|Modern Children require many places to sit.|
A couple of years ago Steph and I rode bikes through the Loir valley of France with a couple great friends of ours, Randy and Chrissy. At the time Grant was eight months old or so, and Randy and Chrissy had James, who was a little over a year old. Ages are important because, at those tender ages, kids pretty much stay where you put them. If I recall, we had to loosen one of the straps around James’ shoulders so he could partially wriggle free, but on the whole, he was pretty content to stay in the pull behind trailer.
Grant? At eight months Grant was only really interested in eating and sleeping, which he did spectacularly well, bouncing up and down across the southern valleys of France.
Man, that last sentence was GREAT! Makes it sound like we are always popping off to France for a bit of cycling. Like maybe it is a yearly thing we do; go to a romantic location and ride bikes around… We do not do this. We only went to France once, actually. I just try to bring up the adventure in every conversation I have.
(How can you tell if someone has ridden bikes across France? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.)
But back to the children. Kids these days are not nearly as content to sit in one place. We have gone on a couple of long-ish bike rides with the our modern children, and the 2017 version children always want to change seats. The trick is, apparently, to have more seats than tushies.
Here is an example. When we go to church, Steph rides the Spicy Curry, (Two seats in the back, along with a pull behind trailer.) Grant rides his bike, and Darcy is insistent that she ride her bike as well. Darcy is three, and does not know how to pedal a bicycle, so she rides her balance bike, which has no pedals at all. You just kind of push it along.
|Darcy on her balance bike.|
About half way through the trip, Darcy wears out, and wants to ride the Spicy Curry. No problem! We throw the old balance bike in the back of the pull behind, and Darcy hops on. We could take Grant, too, but usually likes to ride his bike the whole way.
It gets a bit more complex when we have to go for a longer bike ride, when both Grant and Darcy are both required to sit on the back of the Spicy Curry. Like when we went to the Science Museum in St. Paul. That is about a fifteen mile ride one way, at the limit of Grant’s comfort level of riding a bike himself.
Darcy hops on the Spicy Curry first, and she sits in Grant’s seat. Darcy’s seat is a classic child carrier, in purple. Grant’s seat has a cushion to sit on, and a pair of mini handlebars to hold on to. Darcy likes Grant’s seat.
Or maybe not. Maybe Darcy just likes it because, well, Grant likes it too.
|A helpful diagram of the Spicy Curry.|
“Darcy,” Steph says, “You have to sit in your seat.” Darcy does not pay attention. She is looking intently away from Steph.
“Darcy!” Steph walks around the bicycle to get into Darcy’s field of vision. Now, Darcy is looking the other way. At a bird. Maybe.
“Darcy, you have to sit in your seat. It is purple.” Steph picks up Darcy and moves her back. Darcy grunts and stretches her legs out straight. Now she is sitting on her seat, but her feet are covering Grant’s seat as well.
“DAAARRRRSEEEE!” Grant is hopping from one foot to the other. We have nothing to do when we get home. We have loads of time. But Grant is a man who likes to keep a schedule. Darcy knows. That is why her legs are straight.
Steph is a ninja. She calms Grant down, gets Darcy sitting comfortably in her seat. Gives Lewis an applesauce. Gives Darcy an applesauce. Offers one to Grant. (“I don’t want an applesauce!”) Everybody is happy when we start moving again. But Darcy is secretly brooding. She starts patting Grant’s back. No response. She pats Grant’s back with her feet.