Thursday, February 18, 2010

Trenchside lifelong learning

On Tuesday the boys rode to school; Marcus on his too-small red bike and Michael on his new scooter. Marcus remembered the rules (stopping at driveways etc), and Michael followed suit fairly well. He's been very reluctant to don the helmet, after I pinched him slightly with the chin strap months ago. He can't take it off himself yet either.

The bikes were forgotten when Elf picked them up on Tuesday afternoon, so the ride home happened after school yesterday. The bike shed at 3.10pm is mayhem, a bit like a cave of bats where they are all trying to simultaneously enter and leave. Michael eagerly burrowed in and emerged with his scooter in hand, and helmet proudly on his head, backwards. This time he was pretty brave about the chinstrap, and I was extra careful.

The ride home is slightly uphill, but they both made it without whingeing, which hardly ever happens when they have to walk. Marcus is in denial but he is too big for his bike. He has another one but he is not prepared to move up. He can't straighten his legs when he pedals, and it makes going uphill difficult, and painful to watch.

At the moment the road is being dug up for a gas pipeline - the work has passed the school now and is painstakingly moving up towards our place. As we picked our way through the tools, compressors and tubes littering the footpath, one of the workers noticed our plight, and started shifting stuff out of the path of the little riders.

There was a very fat, cheaply bound book on the footpath - I guessed it was Local Bylaws and Regulations for Digging of Trenches 1973 or something. As we went by I saw that it was actually Teach Yourself Indonesian. I fondly imagined that while the rest of the crew were scoffing iced coffee from cartons, smoking and perving on pedestriennes, the nice fellow who helped us was diligently teaching himself Bahasa Indonesia.

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