Thursday, June 22, 2006

Trouble On Wheels

As soon as warm weather hit, we knew that E needed something bigger than her plastic ride-on toy to voyage the driveway on. The use of her knees rather than her feet to propel herself forward on it was our first clue.

We have held out until now to get her a tricycle, a gift for her 2nd birthday, which we'll celebrate this weekend. A few weeks ago, I decided to peruse the Toys R' Us site to get an idea of the types trikes that might be out there. Little did I know, I would soon be up to my eyeballs in reviews, specs, and size guides on toddler tricycles. If there is this much info out their for her first trike, just shoot me now before she gets her license.

Let me save you some time. Everyone else who says that the trikes made by the popular children's wagon maker (you know, the pretty red ones*) are really crappy are not lieing. But you know what our last name is, so you know we had to trek over to the local retailer to just MAKE SURE that those really cute tricycles were as bad as they say they are. There is a bruise on our daughters shin to prove it. We assume she got it while trying to make a left turn. We're not sure because we were idly standing in the middle of the aisle talking about how those Germans think they're so superior, even with their damn $100 tricycles, when we heard her cries for help from under her toppled trike. Parents of the...decade! We promptly watched her get back on it, sputter on another 5 feet, before toppling the trike over again. Scratch that one. Maybe the Germans are on to something.

Luckily, we did end up finding a suitable tricycle that does not require a withdraw from our retirement funds to be afforded. Her charming father sprinted out on his lunch break to get it yesterday, and even was clever enough to score the pre-assembled shelf model thus saving either assembly costs and/or an unavoidable fight minutes before her birthday party on Saturday as we're madly gluing and/or zip tieing the thing together, accusing each other of being the one to mess it all up and/or losing all of the necessary parts. (See last years' birthday wagon assembly debacle as a suitable example.)

Not wanting to ruin the surprise, I stashed the trike in the basement stairwell, behind a closed door this morning, on my way out to my mom's to pick her up. Later this morning, forgetting that the bike was there, I was puzzled when she said...

"I ride it?"

Me: What?
Her: I ride it?
Me: Ride what?
Her: Tricycle
Me: (Wondering if she's psychic because the door is still closed) What tricycle? There is no tricycle.
Her: (Pointing to the cat door) Tricycle. Right there. I ride it?

Then I saw it too. Ruby, the fat one, had bellied through the cat door to get some food, and the small door was stuck open. Gleaming through the tiny opening were the colors of her new trike. Damn it.

I tried to prey on E's lack of object permanency...

Me: Nope. No Tricycle. Tricycle all gone. (As I moved over in front of the opening and tried to kick the door closed)

She moved across the room, stuck her through cat door and shouted as if I was an idiot..."See mommy. There's Tricyle." For added effect, in case I was really stupid, she added an emphatic "Vroom, Vroom", for the off chance that I wasn't smart enough to know what a trike was or did.

I was able to distract her for the moment, but, periodically, she would still stick her head in the cat door and holler "Hi Tricyle" and move on. I'm sure she'll be just as friendly with it when we "surprise" her with it on Saturday.

*You know, now that I think about it, maybe their wagons are crap too. It was that very brand of wagon (the classic red metal one) from which E was dumped by not one, but TWO, fathers on a zoo trip not so long ago.

Blog Archive