Wednesday, 22 February 2012

An adventure?

Where I live, taking your kids to school/kindergarten/daycare on a bike is somewhat unusual, so it invites a few comments. Nothing nasty, just ranging from positive to curious to uncomprehending (like people not realising that it's just like riding a bike. Really!). Anyway, one of the comments I heard, second-hand, was that it was like an adventure for the kids.

This was a really interesting comment, I thought. On one level, it doesn't make a lot of sense; it's no more adventurous than getting there in a car or on foot or whatever. You start at point A and get to point B in the exact same way. It's not adventurous in the same way that going somewhere new is - maybe you know where point B is, but you haven't necessarily been there. That kind of adventurous is something I'd like to try with kids one day. Probably not with a one-year-old, though.

On another level, this comment makes a lot of sense; you interact with your environment a lot more. The kids are forever creating wobbles as they point out this fascinating thing or that. It's even rained on us once or twice. Hey, we live in the subtropics; getting rained on in summer is no drama at all. There's a bit more scope for interesting stuff (particularly as toddlers view these things) on the back of a bike that in a car.

It was an interesting comment because, as I've pointed out before, cycling to wherever seems to get their day off to a better start than driving. I guess I never gave too much though to why. I filed it under "things both the kids and I like" and made a point of doing it when possible. Now that I think about it, it being an adventure is a fairly convincing explanation. A recurring theme in childrens' literature is how things that are mundane to adults absolutely fascinate children (one of the things that's great about having kids, for mine). Why should a short ride through suburban streets be any different?

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