As our days start moving at warped speed with the contents our entire lives packed into cardboard boxes, finding the time and brain-space to write is falling by the wayside. There are still so many things left undone around the house, and I know they will all creep up on me at the last minute, dragging me into an abyss of closing dates and the transferring of services from one house to another.
These days even sitting on the back patio to get some writing done feels like an impossible task. Thoughts are coming in fragments rather than full sentences as the right collection of words becomes increasingly blocked by dishes that need to be loaded and children who still need a decent meal cooked; books that need to be read aloud and conversations had every twenty minutes about the travesty of not owning an iPhone in the 7th grade.
As luck would have it, we live right down the street from a Starbucks, and when the chaos around the house starts to worry me with all of the things I ought to be doing other than writing, I venture down there to knock out a few paragraphs over a Grande Flat White 2% and the accompaniment of my kindergartener.
If any of my children have the ability to distract me wholly by sheer cuteness, it would be my kindergartener. Being the baby of the family, she has the advantage of being the last one to have been rocked to sleep at night with more books than I had originally planned to read. She also has had the advantage of never having a younger sibling to edge her away from my lap, or our bed at night, even though her legs have become long and lanky with enough force to push me to the edge of the mattress in a fetal position while she stretches out comfortably like a starfish between the Executive and I. Between her thorough extension of limbs claiming territory all over the place and the Executive’s hellacious snoring, I’m not sure I have had a decent night’s sleep for the past three years.
Yesterday, as I sat at the kitchen table listening to the older girls bicker while dishes in the sink beckoned with wooden mixing spoons sticking up like pointed fingers out of mixing bowls, I found it impossible to get any work done. So, I loaded up my lap top, a few other items, and the kindergartener to head down to Starbucks to knock out a few paragraphs. Considering that I was fully aware that my child was in a period of creative exploration all morning, I should have expected that, with her in tow, I wouldn’t get much completed. The entire car ride there she was talking to me about her plans for the day, to which I would reply, “Okay, sweetheart. That sounds great!” without being sure of what exactly I was committing myself to.
After we placed our order at the counter, we picked a secluded table and she sat down across from me with her cinnamon roll and milk box. I got out my MacBook and opened it up as I veered across the table at her sweet blue eyes framed by long lashes staring back at me. Impossibly cute with her mess of hair pulled back into a pony tail and freckles splayed across her nose and sprinkling across her cheeks, she asked, “So, when are we going to go get that basket for Pooh Bear?”
Winnie-the-Pooh is her favorite storybook of all time, and her beloved stuffed Pooh Bear has been dragged through the dirt and has visited the washing machine more than any toy we have ever owned.
“What basket?” I asked.
“Don’t you remember? The one you said you would get for my bike today. You said in the car…”
“Oh, yeah. Well, I don’t have time to drive around and look for one today, but we can figure something out.”
Of course, the entirety of our visit to Starbucks resulted in little work and more talk about the idea of a bike basket for Pooh Bear. The kindergartener is by far my most energetic and athletic child, and her favorite pastime is for us to go outside with her and use the timer on our cell phones to record how long it takes for her to bike from the driveway, out around the cul-de-sac, up the road a bit, and back to the starting point; her goal is to get a little bit faster each round. She had decided at some point early this morning that Pooh bear needed to participate as well.
Throughout our visit, and as we headed from Starbucks to Publix, she kept talking about what kind of bike basket she was going to get, discussing whether or not it would have flowers, and what colors would match her purple bike the best. All the while, I kept thinking about how the Executive has cut our fun-money budget tight considering that moving eats up more resources than anyone can accurately predict.
As we roamed around the fresh produce aisles, the kindergartner became distracted by picking the perfect bunch of bananas ripe for eating and discussing the advantages of picking a watermelon over cantaloupe this week. However, I had become distracted as to how I could use materials to make a basket for her bike. As luck would have it, on our way to the bathroom in the back of the store we passed by a display case of items on clearance, and there on a low shelf I spied a stack of plastic buckets. ‘Ah,’ I thought. ‘That would be perfect and easy to attach to the handlebars.’
“Look!” I said. “We can use one of these and make a bucket seat for Pooh Bear on the front of your bike!”
“Yeah!” she responded happily. “But, Mommy, these buckets say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and ‘Mom’, which is kind of silly don’t cha think?”
“Nah, we can make it work. We’ll cover it up. Plus, these are only a dollar. Let’s try it.”
She picked out her favorite color amongst the pinks, purples and greens, and the entire way home she held it tightly in her lap as she talked about how Pooh Bear was going to really enjoy his new bucket seat and how she was certain that he would make her race time faster than ever before!
After unloading the groceries and putting them into the cabinets, the refrigerator and pantry, we headed out to the garage to gather our materials. I raided the Executive’s tool chest, finding a phillips-head screwdriver for poking two holes through flimsy plastic, a couple of zip ties, and some tool – I’m not sure what it’s called – that looked as though it would be perfect for cutting off the excess. Although the kindergartener was a little apprehensive at first to poke holes into a bucket deemed the most special item on the planet after a car ride home from the grocery, she finally gave over her new favorite possession to the experimentation of turning it into a Hillbilly Bucket Seat for Pooh Bear.
HOW TO MAKE A HILLBILLY BUCKET SEAT FOR A KID BIKE
TWO ZIP TIES
A DOOHICKEY for CUTTING
A FAVORITE STUFFED ANIMAL OR DOLL
Using the phillips head screwdriver, carefully poke a hole on each the side of the bucket toward the side that will face the handlebars.
Put a zip tie through each hole and wrap each one around either side of the handlebar, pulling each one tightly to hold the bucket into place.
Using the doohickey, cut off the excess of each zip tie.
Place the favored doll, or stuffed animal into the bucket and send your child happily riding off into the horizon (or just down the street).
Isn’t life swell?
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