Friday, January 26, 2007


This afternoon, I had to take my car to the mechanic. Nothing big, just a lot of little stuff. I discussed it with my daughter in the morning (oh, she of the 4 years and afraid to do show and tell). She decided that she wanted to bring her bicycle and ride it home from the mechanic. They are about 1- 1.5 miles away, simple, easy. Her choices had been bike or tricycle (which is really too small) and she chose the bike. She chose it, dammit.

All morning, she asked to ride her bike. When I picked her up from daycare, she wanted to ride her bike. When we got to the mechanic, she wanted to ride her bike. Begged to.

You can all see this coming, can't you? Well, I couldn't. I am an idiot.

We get the fucking bike out of the car, get her helmet on, and she melts. Won't get on. It's too scary.

I, being far from the mother of the year, yell at her. I make her get on the bike, where she starts to sob. I let her get off and we cross the street, her sobbing and me fuming.

She wants to walk. I tell her that we are not putting the bike back in the car, that she can walk it all the way home. Which I proceed to make her do. I help her at the streets, but that is it. She pushes the bike the whole way, with me fuming by her side. I would not help her and I would definitely not carry her-- which, to her credit, she knew enough not to ask for.

We moved at a snail's pace. She whined that she was tired. I told her that we would get home 4 times faster and with her using about half the energy if she'd get on and ride. She kept saying it was scary. I kept telling her that I would help her stay upright (it has training wheels, it's not likely that she'll fall) and that she is a good rider, that she did it so well at home. I tried to be pleasant and tell her good things about herself, while I seethed about her unwillingness to get on the bike.

She is afraid she will fall. This from the kid who rode around our block about 6 times (it's a double block, too) the first time she went out on the bike. This from the kid who was begging to ride it. Suddenly, it's scary and she's afraid she will fall.

She should be afraid that I will clobber her, because I really wanted to. I didn't, of course, but holy moley I was so annoyed that I wanted to.

I know that age 4 is the age of imaginary fears, and clearly on her part, whininess beyond measure. I know it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I really understand why some mammals eat their young.


Blogger Kate said...


Yah, I'd be fuming, too.

My darling hubby, on the other hand, would pick her up and carry her, hauling the bike behind her. Grrr.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Lizard said...

oh, my hubby would have carried her, too. Might have gone back, ditched the bike, and then carried her. Not I. I made her walk.

I apologisez for yelling at her. She apologized for refusing to ride her bike after telling me she would.

I have found the whole thing exhausting, however. I am done.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We ought to be able to send kids away, somewhere safe and really far, between the ages of 3 and 5. Four is a preview of the teenage years ... they just don't know whether they're coming or going from one minute to the next. But at least by the time they're teens, Mama's either in prolonged shock ("hang on while I find my Atavan, sweetheart") or has become philosophical ("well, dear, you're gonna need something to tell your therapist").

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just you wait.
puberty is even MORE fun!
makes me long for the days when my girl was just a frustrating 4 year old!
great story.

6:12 PM  

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