Monday, February 1, 2010
A Bicycle Built for Who?
Our latest foray into the realm of toys with wheels ended as all the others have: In tears.
It all started with Clio's second birthday, when we got her a scooter, there were tears, we exchanged it for a radio flyer tricycle, and there were tears. Then, her Nonny and Papa got her an even cooler scooter for her third birthday and, you guessed it: tears. (To be clear, she loved RECEIVING all of these things, and even now I believe she loves having them. It's just riding them that is so bothersome.) We figured Clio would need more of a big-kid bike come summer, and some research into those pedal-less "balance bikes" was performed. But looking back at her vehicular history, I think Clio may have preferred the cheap plastic option most times, from the way she eyes other kids' princess scooters on the Brooklyn playgrounds with sidelong longing, and I wonder if it is Dave and I and parents like us that have created a design industry of beautiful wood and metal riding toys for children. So when I saw a 12" bike with training wheels in the clearance aisle of Target marked down to just $19.99, I pounced. The thing has sat in the trunk for a week while we sought out reviews; finding none, we just said What the heck, and Dave finally put the bike together this morning.
This time, there's a twist. Eleri LOVES wheeled vehicles of all kinds. When we go for a walk, she longingly touches the wheels of parked cars. She tries to climb into other children's strollers and wagons at the playground. When the new bike was assembled, it was Eleri who pushed it around the dining room, and when Dave took it away again (to put air in the tires), she nearly blew a gasket. I mean, the kid started shrieking "DADDY! DADDY!" and pointing out the front window, tears streaming down her face. So it's no surprise that she ran down the sidewalk to get a look at Clio taking it for its first spin.
Of course, this bike is way too big for Eleri. They don't make a bike small enough for her (except, almost, kind of, the before-mentioned beautiful wooden balance bikes), and even on our radio flyer (and Dakota's Kettler), she just can't reach the pedals.
Today, we consoled her with a spin around the block in our neighbor Violet's little plastic push car (while Clio swapped the bike out for the trike, with Daddy pushing.) But what will we do come summer?????