Enjoy The Ride

When you only have one kid it is easier to do things with them because you only have a singular organism to watch out for, but you also have to do more things with them because they don’t have a sibling to distract them.  The Munch does play by herself and submerges into her own imagination where such events happen like the baby in her tummy named Suzy comes out of her bellybutton and then grows up so fast to travel on a little girl plane to the teddy bear wedding in the woods of sugar mountain – but that will only keep her entertained for so long.  Most the time I spend with Munch she wants to engage with me and do things together.

Some of the activities we do together involve her watching me do things I like, such as yoga, dancing, or texting but the rest of the time we are doing things she likes such as jumping on the bed, playing with her babies, or having her giraffe puppet eat toilet paper and then puke it back up again.  So the other day after encouraging eating disorders with stuffed animals I thought we should do something we both enjoy, like going outside and dicking around.

Toni: I’ve got a good idea, why don’t we bring your bike to the road and you can go for a ride?

Munch: Like which road?

Toni: The road around the lake.  The one we go on when we go the beach.

Munch: Ummmmm I am not sure I like that road.

Toni: Munch, it’s the road Mamma always bikes on.  You know, when Mamma bikes and you ride behind me on your chariot.

Munch: Ohhhhhh the road where we saw the spider?

Toni: I guess.  Dude, can you just trust me?

Munch: If you give me a lollipop I can?

Toni: Fair enough.

I carried her little bike with training wheels to the road and plopped it down thinking we would go for a short ride.  Before this she had only ridden her bike inside my barn so I didn’t know how far she could really go with it.

Munch: Mamma, lets go all the way to the beach.

Toni: I don’t know Munch that is over 2 miles away.

Munch: Yeah, lets go there.

Toni: There are a lot of hills too.

Munch: Yeah, lets do that.

Munch started peddling her little legs and it was kind of the cutest thing ever.  She would go straight for a little while, and then veer off into the sand on the side of the road.

Toni: Munch, you can’t look down at your feet when you bike.  You have to look up so you see where you are going.

So then she would bike looking up into the sky and veer off the road again.

Toni: Dude, I didn’t mean look “up” like up at the sky.  “UP”- like in front of you.  Watch the road and where you are going.

The Munch would go about 25 feet, and then back-peddle so the bike would stop.

Toni: Munch, those are the breaks.  When you peddle backwards it makes you stop. You have to peddle forward to go forward.  Keep going.

We would go bout 15 feet and then she would stop again.

Toni: Dude, that is what makes you stop.  Keep going forward.

About 30 feet – stop.

Toni: Munch, you get what I am saying right.  Every time you peddle backwards you are going to stop.

Munch: Yeah.  I like stopping.

She started biking again but then a car was passing so not only did she have to stop, but get off the bike too.  Now a toddler getting on and off a bike is not a quick affair, and in fact pretty awkward and clumsy.  So this process in and of itself was a whole other event to contend with.

Toni: Munch, you don’t have to stop the bike and get off it every time a car passes.  A lot of cars are going to go past us.  It’s Labor Day weekend and sunny – everyone is going to the beach today.

Munch: Yeah, but I don’t want the cars to bonk my bike.

So now we weren’t just stopping every few feet because she wanted to, but also every time a car passed.

Munch: Mamma, I think I am going to take a break for a minute.

The Munch would then play on the side of the road and make me watch her jump.  She would pick up sticks and look at grass.  She sang to the birds and told me a story about how a baby ducky went swimming with her, but spider man was there and was splashing, being rude, and getting their eyes wet.  Although it was a fascinating story she was telling, I couldn’t help but feel like we were in a hurry to get to where we were going.

The irony of my angst was that even though all we were going to do once we got the beach was hang out and swim, I still couldn’t help feel the urgency of needing to get there.  Like we had this agenda to get somewhere, so in my worldview we should just focus on getting there.  Where the Munch wasn’t concerned with that at all.  She was having fun with the experience of bike riding.  It was an end in and of itself for her, not a means to an end like it was for me.  It was such a classic example of me the adult being goal oriented and Munch, the child, enjoying the journey.

Eventually I surrendered to the fact that I was in fact being insane, and my child, who was maybe doing semi-insane things like pretending to be a frog next to a parked bike, made way more sense than I did.  And of course once appreciated the idea that the adventure was just as meaningful as the destination, I could actually enjoy the excursion.

Just another life lesson taught by The Munch I guess.  Slow the fuck down and enjoy the ride.  Even though it took us 2 hours for Munch to bike 2 miles, I got watch her slowly improve her skills of discounting and mounting her bike and hear such amazing stories like the one where turtle died because no one was watching him, but then he turned into a fairy.


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