Bike Rider

Jane has been using a scoot bike for the last few years.

A scoot bike, for those of you who are not familiar, is a bike that has no pedals/gears/etc (some people call it a balance bike).  Kids can learn to balance and steer while they push themselves along on their feet Fred Flintstone-style. Jane was a master scoot biker but until this last week was completely unwilling to make the transition to *gasp* *shudder* *panic* …pedals.

But, this week, she, with help of a ridiculous purple Disney princess endowed bike (thank you Grandma Mary) was convinced to give the pedals a try – sans training wheels. There was panicking. There was whining. There was moaning. There were two really unconcerned and unhelpful parents because they had seen her navigate the downhill slope of our terribly rutted gravel driveway on her scoo

t bike and she was going to be fine as soon as she tried it.  Twenty min. later Jane was riding a real bike.

An hour later she called me out to watch.

Personally “Mom, watch me!” inspires feelings of dread and desperate wishes to have something, anything, else to do. But not this time. This time I was excited for her. She was riding a real bike.  With pedals. It’s a big milestone. I willingly went to the driveway to watch.

Foolish, foolish mother…

“Mom, count how many times I can go around the circle.”

(the circle being the small paved area in front of our two-car garage.)


Foolish, foolish mother.



I was still proud of her.


I was still proud but the novelty had worn off.

“Twenty one.”

I sent Clara for a camera so I would have something to do.

“Thirty seven.”

“NO! You didn’t’ say thirty six, this is thirty six.”

“Oh, I just counted in my head.”

“That doesn’t count!”

“… thirty six….”

“forty five…”

Foolish, foolish mother.



“Aren’t I good at bike riding?!?!?”

“… seventy… three…. *yawn*”

I started daydreaming about setting time limits. As in, “Yay! You learned something new, I’ll be encouraging that new skill for the next five min and then I’m moving on. Ready… Go!”

“eighty eight”

This is right about when Clara, also bored out of her skull wanted to show off her bike riding skills too. Complete chaos ensued. Bike crashes, screaming, fighting, gravel needed to be brushed out of palms, the whole nine yards.

The dust settled, and there was Jane, still riding her bike and also demanding the entire driveway to herself.

“Fine. You can have the whole driveway but I’m not watching anymore after one hundred.”

My feelings of pride were lessening, the novelty was gone and my encouragement was getting mighty thin.

“ninty nine.”

“one hundred!!!”

Foolish, foolish mother.

“Aren’t you going to keep counting?”


Moral of the story: “Watch me” never, ever, ends well for the mother.

The Tour – Part 1

We moved.

We unpacked (mostly).

It is time for the virtual tour.

I wouldn’t want you to miss anything so lets start at the very beginning…

As you head up the driveway turn and look behind you, past the mailbox, across the field you will see a little grey house in the distance. mailboxWave and say goodbye, that’s our old house and it won’t be around much longer!

When you have said your proper farewells head up the long driveway.

down the driveway

This crew is walking down the driveway toward the road.

The orchard that you are passing, (along with the driveway) is not ours but our new neighbors and the barn you will drive by is where their 100-year-old cider press resides.barn

Note: If you are virtually (or actually) visiting in the winter please reflect on how happy we are to live far off the road rather than curse the length of our driveway which we hear has drifting problems.

Once you make it to the top of the hill, watch out for girls on wheels! Ivy bike

While the new place has it’s own small orchard, as well as a woods, yard with lots of gardens. a house and a garage to explore the girls are most enamored by the driveway.

The driveway.

The driveway which is on the opposite side of the garage as the house. The driveway which has western exposure, no shade, no lawn, just a nice chunk of pavement that resembles an oven in the late afternoon. The driveway is not everyone’s favorite part of the new house.

But, after a month of having a paved driveway even the littlest girl can now go faster than my focus!

Jane scooting

And the others are doing tricks – Look, no hands!

Clara tricycle - no handsIf you can manage to park your vehicle out of the way of the circus on wheels you will no doubt be pressed into watching a full “show” of the best and current tricks.  After managing to extract yourself from that situation (and before you protest remember the oven factor) ask Clara to show you the house. Then try to keep up as she runs past our two car garage (that only has room for cars in it in my dreams) and heads towards home… garage(and part 2)

Santa Eyes

I was contentedly driving down the road when from the backseat Ivy asked a question about another car’s blinker.  A lovely, educational conversation ensued about blinkers, how they work and why we use them. Then, as the topic was wrapping up, Ivy asked why it was still blinking after the car turned and kept driving.

I explained how blinkers usually turn themselves off after you turn or that you turn them off so you don’t confuse people and that even if it looked like it was still blinking as it went around the corner it was probably turned back off by now.

Ivy insisted she could see that the car still had it’s blinker on.

Now by this point we had driven close to a mile away from where we had seen the car with the blinker turn and that car was going in the opposite direction. The girl could not possibly still see the car much less check on it’s blinker status. This would also be the point where a smarter mother would have realized her daughter was just looking to disagree and let it slide. But my mothering skills are a work in progress so I foolishly pointed out that she didn’t know if the blinker on the car was still on because she couldn’t see it any more.

Wrong answer Mom.

Yes, she could still see it and it’s blinker was still on. Why was it STILL on?!

Slightly irritated my response contained facts about the impossibility of her seeing the other vehicle as well as the reasoning behind the high probability that the cars blinker was off.

My mothering needed much help that day.

 “MOM, I CAN SEE IT! I’ve told you a million times, I have Santa eyes!”

Ivy on bike

Her eyes see everything!

Finally napping mothering skills kicked in and I realized that I had been goaded into  a pointless, losing argument by my six year old.

The only way out would be sudden distraction or acquiescence.

Look Ivy!