Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Reminder That Kids Will be Kids

Brandon is ten and already knows it all.  You don't have to ask him, he'll tell you.  Every time you question his actions.

For the sake of convenience, I've bought each of the kids a bike to keep here.  Last year Sophia moved up from a garage sale purchase 16-inch to a larger bike.  That meant we had an unused bike which Brandon wanted to trim down to a dirt bike for himself.  Fenders were removed, the frame was painted black and the girly seat replaced with one that was black. 

Then winter came.  By spring, he'd grown too large for the bike, so I bought him a new one equipped with pegs so he could do tricks.  After a few weeks he wanted to customize it.  He'd been successful in his efforts with Sophia's old bike, so I told him that while I didn't see the necessity to tear down a new bicycle, if he felt competent to modify it, okay.

He swears it wasn't his fault.  Somehow some bearings got stripped and he couldn't reassemble it.  So it laid, in pieces, on my garage floor all summer.  He wasn't allowed to borrow a bike from the neighbor.  If others rode bikes, he scooted along on a skateboard. 

Now fall is here and the kids are back in school.  I sent e-mail to the kids' dad and asked if he'd consider rebuilding the bike with Brandon over the winter.  When I didn't get a reply, I realized that the bike and its parts would continue laying on the garage floor.  So I gathered them up, put them in the car, and drove to a local bike shop.

I approached one of the techs.  "I have a ten year old grandson who says he knows how to take a bike apart and put it together."

As I spoke the words, a cyclist, in his riding gear, walked by and snickered.  Obviously he knew where I was going with this.  So did the tech, who asked, "Where is it?"

We walked out to the car, he went through the bag of pieces, identifying what he held and noting what he needed, and said he could put it back together, he'd like to reassemble it, that he loved puzzles.  

So a few days later I returned to find a rebuilt bike, sans one hand grip, all put back together.  As good as a new bike, maybe better.  Back to my garage it went to sit beside Sophia's bike.

It was raining when the school bus was due to drop off the kids at the bus stop on Wednesday, so I picked them up.  When I pulled into the garage, Sophia said, "Brandon, look at your bike!" 

Brandon said, "Huh?  What?  Where!?!"

"Look!  Right there!"

Brandon, sitting in the passenger's seat beside me, spun toward me and said, "Really??!  You fixed it?!"

"No, I took it to the bike shop," I replied.  "But now you have to promise you won't take it apart again."

"I promise!!"

Let's see how long it is before he's either bored or looking for another challenge. 

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