Thursday, April 1, 2010


The weather in Ohio can be fickle. We are momentarily taking a break from Spring for a weekend preview of Summer.  These "previews" are usually followed by a few days of dreary, miserable, cold conditions, so I insisted that we take advantage of the atmospheric situation and go outside.   Yesterday, we made the epic hike to a playground that sits on the highest point in the city.  It's not really that far from our house, but it is up hill both ways. Seriously.

Last summer, we only managed the walk a few times, because I got tired of dragging a whining child behind me.  This time is was almost effortless. Violet's legs were fresh for the whole walk. She sprinted part of the way.  I thought we might have turned a corner.

Just as we were leaving, a pack of little girls came pedaling up on their bikes, followed by a few exhausted adults who had actually carried the wheels up the four sets of hillside steps.  Violet froze for a moment and I said we could bring her bike up here some other day. It was time to go.

Today, I got out Violet's bike and found her helmet and packed my backpack for a nice ride to the playground.  We got off to a shaky start. Violet has always had trouble coordinating her movements for pedaling things. She is also easily distracted and prone to veering into the grass or the street.  It was harder than I had hoped to get her all the way up the hill, but she seemed to brighten when I took over bike duty on the park steps.

When I set the bike back down on the path I noticed the tires felt a little spongy.  Actually, they were flat. I had cajoled my child uphill for nearly a mile on flat tires. I said as much...and that was my biggest mistake. Violet refused to ride the now damaged bicycle. She repeated my own words about the soft tires, over and over again.

Worse than that, there were no kids. The pack of little bikers did not return for a second day.  There was only a group of surly teenagers who seemed really bummed that I was there.  Violet moped. Violet complained. Violet kept checking the horizon for a roving band of preschoolers to come play with her.

It was NOT fun.

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