J has become a biking superstar. The other day the girls and I biked 1.8 miles each way to a playground, and that night J requested more biking as part of her date with Daddy. M, meanwhile, has been wonderfully patient with the slow riding pace.
Today we decided to bike to Central Park, and the ride there was great. After playing together at the playground, the girls requested that we bike over to the Rose Garden for a snack.
Just as we were almost there, J fell and skinned her knee. There was blood, although not too much. But she was beside herself with the pain, pain, pain. She sobbed loudly while I held onto her and M, in her own world, inspected roses.
She happened to fall right next to the old-tennis-court-turned-dog-run-area, and it was dramatic enough that the one dog and his human lady came over to check us out. The lady was solicitous, and J loves dogs, so I seized the opportunity for a distraction and asked if she could approach the dog and say hi. “Oh, sure,” the lady says. Then she watches as J extends her fingers through the chain-link fence for the dog to sniff and as the two of them are making contact, the lady says, “Be good now! No biting! NO BITING!!!” At this my clever child retracted her fingers while I clutched her just in case she weren’t so clever.
Speaking of not so clever, the woman continues, smiling, “You just never know what he’s going to do, he’s so bad, I brought him here to try to run off some energy. . . .” At which I smiled back and murmured, mostly to myself, “Oh, dear, that would have been good to know before we approached him. . . .” I was too startled to say more, especially because the lady was trying to be polite even as she subjected to my still-bleeding-and-tearful daughter to a possible dog attack. I just sent J (walking) over to the garden and dragged J’s bike over to park next to M’s, fuming all the way.
J overcame the fear and pain for the bike ride home, although she was moaning, “I want to be hooooooooommme” for the first several blocks. By the time we arrived at our house, she was once again jubilant and carefree. And so, of course, as she turned into the driveway, she wiped out again.
I carried her to our bench while good big sister/EMT M rushed over with the first aid box and “cold kitty.” If you do not already own an adorable ice pack to keep in your freezer, I cannot possibly overstate the psychologically therapeutic value of this item. Seriously. There is nothing like a special ice pack to make a child feel like his or her injury is recognized as an Extremely Significant Occurrence. In two out of three cases, merely touching the ice pack instantaneously cures most bumps and bruises.
J said she wasn’t going to bike again for a long time. Then she decided that she wasn’t going to bike again for the rest of the day. When I saw her on her bike an hour later, I didn’t say a thing.