Time to make up your own mind

Sunday afternoon might have been one of the last warm days for some time.  We decided to get out on the American Tobacco Trail and have a family bike ride.  It is a great trail.  It goes about 12 miles south, down to Chatham County.  It used to be a rail corridor.  Now it is paved with a bridges.

This is the first year that Rosie has been able to pedal on her own.  Last year, she usually rode on the back of Susie’s seat, in a jury-rigged car seat apparatus.  Now she has a pink bike with handlebar streamers.

Samson came along, too.  In fact, Samson pulled me for most of the way.

In all, I suppose that we went about 5 miles.  That was a good trip for Rosie.  In the wee hours, though, it caught up with her.

“Mommy,” she said.  “I think my knee is broken!”

Susie woke up.  “Where, sweetie?”

Rosie grabs both legs and runs her hands up and down the length of her thighs and her calves.  “This part,” she says.

This is the downside of what has been a pleasant spurt in new imagination capacity for Rosie.  She can play by herself for a long time.  This means that lately, she’s been more consumed at playing inside: arranging cups and bowls, parking the toy cars, even playing swords with her brother.

She is also emerging into a self-defining person.  It is very important for her, these days, that she not have help.  On Friday, for example, an incident happened that really speaks to this new pattern.  Susie brought out some warm bread for dinner and set it next to the butter dish.

“I’ll cut a slice of butter for you,” she said, “and Rosie, you can put it on the bread.”

“No,” she said. “I will cut the butter.  You will put it on the bread.”

Then again, being independent is part of a larger trend at 911 Urban.  John’s school had a teacher workday today.  Susie needed an activity.

“Let’s go to the Obama headquarters,” she said.  “I want to get an Obama Mama (cost: a contribution of $20.08) shirt.  John, you can get an Obama button!”

John thought about that for a second.

“No thanks,” he said.

Susie tried to cultivate his interest.

“No, really John, it’ll be fun. ”

“I’m not going to do that,” said John.  “I’m voting for John McCain.”

I know what the data says about voting instincts among children.  This confounds those findings.

I came home from work today.  Looking back, it was a fun day.  We had lunch at Tyler’s Taproom.  We went out for coffee.  I got invited to speak at the Federal Reserve.  We might sell some data to High Point.

So when I crossed the threshold into our home, I was in good spirits.  Everyone was in the kitchen.  Susie had some vegetables roasting (beets, carrots, and sweet potatos) and John and Rosie were seated in small red and yellow folding chairs.

John was reading a book.  This is a first.  I sat down and listened to the adventures of the Backyardigans.  There were some hard words: Uniqua, arrive, wherever…but he did it.

Rosie was not having any of it.

“Let’s eat dinner!” she said.

She picked up her red folding chair, lifted it over her head, and slammed it against the face of our new refrigerator.

“Right now!”

I guess she didn’t like being hungry while John got all of the attention.

There was one other book: It had some especially difficult words to pronounce.  Buh-ROCK o-BAM-a: An American Story.  Just so that we get things straight.

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