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Another precious year!

Yesterday someone celebrated a birthday here at Karthi.. Who? I'll show you...


Yup all of six years old and in the first grade! On June 2, the brothers finally stepped out in identical outfits - also known as school uniforms and I couldn't but help get all weepy...


...thinking about how all that pristine whiteness was destined for an untimely demise on the persons of my boys. By the way, I wasn't worried about the dress of the guy in the back, just so that you know :)

To think this guy started out like this...


and this...


... and is now going to regular school!!! (Now you see why I was concerned about the uniforms? If you have been trying to wash out the dirt in boys' white uniforms for years, you would cry too.)

And here I am left with useless things like these...


Is there anything more forlorn in this world than a couple of support wheels separated forever from a kid's bicycle? I couldn't help think that once kids grow up, parents will kind of look like that pair up there, all worn down to nothing, battered and completely useless for anything else. Okay the uselessness part may not be true :)!

And yes, I have to tell you the story of how those support wheels came off. Our younger kid is such a contrarian (yup, new word, describes Ani exactly) that he makes a production out of every little thing. I think I managed him well this time! 

At first I was fixing something on Kunjunni's bike when the little guy rolled his up with support wheels and all. I finished my fixing and just commented to his elder brother how great the smaller cycle would look once the support wheels were off and the side-stand was on. (Notice how wily I was, I did not make any direct suggestion to the owner of the bike! :))

Kunjunni played along and agreed. So Ani had to agree too and off we went to find the side stand and I fixed it to the cycle after removing the extra wheels. Kunjunni and I made a great production of how stream-lined and big-boy-like the bike was looking when Ani suddenly realized, "But I can't ride without support wheels!"

We poohpoohed the thought. It was easy as anything, we said and got Kunjunni to demo on his own cycle around the front yard (not that Ani hadn't seen it before, still). I offered support and pushed him around a little.

Then our contrarian had a humongous meltdown. He insisted that I reinstate the support wheels as he would never, never, ever be able to ride without them. I think now that he was not ready to let go of that aspect of his childhood so quickly.

Here, I was crafty again. I didn't stay to reason with him. I just said, "Oh, if you aren't ready to ride it like this, I had better give it away..." and beat a strategic retreat.

Then I went into my room and pretended to be working on something on my laptop. The little guy came in and made some tearful complaints. I did not even deign to look.

Soon, our front yard became the arena for desperate attempts to keep possession of a beloved bike. I did not dare peek out of the window for fear of him seeing me. But I could hear some falls and some riding. DH who had been working from home that day went out and made some congratulatory noises, so I knew there was some progress...

About a half hour's efforts later, Ani sidled into the room and tried to catch my eye while I gazed resolutely at the monitor. 

"Amma, come and see, I have learned to ride the bike without support wheels"

"Hmm... (very bass, very serious)"

"Would you like to come?"

"Ok.. (no enthusiasm at all, the danger is not over even at this point)"

Thus I went to the front door and witnessed that accomplishment which had been touted as impossible just half an hour ago and made appropriate congratulatory noises, but in a very subdued fashion.

Then I went back inside and did a victory dance all by myself.

Thus do parents pave the way, one stone at a time, to becoming redundant support wheels.

Finis.

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