Reluctantly, they agreed. Maybe, they decided, the big group was frightening him. They agreed that it might be best if they went ahead and started to prepare lunch.
“It’s okay. It’s fun. Right? Wasn’t it fun to ride behind the bike? You can look around and see all sorts of things. Look at that little cat over there sitting on the steps of that house.”
As I tried to calm him, I thought, “What on earth am I going to do?! He’s too big for me to carry back to Emma’s house, and he’s too small to walk that far, and the odds of me getting him to go back in the bike trailer are slim to nil.”
Maybe, I reasoned, I could do a backwards duckwalk – so he could continue to see my face and I would still be sort of crouched in front of him. I could reach behind myself and push the bike forward. I tried it. The bike crashed to the ground.
What could I have been thinking?! Walking like that was something you trained for if your career goals involved the Chinese Circus! There was no hope of this working for me.
Okay, well, so what would Option Two be? Let me think.
I considered my mother’s no-nonsense approach to my own upbringing. Her philosophy in parenting was that it doesn’t hurt a child to cry a little if you know there’s nothing really wrong. But, I argued with myself, this little guy hadn’t had an easy life, and he seemed so scared. I didn’t want to add to the anxiety he had already experienced in his life. No; I couldn’t let him cry.
Read Part 5 for the ending