparkly pink bike, with the handlebar tassels and the baby carrier with the five-point safety harness.  She also brought her purse, which doubled as a diaper bag.  A real lady never knows when she’ll need to freshen up her lipstick, reach for a fresh piece of pink bubblegum, fish out a pen to endorse a check with, or grab a diaper to change the baby.

Vivian’s parents sat with us on park benches, so that we could talk and talk… and then talk some more.

We said very encouraging things to the children, like, “Watch where you’re going!  Don’t run your bikes into pedestrians!  For the love!”

Vivian said things like, “This is my baby, Thing 2.  His name is Baby Jesus T. T.  Let’s take him for a ride.”

No one really knows what the double T initials stand for, but I suspect it’s “Trust This.”  Vivian June is an amazing little girl, who loves Jesus.  She honored Him by naming her baby after Him.

Thing 2 said things like, “I don’t want to be the husband in all of this.  I just came here to ride bikes.”

Those kids, and Baby Jesus  T. T., logged so many miles on their bicycles that evening, they could have made it from Small Town, USA to a taco stand in Central America.

We also realized that, without even meaning to, kids have a lot of different facial expressions while they ride bikes.  May I submit the following snapshots as evidence?

Eventually, the unthinkable happened.

Thing 2 and Vivian June collided.

She rides like a soccer mom driving a mini van, who’s running late for Baby Jesus T. T.’s  practice, and who left a roast at 350 in the oven back home, completely unattended.

He rides like he’s been summoned with the Bat Signal in Gotham City, and the fate of the civilians depends on him.

A wreck was inevitable.

Thankfully, both of our preschoolers were absolutely fine.  We quickly DIDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT, to keep a full-on melt down from happening, if one of them locked eyes with us.  Thus, we had no tears.

But what was hard to be a witness to is that Baby Jesus T. T. was ejected from his bike seat.  He fell to the sidewalk in a heap.

Um… Thing 2?  Is that a security camera on that building over there?  Do you think we’re going to be on the six o’clock news for not properly securing the baby in the bike seat?

I don’t know, Viv.  I’m a little more concerned with the handlebars on Orange Crush.  I’ve got a race coming up, and I can’t win it with crooked handlebars.

Thing 2?  Can you help buckle Baby Jesus T. T. back in?

(Also, Baby Jesus T. T. possesses a strong enough core to tighten up his muscles and stabilize himself, whenever he’s passed off to someone else, using the recommended Neck Alone Grip.)

I’ve got him.  Shh.  There, there.  Let’s get you buckled back in your seat, Little Guy.”

See,  Viv?  I think your problem with rebuckling him happened because you didn’t put the baby into the bike seat HEAD FIRST.”

Thing 2?  Do you think we can sue the manufacturers of this bike seat?  Because I think it didn’t hold up like their advertising suggested during the wreck.  I could use some money.  I saw some My Little Ponies I’d like to buy at Walmart.”

That would be great, Vivian June.  I need a hundred bucks to use as a registration fee, when I submit my application for membership in the Hell’s Angels.”

Um… wow!  These five-point harnesses are a little trickier than I thought.  You don’t happen to have a screwdriver in your purse, do you, Viv?

CLAP!!  CLAP!!  CLAP!!  “Oh, look!  It’s your dad, Thing 2!  I think he can help us!

I told you that I could get this!  I just needed a screwdriver!  And maybe a cheeseburger.  It’s taking so long, I could definitely use a cheeseburger.  Can you run and grab me one?  And make sure you tell them I like a toy with my burgers!  Don’t forget the toy, Viv!

Thankfully, Hubs saved Baby Jesus T. T. from being improperly restrained again.  The baby was successfully strapped back in.  Our preschoolers were happy to get back to ALL THE RIDING.

Later that evening, one of the local bands marched down the street beside the park.  They were beating their drums, tooting their bugles and clanging their symbols, as they practiced for their appearances in different summer parades.

Thing 2 can never resist a band.  He was overcome with the need to drop Orange Crush to the sidewalk and two-step his way through a little jig.

Vivian June tried to cover her mouth, so Thing 2 wouldn’t hear her, as she loudly whispered to her dad, “He’s so embarrassing after he’s had three juice boxes.”

The kids chased after the band for a while, shouting out their tremendous approval for the beat, although one of them did yell, “You need more cowbell!

And then they rode their bikes some more at the park, after the band turned down a different street.

We earned the star rewards for biking after dinner.

Thing 2 slept… and he slept.

The boy, who had set his alarm on Wednesday night for 5 AM, so that he could make it to the bus at the high school for a golf trip by 5:30 AM on Thursday…

… forgot to reset his alarm on Thursday night when he went to bed…

… which is why that alarm went off with all the grace and calmness of a screaming tornado siren on crack tablets at 5 AM on Friday morning.

All the blessings, people.

All.  The.  Blessings.

Hubs and I were yanked out of sleep for no reason at 5 AM on Friday morning, too…

… while Thing 2 slept in until 7:05.

He slept until 7:05 in the morning, while we were awake at 5:00.

The boy is going to get the extra-heavy pea gravel in the wheelbarrow next weekend!

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