It’s no secret that we love the park. I’ve written about it many times before. We regularly go to our local toddler playground, but we also enjoy exploring Sydney and finding great new places to play. Many of the playgrounds that we find have bike tracks. These are always well-used, and why wouldn’t they be? They offer the perfect, safe environment for kids to learn how to ride a bike or scooter.
You see me rolling
Recently, Hannah has begun to take notice. She likes to watch the older kids zoom past confidently on their scooters. She happily sits or stands, for long periods of time and she studies them.
Of course, the inevitable result of that activity is that Hannah desperately wants to have a go as well. The scooter, after all, fits her modus operandi perfectly – full speed and just a hint of danger.
It has now reached the point where Hannah sees any poorly-guarded scooter as fair game. She can spot one from across the other side of the playground. And once she has seen one, she’s off. Nothing gets in her way. Her previous favourite piece of playground equipment – the swings – don’t even get a look-in once Hannah has spotted a scooter. She walks with Terminator-like determination. Other kids have to slam on the brakes, or violently swerve, in order to avoid crashing in to the tiny little tot as she bee-lines straight across the bike track.
The eternal dilemma
However, once she reaches the discarded personal transport, she is faced with the eternal dilemma – Do I listen to dad, who is telling me not to touch it, or do I follow my burning impulse and give it a crack?
To give Hannah full credit, she is a better listener than many children. More often than not she follows the simple instructions that I give her. Pack-up time, for example is fairly consistently an easy affair in our house. But even for the most eager-to-please toddler, the lure of a shiny, unattended scooter can be too much.
Inevitably, Hannah will tentatively reach out, the freedom-machine tantalisingly close to her fingertips. She will pause, briefly, just centimetres away when she once again hears my voice gently remind her that the scooter is not hers. She will consider the information for a moment, but as soon as her eye is once-again drawn to the prize, she is left with little choice. Her impulse is now in charge. It tells her that if she can just wrap her tiny little fingers around the smooth, chrome handlebar, then it will indeed be hers!
Unfortunately for Hannah, it is at that exact same moment that I swoop in and scoop her up. Over the wail of her own voice, she doesn’t her me mumble an apology to the disapproving 6 year old who has just raced over to rescue his pride-and-joy from a devastating touching by a toddler GIRL! And she probably doesn’t care much for my apology anyway. The only thing that she’s sorry about at that point in time is that her long, golden locks are not fluttering in the breeze as she elegantly sails down the bike track on her shiny silver steed.
One day soon, my darling, I will get you a shiny scooter of your very own. But for now, you have to wait. Have patience, my dear. Know that I’m looking forward to the day that I teach you how to ride one, almost as much as you are.