HWIOO and I are sitting in our chairs, wine glass in hand, like a pair of zombies. HWIOO has already been to sleep twice and that’s not counting when he dozed off when the Little Madams were here. And no, alcohol and CFS do not mingle well but I don’t think there’s going to be much tiling done tomorrow. It’s hard work learning to ride a bike! On the plus side HWIOO has done a fair amount of physical exercise today and that is one of the things that is required to combat the tiredness.
We didn’t get off to an auspicious start because the chain came off the Little Madam’s bike and the Right Little Madam announced, “I don’t want to do it.” If only we’d read the oracle in front of us, put the bikes back in the car and gone for an ice cream.
It was the start of a day which saw the Number One Daughter riding a bicycle set to the height of a petite eight-year-old, running manically up and down the same strip for hours on end, encouraging, comforting and chastising a trio of little girls at the same time in three wildly different locations. My low point came when I was running up an down with the Little Madam who has grace and poise as a dancer but a nasty lean to the right as a cyclist. We ground to a halt – a relief from my bellowing at her to sit up straight.
“What’s the matter?” I asked. “You were doing really well with Granddad.” He’d staggered off the field with one arm longer than the other and the expression of a man who is suffering in silence after a lengthy period of holding on to the back of the saddle, grabbing the handle bars when catastrophe threatened and making various encouraging comments. I’d taken his place in a bid to keep the momentum going.
“I’m sorry Granny,” The Little Madam looked at me very seriously. “I just don’t trust you like I trust Granddad.” This was a little rich given that HWIOO had finally stepped back with both hands in the air as our precious little person wobbled off under her own steam.
Meanwhile the Right Little Madam had scraped her shin, knocked a knee and gone base over apex in a way that many stunt riders would envy. She was fed up and sitting in the middle of the field howling because her adults were ignoring her fit of ill humour. After a few minutes she climbed to her feet and proceeded to give the bike a jolly good kicking before picking it up and cycling off under her own steam. Is this a lesson in what I should do with my laptop next time I feel that I could sit down and howl because I can’t get it to do what I want? It’s certainly a lesson in determination and perseverance.
By the time we arrived home there were three over-tired adults with many aching joints and sore backs whilst the Madams seemed ready for an evening of light entertainment. Of course, we’ve got to do this again and again until all three of them give us palpitations with their derring-do on bikes. It also turns out that I’m not as patient as I’d thought I was because by the third hour of running up and down, soothing, cajoling and encouraging I was very close to snapping, “Just ride the bike. Stop leaning to one side. Put your back into it and DO IT!” I’m sure it wasn’t this difficult when I learned to ride but I suppose I could be wrong.
Roll on next week and another venue for the cycling circus. Maybe my foot will have stopped throbbing by then and maybe HWIOO will have recovered. I wouldn’t bet on the Number One Daughter being any more energy filled though.