27 May 2006

busy saturday

Today was a busy day for the Mergenthaler-Schmidts. For the first time in many months, I took the boys grocery shopping with me -- this is always an ordeal, so I prefer to leave them home, but today a muffin bought me good behavior for most of the trip. This was followed by taking James to a birthday party -- another day, I will write a post on how much I hate children's birthday parties. But then, then came the real fun.

First, the minor excitement: Greg bought some fishing gear and a fishing license so that he can teach James to fish, and hopefully catch us some tasty dinners this summer. We live about a mile from the Erie Canal, and there are plenty of lakes nearby, so there will be a lot of opportunities. Incidentally, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the fishing license also entitles Greg and James to spear or club frogs -- we even saw some frog spears at the store today -- but I have made it clear to Greg that I will not cook a frog, ever, particularly if it has been clubbed.

But we saved the best part of the day for last. Finally, after so many months of watching other kids race around on their bikes, and surreptitiously sneaking rides on those other kids' bikes, James has a two-wheeler, with training wheels, all of his own, complete with a license plate bearing his name. Now, sadly, his period of bikelessness would not have been necessary were it not for some neighbor of ours, presumably. James did have a two-wheeler, with training wheels, that he was learning to ride last summer, until it up and disappeared one day. Unfortunately, one of the worst aspects of our mostly wonderful community is the way people regard any item left outside as fair game. Kids are constantly "borrowing" toys from other kids' yards; even grown-ups do this, but instead of toys, they're borrowing things like our backyard picnic table without asking (that's a story for another day as well). So James' bike was "borrowed", and never seen again. James swears he saw it in the dumpster, though I'm not entirely prepared to believe that someone threw his bike away.

But James chose his own bike, which was thankfully quite affordable, and Daddy put it together and away James rode. He is one happy boy, and I've got the photo to prove it:

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