Boy Two was up at 6:00, because apparently he did not get the memo about it being summer vacation. He also missed the one about not requiring two doctor's appointments in the same week. Man, I really have to teach that kid how to read his email.
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Eventually, B1 relented and agreed to go out in the world, if and only if he got to ride in the stroller. He refused sun screen, reasoning that if he had the shade open as I pushed him, he would never be in the sun. B2 continued to bang on the door and scream at me throughout the negotiations.
Forty-five minutes later, we were outside. B2 ran off towards the duck pond, and B1, still in the stroller, mind you, began wailing that he wanted to get his bike.
Ray: "Can you go upstairs and get it yourself?"
B1: "No! You have to come with me!"
B2: "Peace out, people! I'm going swimming with the koi!"
I chased B2, catching him before he could manage to fall into the water, then strapped him, kicking and screaming, into the stroller as B1 ran back into the building.
Twenty minutes later, we re-emerged, sun-screened and ready for the epic 0.3 mile expedition to Trader Joe's.
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Eventually, B1 came running back, sans vélo, as excited as a five year old can be about how far he had ridden. He was beaming, and my heart sang for him and his glory. He led me, triumphant, to the end of the block, where he had dropped his bike unceremoniously on the corner.
"That was my longest ride EVER!" he squealed.
"Yes, it was. I think you're right. Nicely done, dude." He smiled, and the world sang.
When it was FINALLY time to go home, B1 refused to ride his bike. Therefore, I found myself pushing the stroller full of food with my right hand, leading the bike with my left hand, coaxing the angry toddler to follow, and trying to answer the kindergartner's thirty-five hundred questions as he hurled them at me.
An elderly man with a cane asked if he could be of any assistance. I wanted to say yes, but I couldn't think of anyway he could. I declined, thanked him, and continued on my way.
Eventually, B1 changed his mind and rode his bike back home. Then, I was able to pick up B2, who immediately ceased his whining. A warm breeze blew across the land, rustling the trees, and I smiled as I was reminded of the quiet, peaceful joy there is in the world.
And then I realized I had forgotten to buy the damn coffee.