Charlotte was fascinated by other kids riding bikes at the park and made a bee-line for them at every play date, so she seemed ready for her first bike. I was so excited for this milestone event of getting her first bike. Never one to ignore a child-sized fad (I needed a mama roo, lust over freshly picked moccasins, and still suffer from stroller envy), I focused on balance bikes. Balance bikes are huge in our neighborhood and I see our local munchkins riding them daily. I spoke to a few friends who all verified that balance bikes are the way to go, because kids learn to balance, can control with their feet, won’t ever need training wheels, and on and on. So I started methodically researching balance bikes for toddlers, figuring out what size bike to get, reading about the weight and material of the different brands and obsessively reading every review ever written on amazon… as you do. I searched for neutral basic colored bikes in a sea of garish colors. I thought about adorable wooden bikes, and bikes that are adjustable. After building up a little anticipation, my mom, brother, and I took her down to the local bike store to pick out the monumental first bike. She took a seat on a balance bike, proclaimed it “too woggely” (wiggley and wobbly, obviously) and made straight for the training wheels. She tried them all, weaving up and down the carpeted aisles, loving the training wheels that I thought were definitely not for us.
So which one did C come home with after all of my hours of research? The pink sparkly bike with streamers, a basket, and training wheels. We went home with the bike that looks like barbie herself designed it, of course.
No little girl has ever loved a bike so much. Her wonderful uncle made a gift of it and we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the patio while she played “delivery”, loading up little toys in her basket and delivering them to us.
Today we tried to go to Millie’s for breakfast, but there were so many people on the porch waiting that we bagged it and headed elsewhere. Wiggly toddler + newborn + long wait for food = disaster. So we ended up at Emil Villa’s in Walnut Creek, where my mom hoped that the fresh peach pie season hadn’t ended yet. It isn’t as cute or close as Millie’s and the clientele has definitely been retired for a few decades, but the wait was short and everyone was just the friendliest. We were given a giant booth and at least ten people stopped by to check out the kids, comment on their cuteness, and tell us about their own grandchildren. It was really lovely… and a total mood booster being told that your kids are adorable over and over. I mean I always thought that they were adorable, but now strangers have verified that they are the cutest. Oh and peach pie was still in season, so a good time was had by all.
We had a wonderful Fourth of July filled with family time. Ellie wasn’t feeling well and stayed home with my mom, so the rest of us put on our red, white and blue and any themed doodads that we could locate and headed out to the Orinda parade.
We watched the parade from our yearly spot near the end, where all of our friends and family gather. Being at the end of the parade has it’s drawbacks, as their were some big gaps in the parade by the time it reached us. The music and any float tossing candy were big hits with our crowd and some of the performers stopped and gave a little attention to the kiddos.
Charlie enjoyed waving her flag enthusiastically at everyone walking by, while her cousin Jack preferred to hold his solemnly raised for all to see.
We were all a little hot and tired from sitting in the sun, so we headed to a local swim club. I didn’t know if Charlie would like the swim club, as they don’t allow the floaties she desperately needs to keep up with her cousins. They had a beach front entry on one end of the pool that Charlie loved. She laid it it, rolled around, and walked on her hands like a little alligator. All of the kids stayed in the shallows, so she didn’t feel left out at all. She’s been asking to go back to that pool ever since. We’ll have to wrangle another invite soon.
We finished the day with burgers and milkshakes from Nation’s, fitting the theme of the day, a family nap, and watching fireworks on television.
Happy Birthday America!