Today William wanted to mail a postcard to his friend. After I had printed out the address, William made a few half-hearted marks on the paper then asked me to put on a movie. I wasn't about to waste a stamp on his short attention span so I encouraged him to draw some more. He traced his hotwheels car. "Can we watch the movie now?"
In hindsight, I should have just put on his choice of DVD, ignoring the sunshine outside and hoping I wouldn't lose his creation before the next time I happened by a mailbox. Instead I insisted we mail the card, immediately. I offered him the choice of riding his bicycle, or sitting in the stroller hitched to my bicycle. "I want to ride my bicycle," Jadzia immediately chimed in and William agreed. The nearest mailbox that I know of is about a kilometre away.
The way there is uphill. My son insists on getting off his bike and pushing it up every slight incline. Every time William gets off his bike, Jadzia gets off her tricycle and bolts. She gleefully sprints down the sidewalk at speeds greater than any Mom lugging a fully-loaded diaper bag and a tricycle can achieve. Other legitimate reasons for dismounting: picking dandelions, watching ants. William also stops dead at each slightly elevated crack in the sidewalk and groans until I help him over it.
We stop at the library after we mail the postcard. This is William's idea. I have my netbook with me and try to write, but instead end up reading the most inane boardbooks imaginable for slightly longer than I can stand. After we pick out our books I give each kid an apple, more to lighten my load than because they are hungry. As we cross the library parking lot, the plastic bag holding my books breaks.
William roars (yes, roars) at each bird we pass, scaring them onto the rooftops. Jadzia joins in by belting out screams that are ear-piercing, blood-curdling and whatever other cliche you can think of to describe an unbearably high-pitched squeal.
William doesn't want to go to fast on the downhill so he compensates by braking every two feet. Jadzia is tired and drags her feet along the ground as I push her tricycle. I tell her she will wreck her shoes and hurt her feet if she continues. She continues. I threaten to take her shoes. She continues. I take her shoes. She doesn't care. She steers the trike in a zigzag pattern on the sidewalk. I tilt the tricycle onto its back wheels so she can no longer steer. She attempts to get off the trike. I carry her (along with the diaper bag, netbook, Jadzia's sandals and six library books in a broken grocery bag).