Thursday, September 27, 2007

What were they thinking?

Oh, the things we do for love.

Now that the weather is cooling off, I’ve been trying to take Ladybug outside more. She loves to run around the backyard, picking up leaves and checking on the green pepper plants. But this past weekend, I decided to give her another option for outdoor play: the plastic trike my parents bought when they were here a couple weeks ago. Technically, it was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but who’s going to ride a trike in the winter? Ladybug would have to wait until spring to give it a test ride around the back yard, and that’s just not good economic sense. We might as well get our money’s worth out of it now, right?

So I pulled out the box containing the trike. I had already assumed I’d have to attach the seat and handlebars because, really, what bike can fit in a box the size of a VCR? But when I opened it, I thought we had bought a returned item with the wrong contents; there was nothing in the box that remotely resembled a trike, just dozens of tiny components, all intricately connected by giant plastic toothpicks.

“Take it back to the store,” my husband said. “Don’t even bother.”

But I had already showed the box to Ladybug, and I’m not one to give up so easily. So I carted the box, hammer, screwdriver and scissors to our bedroom, closed the door and got to work. I sat there for a good 20 minutes trying to figure out how to remove all the pieces from the plastic casing. They were too thick to cut but also too thick to snap out with my bare hands. I ended up twisting and spinning and bending each piece back and forth to weaken the connectors. I encountered a particularly stubborn set but was finally able to snap them off after I wrapped a small towel around them. Too bad they were actually part of the pieces needed to finish the wheels.

Two hours of huffing and puffing later, I had the trike finished – minus the wheel caps, of course. At that point I didn’t really care; they were just decorative anyway. I took a deep breath, trying to rid myself of my assembly-induced bad mood. I threw open the bedroom door and triumphantly raised the trike in the air.

“Look what Mommy has!” I exclaimed.

“Ohhhhhhhhh!” Ladybug squealed.

Ladybug ran to the back door. We hurried down the steps and put the trike on the ground. Time for a test ride! I sat Ladybug on the bike. She grabbed the handles while I took her feet to show her how to pedal.

“Noooooooooooooooo!” I wanted to scream.

Her legs were two inches too short to reach the pedals.

I tried to get her to just lift her legs while I pushed her around the yard but she wanted nothing to do with that. Instead she decided to peel off all the stickers and throw them on the ground. After a few minutes I accepted this trike ride was not going to happen and took the bike inside. I put it back in the pile with the Christmas gifts.

Seems it might be spring before she rides it after all.

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