The March Rider Rides Again
It was 51 degrees (at least) Sunday. We knew there had to be a bike ride—would be a travesty not to. Charlie was "no bike ride no bike ride no bike ride" when Jim first mentioned this in the morning. We all three went for a walk and Jim and I tried, hoped, schemed to convince him that the sunny, blue sky meant we just had to do a long walk, which Charlie has been not at all wanting to doing since all that snow fell. Large piles of frozen, sooty snow and slush can be a deterrent.
A walk, some sitting in the car while Jim and I did yard work (I used the timer on the iPod touch to good effect), an early fast-food lunch. The bikes were still in the front yard and Charlie was still saying "no, no, no." "Maybe later," Jim and I both shrugged and we all went into the house. Charlie went upstairs to his room and then down and poked around the kitchen. He went out the front door without his jacket, saying something.
"What's he saying?" I asked Jim, who had been getting ready to do more yard work and was coming back up the porch steps. "Helmet! Where's the bike helmets?"
They were on the dining room table. I handed them over and they were off.
At first (Jim called to tell me) it looked like it was going to be a 10-minute bike ride. Charlie made a loop that is more or less the route of our short walks, and was heading home. But Jim encouraged him to ride more and after a few minutes, they were gone on the new urban route.
Charlie took a long rest after the ride. When he got up, he wanted to get in the white car and we assented. As we weren't quite ready to hop in the car and go wherever yet, I again set the timer on the iPod. This time, Charlie reached to hold the iPod and spent some time looking down at the changing numbers intently.
We're still very wary about Charlie sitting down in restaurants. He asks ardently, and forcefully, and with a certain set look to his eyes that can be more than a bit nerve-wracking from a parental perspective. (Especially as, the last time he asked that intently to eat in a restaurant and we acceded, we left in not very good order.) We did get Charlie a diner hamburger that he asked for in very, very clear tones ("I want diner") but he only ate half the bun and maybe some of the fries—a sign that he wasn't very hungry and was asking due to some obsessive-compulsive drive.
We uh-huh'd and ummmm'd all the way home. We went in and Charlie said, "take a walk." He was out the door, without his blue parka (which he definitely didn't need, even though it was early evening). Jim and I followed. At the end of the second block, Charlie didn't cross to the other side of the street, as he habitually does. And at the end of our street, he made a first-time ever right.
Jim dispatched me back home just in case Charlie had plans of a retail sort on his mind. I hurried home and got ready to venture forth in the white car. Instead, it transpired over a couple of text messages that Charlie—as he had done on the long walk—was walking one of his bike routes, the new urban route he and Jim had biked earlier that day.
I did end up driving to meet them as it was dark and the route isn't just a hop, skip, and a jump.
Though they could have done it, as Charlie asked to go for one more walk before bedtime.
(Jim's account of this curious incident as per nighttime.)