Friday, April 27, 2012


My daughter loves to ride her bike. Nearly every day she begs me to take her out riding. I feel like a bad mommy but I only take her out riding a couple times a week. Its not that I don't want to take her out nor that I don't want her to ride her bike. My greatest wish is that she spend as much time as possible out of doors pursuing physical activity and exploration. It's that a bike ride is never just a bike ride.

See, this is how our bike rides start out:

Sophie excitedly pedaling in front of me. Helmet, elbow and knee pads donned. Her baby doll in the seat behind her. We chatter away as we decide which way to go. Whether we'll head towards the elementary school across the street or around the neighborhood.

She's pretty good on there, knows how to pedal and steer and brake, but we live on a busy road and I worry, so I stay close behind her, on foot. Generally, we'll sing songs and talk about what we see on our ride. The plants and animals that inhabit our neighborhood. We'll meander our way through the smaller streets behind our house. Carefully crossing at intersections. Navigating the gentle hills.

And then it happens. She jumps off the bike to pick a flower (dandelion) and runs ahead. I holler out to her that she needs to come back for her bike. And she does. For a minute. But then she's off again. To look at an unusual mailbox that she's seen a dozen times before on bike rides or walks. She comes back again for her bike, but it is short-lived. Finally, she abandons the bike altogether and this is what I see for the rest of our outing:

What you don't see, because I am the documentarian of our life, is me pulling the bike. Again. And this is why I am beginning to hate bike rides. Every time she promises me that she will ride her bike the whole way, that I won't wind up dragging it the last mile home. And every time she gets off and abandons it and I'm left with sore toes from all the times I accidentally run over them with the blasted training wheels as I chase after her pulling that bike next to me.

My girl is Lucy with the football. And I? Am a gullible blockhead.


  1. I'm sure it's very frustrating, but...

    Inside I am laughing. Because she's so darn cute. And has the best of intentions to make good on her promises. And knows that you're right there behind her, willing to pick up the pieces (or carry the bike) when those intentions go flying out the window.

    Pretty accurate representation of motherhood at its finest, wouldn't you say?

  2. Oh yes, this is an all too familiar view for me, too. I end up carrying my children's bikes home so many times! I've had to call my husband to come pick up the bikes from the park before my children will decide they don't want to ride them home! Grrr.

  3. Wwhat always surprises me is how HEAVY those little bikes are! They are pure steel, possibly solid. At least you can get a workout...

  4. I am currently sitting on our couch all sorts of miserable because I spent an hour helping Alexis bike around the neighborhood. I HATE BIKES.

  5. I hear you, mama. We've been doing an after-dinner "walk-ride" a few times a week. Bub rides his bike. Middle guy sets off on scooter. I push girly in that red and blue plastic car thing with the handle. Bub races to end of each block and yells at us to hurry. I yell back, "Do NOT cross without us. Just wait. Did you hear me? Just WAIT!" Three activities alternate as we catch up with Bub: middle guy hands me scooter and claims he wants to push his sister (he pushes slow, pushes crooked, or pushes crazy and dangerously fast), middle guy hands me scooter and wants to walk at snail's pace, and/or little girl drags feet on ground so that her car won't move. Good times!

  6. I am so thankful for you and your writing. Frustration is something I feel in spades, and when you share, I feel less alone as a mom. Gracias.


Give me some sugar, baby!