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Tricycle Gymnastics

Every afternoon before going home for the day, we bring the children’s riding toys in from the terrace. More often then not, one or two parents are late picking up their kid, so all the little vehicles have “motors” and the teachers have only to direct traffic. There are three little cars, one with pedals, two Fred Flintstone type; there’s a little red wagon; there’s a miniature rickshaw (a three-wheeler with a backseat built for two); and there are four tricycles.

Today every parent picked every child up in a timely manner. Can you believe it? Alyce, our paraprofessional, and I had to bring the toys in ourselves. I pulled the little red wagon into the classroom and parked it, then went back for a tricycle. Tricycles have a handy-dandy foot plate on the back so one can lug a friend around with them — or so a grownup can ride the tricycle like an overgrown roller skate.

I put my left foot on the step plate, grabbed hold of the handlebars and, head-down-butt-up, pushed off with my right foot. Vrooom! Vroom! I shot across the terrace and swung wide as I headed for the classroom door. I knew I needed to be lined up straight going in or a wheel would catch on the door frame. Vrooom! Vroom! I gave a mighty shove and flew like the wind right up to the raised lip door sill — screech!

The tricycle abruptly stopped. I blithely continued on without it, flipping over the handlebars and making a lovely somersault into the classroom. I landed just inside the door sitting on the tile and facing forward. Alyce, who had entered the room before me, was parking the tricycle she’d pushed inside. Without looking she queried, “Did I just hear your pants rip?”

Dryly I responded, “No, I don’t think that was it at all.”

She turned then to look and cracked up laughing. “Did you fall?” She chortled, then valiantly tried to pull herself together while demanding to know if I was all right. I assured her I was whole and hale, then I climbed to my feet. She set off on another giggle tangent. My pants had split — up from the middle of my knee to just below my pocket.

“I have to ride the city bus home!” I wailed.

Alyce, compassionately, laughed so hard she had to sit down.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I’m glad you didn’t hurt more than your pride… and pants! I’d have at least offered you a ride if at all possible. I’d have owed you that much for laughing so hard! πŸ™‚

  2. Rob, I live 5 miles west of the school. Alyce lives 15 miles east of the school. Plus, on Tuesdays she has to hustle home, collect her daughter and rush her into Honolulu for her dance class.

  3. Mumma, if I reinforce them at the same rate I rip them, I will just be breaking even …. which, I suppose, is better then riding city buses half-naked.

  4. If that’s all that was broken you did well. This type of antics can also be used with super market wagons. Hold on everyone here’s quilly πŸ™‚

  5. I have a suggestion. Bring a change of clothes and leave it at school. Between spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce, ripping, and other odd happenings, you should be covered.

    And by the way, I LIKE that you play like a child. It’s a happy adult that could get on a tricycle and ride it like a scooter without giving a flip what people thought of them. Carry that attitude onto the bus, and you won’t need a change of clothes after all. πŸ™‚

  6. Melli — if I bared it for scoring, my butt would likely rate a Technicolor ten.

    Pauline — supermarket carts are a bit taller and chunkier. I’m afraid an accident there might result in actual pain. I generally try to avoid that.

    Brig — if I took a clean set of clothes to work, they’d likely not stay clean long. Somebody would wipe their paint-smeared or spaghetti-soaked self on them right off. My panache, however, remains pristine and wrinkle free no matter what becomes of my clothes. I just tied my jacket around my waist sideways and journeyed on home.

    Doug — funny, as I was hurdling toward the floor that scene flashed before my eyes, too. I was trying to decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing that I had no sticker bushes to land in when I splatted on the tile.

    Polona — see my comment to Brig!

  7. Dr. John — in order to get hurt racing tricycles, one actually has to be foolish enough to get on the tricycle. Somehow, I don’t see you doing so!

  8. Quill I had no idea that you were trying out for the tricycle gymnastics……..did you make the team? Oh my, you are really trying to hurt yourself lately aren’t you…..

    hmmmmmmmmm do you have a sewing kit in your purse? or Duct tape? A staple gun also will work in a pinch….haha

  9. Nea — I, uh, fell short of making the team. And I considered staples, but all my flesh was still intact so I thought adding sharp pointy metal bits might be a bad idea. We had no duct tape. The sewing kit is here at home right beside the sewing machine — which will be used to turn all of that lovely denim into Christmas stockings for toddlers.

  10. haha @with friends like you. I’m a good friend dern it! I just enjoy a good laugh sometimes.

    Ummm, who is the slacker now?! This blog is 2 days old!!! So unlike you… LOL

  11. Mel Brooks once said (and I paraphrase because i am not so good at remembering quotes, just the gist of them)
    ‘Comedy is when a man falls down an open sewer and dies, tragedy is when I hurt my knee’
    ’nuff said πŸ™‚

  12. Donna — you are a great friend.

    Alastair — Oh — here it is:

    “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” –Mel Brooks.

    Now — what was your point? πŸ˜›

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