June 13, 2011

this is the way we cruise the town, cruise the town, cruise the town

Before we moved here, we bought the much-longed-for Hello Kitty bike which we gave Evie this weekend for her birthday. It's been sitting in a box for the past three weeks, next to the door, by the bed, behind the chair, hidden except totally not. She figured it out right away, Knew what was in the box. And so she started asking "when can I have my Hello Kitty bike?" Briton and I would just look at each other like she was crazy and say "what Hello Kitty bike?" She would sigh, we would laugh and then we'd remind her that she might get a bike for her birthday, you just never know what birthdays will bring, after all. And now the birthday has come and gone and we have a bike. Which is great. Five year olds should have bikes. We'll be able to take nice long rides down Riverside Park on our bikes now. But for every day, bikes are not the handiest way to get around town with kids.
Instead, there are scooters. When we first made that decision that yes, we would come to New York, I was obsessed with getting a stroller. I NEEDED a stroller. Because how on earth do you get around with little legs and no stroller? And a friend kindly gave me their stroller (since I'd just gotten rid of ours) so I felt set. Then, right before we left, a mom at Evie's preschool who had spent the previous year in New York made an off hand comment that strollers were good, but scooters were really where it was at. I didn't really believe it. Evie, despite watching her brother and our neighbors glide up and down the sidewalks on scooters for the past two years, has never shown much interest in scooters. She didn't quite have the right balance, maybe it had something to do with that long and lean body, the bike was more her thing. So I shoved that comment off and, with only a slight pause at the scooter section of Toys R Us, bought the bike.

She was totally right. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have the stroller because it's still wonderful for those going to be out all day activities. Not to mention hauling home groceries and books from the library and sleeping children. But for things like heading out to the park or taking a walk in the evening or even hopping on the subway and then walking to the Lego store downtown, a scooter makes all the difference.
Which means that on top of getting a bike on Sunday, Evie got a scooter (pink, what else) on Monday. Briton already had one, it was a last minute decision to bring it, in fact, he carried it with him on the train (and thank goodness he talked me into that because otherwise I would have been buying two scooters. Two way more than they are in Virginia scooters, yikes)
Totally worth it. Instead of cajoling "just a little further and we'll be there" or carrying her, she scoots along. Along our street or up the busier Broadway or even along 5th avenue between the Lego store and the "Big Library". They cruise, my children. They cruise through the crowds, weaving in and out of people, around card tables piled with fake designer sunglasses and carts selling a suprisingly wide range of noodle dishes, like they have been doing it their whole lives. Like the little blond boy who can't be more than two, who scoots down the street every morning, waving at the guys stacking fruit and the man selling battered books. Like the gaggles of middle school aged kids who glide along in packs, all boys here, all girls there, matching school uniforms a blur as they pass.Like city kids. They are oh, so quickly becoming city kids.

Except for the whole, licking the windows of the subway thing. That is not very city kid, ahem, Evelyn.That, you can stop. Please. Unless, you know, you like the taste of hand sanitizer on your tongue.