Ya know what today was in our house? Bike Repair Day. We have had 4 bikes in various states of repair laying around in the garage and on the back patio for months now. With all the snow it's been too messy to ride, but the boys are ready to hit the streets again, so they started pumping up tires and getting ready for a trip to the store.
Then the problems started: One of the bikes has tires that won't hold any air. And another bike doesn't have a chain. And the third bike is pretty much just a frame at this point, because tires have been taken off and the seat is falling apart. So out of all those bikes, only one actually functions. So...there was only one thing to do. Jump in the car and drive the boys to the store. Not really. It's kind of cold and windy and I haven't showered yet today, so tough luck boys, I ain't goin' nowhere! Was what I thought. But then I saw that disappointed red head droop and those brown eyes get all sad and that boy foot start kicking at the dirt. Dang him and his cuteness!!
"Fine, son. Go get the tools and we'll see if we can fix a bike for you." No patches or green slime to fix the flat tires, so we moved on to the bike with no chain. We took the chain off the "parts" bike, which was no easy feat, I will just say now. Thank goodness I had that chain fixer tool thing to help. Getting it back on the decent bike got even more difficult. It was too long. My son started to walk away in defeat. What?! Giving up?! Not in my house, Little Man! Only I get to quit when things get too hard! You, on the other hand, do not. Because I would be a sucky mom if I let you walk away thinking that it's okay to not do hard things. My job is to make sure you are better than me. So gosh darn it, we are gonna fix this chain and fix it now so I don't have to feel bad about my mothering skills! Oh yeah. And also so you know how to fix a bike in case you ever need to do this when I'm not around. That too.
After lots of fights with the chain and the chain fixing tool thingy, we finally got the chain on the bike. Holy crap what a complicated thing a chain can be! It's just a string of links, you wouldn't think it would be that hard! Anyway...then we had to air up the tires. But we couldn't get the cap off the valve stems. After 10 minutes of looking for the pliers that should have been in the tool kit but were not, we finally mangled the caps off and pumped up the tires.
Then the seat was too low. After another 10 minute search for hex key that actually fit (there are a LOT of hex key sizes and we had every size in the tool kit but the one we needed!) we adjusted the seat. Then he wanted to raise the handle bars. Which we messed with for 15 minutes before realizing that we had loosened the wrong part to raise them. By this time the entire neighborhood of boys was waiting on my kid to ride to the store, so he decided the handle bars could wait. "That's good," I thought, "because my greasy hands are freezing and I'm kind of tired of the audience of 12 year olds who keep trying to give me directions and grabbing at the tools in my hands." Probably I should have let them do it and saved myself some grief. But by then I had fully invested emotionally in the whole project. I was bonding and teaching my son some valuable life lessons, right?
Anyway...I was given the green light to quit so I waved at them as I ran into the house and off they went to the store.
Where I had to meet them in the car 15 minutes later because my oldest kid forgot his wallet and no one had enough money to lend him for a drink. ((Sigh.))