Sunday, July 01, 2012

Motoring...Circumnavigation of The Aviary

 Learning to walk is an interesting process. The Kid has figured out how to stand up and move around the house and garden while holding on to something. He's delighted to stagger around holding on someone's hand, but hands are not always free to hold small people. They are sometimes busy cleaning houses, preparing meals, or even writing for the net.  I'm sure that there are all sorts of fancy high tech toys and things available in Toys 'R Us, but here in the villages most of the toys are homemade. While I was in the US, someone brought an odd wooden sort of tricycle thing to the farm. There is a handle over the two wheels and a third wheel that sticks out in front. I wasn't sure how it worked until recently when The Kid's motor abilities had improved to the extent that he could begin to use it properly. He learned to haul himself up to hold the handle and propel his little machine around the patio. On concrete, it can go pretty fast, but in the garden it slows down.

 The grass provides a fair bit of resistance to the wheels which makes using the vehicle (I honestly don't know what to call it) somewhat safer. There are certain problems at this stage, however, steering being the most important one. The Kid hasn't figured out yet how to adjust his direction. Once he's aimed in a direction, he simply continues in a straight line until he comes to a stop and he did when he wedged himself between a palm garden chair and a flower bed. Somehow he had to move the direction to his left and this was a bit too difficult. Right after I took the photo, he asked for help by holding out his hand and guiding my hand to the handle of the push vehicle.
Once we sorted out the steering issue, he continued on his merry way accompanied by one of his faithful companion, Rocky. He ran into a new problem here...sand. Sand provides even more resistance and his tiny legs were really working hard to get the wooden wheels of the vehicle through the fairly deep sand.
 But sand doesn't just cause resistance. It is also unevenly resistant and makes a wooden tricycle tip over...albeit very slowly. Rocky watched as The Kid gradually tipped over on his side.
But a tricycle on its side is still a fascinating piece of equipment. The small wheels under the handle spin wonderfully when stroked by a small hand. The hole where it is attached by a nail is just slightly larger than the nail to provide the right amount of spin
Tipped back on the handle,  the single wheel that is usually in front can be spun as well, providing a few minutes of intriguing play under Mindy's watchful eye.
But spinning one's wheels gets  pretty old pretty fast and it's time again to tip the vehicle over onto the wheels and continue circumnavigating the aviary. The new obstacle was a recently planted area of lawn that is still in clumps as it spreads in front of the aviary. This was a tiring portion of the exploration. The wheels would catch on a clump of grass and then sink into the neighbouring patch of sand.
 Having struggled through the newly planted sod, The Kid found himself on some nice smooth grass and headed for the patio in front of the house. Notice his guardian still standing watch. I had to help keep him from knocking over my flower pots full of seedlings.
The patio was a piece of cake and I could hear his chuckles as he motored for the front door. Our ranking baladi dog, Ganja, oversaw this portion of his trip.

He managed to wake up Groucho, one of the older terriers as he blew through the living room on a clear vector for the door to the summer garden near where we'd started this journey...but this portion of his trip was fraught with danger. Immediately in front of him were three steps and going down them could be quite painful. I  pointed out the advisability of using the ramp just to the right of the stairs that had been installed for some of our creakier elderly dogs and people.

I couldn't take a picture of him going down the ramp because I was too busy holding the vehicle back to a toddler speed as he descended followed by Demon, another terrier.
 Back in the garden it was deep sand again to head back to the front patio and the nice flat patio. This portion of his trip took the longest and it was a very tired little boy who pushed his wooden tricycle up to the front of the house and asked to be picked up. He laid his head on my shoulder and just rested waiting for his mother to finish dressing to take him home. Someone is definitely sleeping well tonight.

copyright 2012 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani