Every day for at least three weeks, Ethan has begged to go on a bike ride. A lot. Many, many times every day.
Sometimes he will resort to wearing his helmet for hours in the house as he goes about his business – eating lunch, playing computer games, what have you. I can only guess he’s trying to guilt us into it. Yesterday when we brought Laurel home from school, he ran in, strapped on his helmet, and was back out the door before I even made it in from the truck.
As a result, today I thought I’d be the Good Mother and take him for a bike ride. But oh, no, I wasn’t going to stop there. We were going to take a bike ride TO GRANT’S FARM.
And the heavens opened up and choirs of angels sang.
We didn’t have the bike rack on the truck because we were hauling science fair projects to Queeny Park this morning. Greg said, “Just put the bikes in the back of the truck.” Well, that doesn’t work, so after hunting around for a 3/4” socket (ahem, do not look at me that way, organizing sockets is not part of my job description), we got the bikes loaded on the rack and away we went.
And they didn’t fall off. Success!
By the time we arrived at Grant’s Trail, it was past noon of course, and we had to be finished shortly after 2 so we could pick Laurel up. I am absolutely neurotic about these things – constantly checking time – and today was no exception, so we rushed to the trail, I yanked the bikes off the rack while Ethan strapped his helmet on, and away we went.
My concern about time was all for naught, because Ethan, well, when he bikes, he really flies. No joke. And the kid is competitive. When someone passes us, he pumps his little legs even harder and says, “Mom, can I pass them?”
We had some talks about the laws of physics and that no, his little 12” bike was not likely to catch a 24” bike no matter how hard he pedaled or how strong his muscles.
Even so, it’s taken me longer to type these words than it took us to arrive at Grant’s Farm, owing to Ethan’s reckless, breakneck speed. No, really – at times he goes so fast he nearly loses control. He also tends to stop suddenly for no obvious reason with a screeeeeeeech of his tires. I follow closely behind him on the trail, which means on any given ride, I narrowly escape launching over the handlebars at least twice in my efforts to stop before smashing into him.
Upon arrival, he couldn’t contain his excitement about the tram, THE TRAM! OH MY GOD IT IS LIKE A TRAIN BUT ON THE ROAD THE TRAM! We dropped our bikes at the rack and we went to THE TRAM!
Now for The Goats. Anyone who has visited Grant’s Farm with small children is familiar with The Goats, and is feeling a little panicked as they read this. The Goats are not really goats. They are the animal forms of the Busch family’s sadistic leanings. Grant’s Farm sells little bottles of milk for $1.00 so unsuspecting children can sacrifice themselves on the altar of goat gluttony. The goats are straight bastards, knocking over little kids at will as they fight each other to get that precious milk. But I know the secret to remaining sane, and I’m such a generous soul, I’ll let you in on it. Early in the season, the new baby goats are still learning how to be bastards and, not having bloated up to 50 pounds via overfeeding of milk, they are relatively harmless. It took me a couple of visits to figure this out, but now I can confidently say I’ve outsmarted the Busch family’s fiendish plot. Aside from resisting the urge to deliver a goat across the pen for trying to untie my shoe, a good time was had by all.
We checked the time and moved quickly through the eagles, monkeys, and elephant.
Fortunately for his time-obsessed mother, Ethan has a pretty short attention span. The camel took up a more time than all the other animals combined, and I spent a full $1.00 on food (horrors!), but the delight in his eyes was worth it.
Then finally, gloriously, we arrived at the Bauernhof, the adults’ reward for bringing their bad little kids to Grant’s Farm. Here’s looking at you, 2 free samples of Anheuser-Busch products allotted to each adult. The Goats are forgiven.
Ethan chugged lemonade, finishing it well before I finished my beer – and because he was in a hurry to get to the tram, he told me I should hurry. I did.
Before we left, we made a quick stop at the stables at the Bauernhof, where I pissed off a horse. Yeah. The Clydesdales are not really in residence there, but other horses are. I told Ethan, “Look, horses like to be scratched on their noses like this.”
Well, the horse wasn’t paying much attention to the goings-on, I guess, and being disturbed wasn’t on his agenda. As soon as I touched his nose he startled and snapped at me.
Snapped! At me!
Ethan thought that was about the funniest thing he’d seen all day and set
about encouraging me to pet the other horses.
We boarded the tram and scurried back to the parking lot.
Ethan donned his helmet…
…and we sped back to our truck just in time to pick Laurel up from school.
But as we drove away, Ethan exclaimed, “I am SO ANGRY at you because you won’t take me to Monkey Joe’s, and I want to do FOUR fun things today, not just ONE!”
So much for Good Mother status.