Toys that move. Little cars. Bikes. Trikes. Wheels. Gigi is beginning to discover their delights.
Since her sister was born, she has become very interested in buggies. As a buggy driver that is. As a passenger, not so much. Although she is great to use a buggy, this is not her latest joy. Another element has taken her fancy. Pushing them herself. It’s sweet to watch her push her sister around the house and Betsy is gleeful. She knows.
It is also a gentle vision of the future. My little girl’s first taste of independence and freedom. How lovely that is. Scary for me. Wonderful too.
In my parents’ house recently, my mother brought out an old toy of mine for Gigi to try. A yellow and blue trike, in super condition. Almost like new except for a few remnants of Tony the Tiger stickers on the seat left by me one morning after a nutritious breakfast of, umm, Frosties Frosted Flakes!
Made of sturdy stuff, I raced it around happily for years and my more boisterous sister really put it through its paces, rally style, ten years later. It has hibernated like a gentle old storybook bear in a corner of the airing cupboard and now back it it comes, creakily smiling at the future. Gigi was ecstatic. Immediately on, she couldn’t quite ‘do’ the pedals so moved it about a bit with kicks. After a bit of help getting off the trike, she went for her coat and hat. ‘Mammy, bye bye Nana, home’. Outdoor clothes on, she took my hand and with the other dragged along the bike to the door. She looked at me. Her expression said, ‘let’s go now with this thing before anyone catches on’. Bicycle Thief.
Within minutes she was in the car with her sister, tricycle sitting happily between them. Beams all around.
My mother tells me when they bought me that bike I was three. I insisted on holding it in the back of the car too, all the way home. Thrilled. (No car seats then. The eighties.) In the middle of the night my mother awoke to the sounds of bumps and thumps. Peeping into my room, she saw I was out of bed and cycling around the room. Delighted with myself.
I picked up Gigi from crèche the other day. All the children were outside playing. I looked for her. Sitting in a toy push car, she waved furiously at me from the gap ‘window’. She showed off her Flintstone style moves. Backwards is mastered. Forwards is a work in progress.
I praised her. Then we tried to leave. No. She whimpered as I helped her out. Am I accidentally hurting her I worried? Is she ok? She then pointed at the car. I knew we were about to have our first problem leaving crèche. Realising she wanted to go home, she also didn’t want to leave this car. This was not Nana’s house however where Mammy picked up the trike and aided and abetted in the crime. So Gigi pushed the car all the way to the gate as if it had broken down. She tried taking my hand so we would be taking the car together. I kneeled down and explained. We parked up the car. A very sad Gigi blew it kisses from half way down the road.
We learned the lesson about ‘leaving things behind us that aren’t ours’. Now, I know I participated in teaching the wrong lesson the day we ‘stole’ a bicycle. We did learn it correctly this time however and she knows!
Birthdays are coming. Sometimes you don’t need to be sweet sixteen for a certain type of car. In the meantime, it’s nice to see the old Raleigh trike fight another day!