We went on a walk. A walk/bike ride. I was walking with The New One in the Stroller. Zizza and Enzo were on their bikes.
Zizza loves her bike and she’s getting to be a pretty reliable rider. If her training wheels end up on either side of the gutter leaving the back wheel of her bike low-centered and spinning freely as she peddles with all her might, stationary. She puts her feet down and pushes out of the gutter.
She sees fit to ride ahead of me rather than at my side.
She manages to pedal and steer both at the same time. She’s also pedaling without looking at her feet. Those last three things work together to save me from being repeatedly side swiped every three feet as I was last bike season.
For all Ziz is doing so well on her bike, Enzo just isn’t there yet. He hasn’t learned how to pedal, that’s a stumbling block, and as much as he loves the idea of riding the actual act (minus pedaling) gets old for him really fast.
His tricycle is so tall he can only just reach the ground on either side as he sits (or stands) astride it and his feet meet interference from the pedals in front and the wheels in back as he tries to push along, walking his feet.
So we were making our way home. Zizza was way out in front and Enzo was trailing behind. I was in the middle alternately yelling for her not to get too far ahead and for him to hurry up and trying (if failing) to keep the angry out of my voice as I did all that yelling.
I gathered them all for a street crossing, no small feat, and noted that there was an observer at hand to see my frazzled herding of children. Then, in clear view of the observer Enzo drove his tricycle into the drive way of the house we were in front of, climbed off and refused to continue.
“Perfect,” I thought “Not only am I in a tight spot, the tight spot is being observed by whomever is in that car over there.”
I picked up the boy in one arm and the tricycle in the other and started pushing the stroller with my stomach. (Or something, I honestly don’t remember how I did it) “Zizza, we’re walking NOW!” I barked and charged across the street with my load.
Half way across a crash sounded along with a cry. Zizza had fallen off her bike. In the middle of the road.
I sighed “Aw crap” turned, and asked if she was ok. All the while consious of the fact that I was being observed.
Would you like to know the saving grace of this situation? The saving grace is the observer herself. Turns out, she was a freind. She walked over with the words “Eva, do you need help?” all I could say was “Yes, I think I do.”
She tossed the cumbersome tricycle into her car and dropped it off at my house. Without the tricycle to lug home I was able to carry my boy and push the stroller without much trouble. I’ve long since mastered that art.
As we made our lessencumbered way down the street Enzo hugged me in his pattented choke hold, his warm cheek pinked with excercise pressed firmly against mine as he repeated “Mama I like yeeww, I love yeeww.” All the way home.
Summation? Being observed in your frazzled moments is not always a bad thing. Chances are your observer will understand, and help. Also, fierce hugs from thick armed little boys are well worth the price.

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