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Think Mary Poppins

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-26-2002

I am not a morning person. My idea of a perfect morning is one that I have slept through and I can count the number of times I have done that since I went forth to spawn on one hand. That’s one of those things people in-the-know never tell you before you reproduce. They tell you about the broken nights, the noxious body fluids you will have to clean up but no one ever tells you that day after day , year after year you will have to get up at a heathen hour .

Since sleeping through the morning isn’t an option for me, my favorite way to spend a morning is with a 6 inch thick pile of newspapers on the table in front of me, a big pot of coffee, a pack of cigarettes and the sound of the birds in the yard. This usually works until about 9.30 on Sundays. By 9.30 on Sunday, the noise the kids produce has increased until it is somewhere between Mel Gibson and his blue be-daubed men rattling their swords and Formula 1 Racing.

My brand new, absolutely the thing I hate to do most in the morning now is biking The Baby to her school. The thought of getting on that bike at 8.20 just knots my stomach up.

Oh yes ! How is the biking going, Mummy Dearest? Well, the bike, the chair , The Baby and I premiered last Saturday. It was my turn to take The Girl to scouting, so we strapped The Baby in ( a chest belt and a strap for each foot), which was really tough to do- until that bike is actually in motion, it is totally off balance, the kickstand useless. You kind of have to lean the bike up against your hip and strap the kid in. For some reason, I was having a lot of trouble with the handle bars- I was wibbling and wobbling all over the place, nearly crashing into the bushes when someone else passed us on the bike path. The Girl, of course, thought this was a real hoot. I let her take the lead. She takes all the time in the world to bike. Really. At a certain point we were going so slow that I could hardly keep my balance any more. Come on, Girl. Any slower and we’ll be going backwards.

But we made it to scouting in one piece, where two parents ( on bikes that had little chairs on them) gave me a big smile and ‘welcome to the ranks’ comments on The Baby’s little chair. Life is like that in a small town. I decided to stop at the little market on the way home and pick up some new herring for lunch that day. It was going really well, I had the bike ( with The Baby in her chair) leaning on my hip, had ordered the herring and was about to pay, when a 5 cent coin fell out of my wallet, onto the ground. I considered, for a moment, leaving it there, but thought maybe someone had noticed it fall. You know, the dutch are so careful about money and all, and me being a foreigner and all… So, I braced the bike sturdily on my hip and leaned down to get the coin. I don’t quite know what happened next, but ‘thwap’ the handle bars swung around and bonked me upside the head, my hair getting all tangled in the hand brakes. I hate this bike.

I managed to get home in one piece, noticing for the first time the very large gaps between the swedish granite cobblestones that pave the town’s streets ( can a bike wheel get stuck in those, I wondered? Will I flip over, causing serious bodily harm to my beloved child ?). I had a wretched backache for the rest of the day.

Wednesday was about the same. I really had trouble with the handle bars- wibble- wobble. Because I was aware of this, anytime someone passed me on the bike path, nerves made me wobble even more. I actually stopped the bike twice when I saw someone else coming towards me, and on the way home, I saw a group of young bikers coming up behind me, so pedaled my ass off, hoping to avoid them passing me. I did ( hark ! hark!).

The low back ache continued.

I really spent a lot of time thinking about why I was having trouble steering. I carefully observed Oma’s pedaling by, The Girl. And then I figured the problem out. In fact, I tested it today. Yes, that was it.

I have always ridden on a racing bike, now I have a mountain bike. So I basically have been hunched over like Greg LeMond, putting far too much weight on the handle bars. What I have to do, is sit up straight and keep my weight on the saddle. I have to think Mary Poppins as I ride the bike. I tried it today, sitting on my bike like Mary Poppins and it went much better.

But I still hate that bike. I think I should name it. Christine might be appropriate.

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