Saturday, June 22, 2013

LV 23=Training Wheels, a Little Girl, and the Monkey

Back in 2010 I ran a series of little stories I called "Loonville Vignettes."  It was a set of memories from the lives of my young family long, long ago.  I have prefaced the title here "LV 23," since the event took place in Loonville.

In the middle of August our younger daughter celebrated her sixth birthday.  Her sister, on her sixth birthday, had received a beautiful blue Western Flyer bicycle.  Quite possibly Ivanelle expected a like gift on this day.  She was not disappointed.  Daddy had assembled the machine, complete with a nice set of training wheels.  Please understand that inasmuch as our intentions were that the bicycles would see the children through their childhood and teen years these were full-size bicycles.

Big Sister got her bike, of course, and invited the newbie to a little ride.  Ivy got on the bike, but insisted that Daddy hold onto it, which I did for a bit.  She soon discovered that the training wheels did their job well, and along the sidewalk to the corner she would ride, stop, get off, turn the vehicle around and ride back to the house.  This went on for several weeks with Daddy frequently offering to remove the training wheels.  But neither Daddy's loving tenderness nor Sister Ann's teasing would persuade the child to allow the removal of her crutch.

The end of summer approached.  We decided a trip to the amusement park was in order.  The kids were three, six, and eight years of age.  We all piled into the Mustang, and we were off to Ohio!  The girls and I had a blast, and I suspect that Mother spent most of her time holding onto the three-year old boy.  Ann was so enthralled with the roller coaster that no sooner would she and I alight from our seat than she would grab my hand and drag me to the line for tickets for another ride.  I don't remember how many times we went, but the other three family members were having none of it.

Finally we moved on.  We came to a pavilion which had a little stage.  The show, or the part I remember, was a monkey doing various acrobatics.  Then the creature mounted a bicycle and started riding it around the stage.  Around and around he went!  Ivy's eyes grew bigger and bigger, and she was uncharacteristically silent for the longest time.  In fact, she had practically nothing to say during the entire three-hour ride home.

Tired to the bone, all five family members immediately hit the hay.  A sound night's sleep was had by all.

Bright and early the next morning, literally, Ivy took her bike from the porch, came into the kitchen and said, "Daddy, take the training wheels off my bike."  I did, of course.  She got on, I held the seat-post about three seconds; and she was then sailing down the sidewalk on her own!

She had processed the lesson and clearly had concluded that if a monkey could ride a bike, so could she!


Shelly said...

What a thoroughly enjoyable story! I can just imagine what was going on in her mind, watching the monkey. I recall holding on to my training wheels for an inordinate amount of time, but I had no monkey to show me the light, only a teasing older cousin.

Secondary Roads said...

I never had training wheels. Perhaps my parents saw the monkey show?

Anonymous said...

I had training wheels on my big ole Schwinn - had it for a while, rarely rode it until we moved to a residential neighborhood. Daddy insisted the training wheels come off, he held the back of the seat, when he let go I fell down. Bike in garage - a few days later no one around, I take the bike out, get on, ride off - that was that.

vanilla said...

Shelly, I enjoyed my little kids, but of course they are all grown up and grandparents now.

Chuck, or they believed that a child thrown into the pool would swim on his own. (I never had training wheels, either.)

Grace, determined little thing, weren't you? Didn't mind the risk, just didn't want any witnesses.

Sharkbytes said...

Very cute. I never had training wheels, and I finally learned how to steer around the second tree on my circuit of the house (no sidewalks where I lived!)

vanilla said...

Shark, I learned in the yard, too. No training wheels.