Oh the horror.
Yesterday we decided to go on a family bike ride. My little guy, Bubba, just graduated to a bigger bike with no training wheels. (Oddly enough, he is already more confident and a better rider than his older brother – how does that happen?). Anyway, we got Bubba a bigger bike this weekend and decided to all go out yesterday. Sounds great, right?
Then we realized it was going to be 100 degrees and decided to go on a ride in the evening after it had cooled down a bit. So we went to the movies instead. (Winnie the Pooh at the dollar theater. Cute, but not remarkable).
I got crazy with some cooking in the afternoon and early evening (more on that later), and when we sat down to eat dinner it was about 7:30. It was nearly 8 pm when we said, oh, family bike ride. We should go do that. So we hopped on and away we went.
Now, this is the part where I admit that when I’m rushed (due to the setting sun, in this case) I don’t always exercise the best judgment. I don’t think I’m ALWAYS a bad mom, but I do think I sometimes don’t think things through.
Tangent: One of my favorite kid movies is “Meet the Robinsons.” Anytime I think about a plan not being thought out I remember the scene where the T-rex is being controlled by the bowler-hat guy and has the kid cornered and he can’t reach him because he “has a big head and tiny arms.” Then he says, “I’m just not so sure how well this plan was thought through.” Then I laugh.
Anyway, back to last night and my not-well-thought-through plan. Or complete lack of plan really.
Here’s my guilty confession: I didn’t make the kids put on helmets or pads.
I know, I know. I suck. We were riding to our neighborhood park which is about 3 residential blocks away and I just thought it would be fine. After all, kids are going to fall down every once in a while. I did. I never wore a helmet or pads. Anyway, there’s my flawed logic and have since understood the error of my ways.
So everything was perfectly fine at first. Once we got to the park I said, “hey, let’s go through the park over to Bubba’s new school.” This entailed crossing one semi-busy road. We successfully got there with my older boy only falling on his bike once and luckily NOT in the middle of the busy street. We checked out where Bubba’s classroom will be and then decided to head back. Then my older boy wiped out again right in front of me and I had to brake severely to keep from hitting him. We got back up and went on.
It was getting duskier. My husband said he should have brought a light – just in case. And he said it was stupid of us to go this far without pads, helmets and a light. I didn’t say anything. I agreed but felt it was my fault so I just didn’t say anything. I was silently cursing myself though – stupid, stupid, stupid.
We got back to the park and that’s where my youngest wiped out. He got distracted, as he does, and rode into a flower bed. Luckily no real damage except to his pride, but he is Autistic and this is one of his things – he doesn’t like changes in routines or being surprised. So when he wiped out he was a crying mess for about 5 precious minutes before we could get him back on the bike. We were losing light like crazy.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t DARK yet. It was dusk. And the sun had sunk below the horizon at this point.
We persevered. We got through the park and into our neighborhood. We were two blocks from home and I remember thinking that I felt bad that the kids had fallen but, you know, being new riders I guess that happens sometimes . . .
Then my front tire caught a groove that I couldn’t get out of and the tire slid sideways. I went BAM. On my right side. On the pavement. Bike on top of me. Stunned. *sigh*
I got up, surveyed the damage and determined I would live. My chain had come off and it took another 3 minutes to fix before we could take off again. Porchlights were coming on at this point.
And, again, my older boy wiped out.
Oh, dear lord, I thought, I’m being punished for being a stupid, hasty momma. It will be just my luck if we get a broken bone out of tonight. And with the way he landed, and was screaming, I thought it was entirely possible he had a broken leg. Thank goodness he didn’t. Just scared him and made him hopping mad at his bike.
At this point my husband said, “It’s really too dark for us to be riding. This was stupid.”
So we metaphorically limped the rest of the way home. Got the kids cleaned and bandaged up and sent them to bed.
That’s when I looked down at my foot and, sure as shit, I had a broken toe. Deserved, I think.
I was going to take a pic but, trust me, it’s not pretty. All kinds of black & blue this morning. And maybe it’s not totally broken but just a sprain. In any case it will serve as a reminder to me to always make sure the kiddos, at least, are properly prepared before any future bike rides.
Learn from me. Don’t be a hasty momma.