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Behold the Pale Rider, He Hath No Training Wheels

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A few weeks ago, after a bad report at school, Connor and I were in the front yard doing some hard labor yard work.  All of a sudden, I heard a voice call out from the sidewalk, “hi Connor.”

We turned, and there was a pale, blonde boy, on his bike.  We said hello back to him, and I asked the usual litany of mom questions.  Turns out, he goes to the same school, is also in first grade, is also 6-years-old, but is in a different classroom.  He offered to help us, but I told him it was Connor’s job today, but maybe another time.  He asked if he could come over and play sometime, and I said “of course.”

As he rode away, the wheels in my tiny, little brain started turning.  Granted, I grew up in the wild and crazy 70’s, but I wasn’t even allowed to roam the neighborhood until I was about ten.  By that time, my mom didn’t care if my rambunctious band of hooligan friends and I had massive amounts of C4, or the Lindbergh baby stuffed in our backpacks, as long as we were out playing and out of her hair.

But six?  Seems kind of young to be out gallivanting around the neighborhood unattended.  It left me feeling uncomfortable, until two days later.  Home from work and school, there was a knock on the door.  You guessed it, the same boy.  He wanted to play with Connor, who was bouncing around behind me, thrilled to have a visitor.  I asked wee man if his parents knew where he was, and he assured me they did.  I saw his bike out on the front walk, and hesitantly let him in.

The boys disappeared to the toy room for several minutes.  I went to check on them, and heard Wee Man telling Connor, “You still have training wheels?  I don’t have training wheels anymore.”  I knocked and opened the door to ask if they wanted a drink, and Connor informed me that he wants his training wheels taken off his bike.  I told him to take it up with daddy, the Lord of the Screwdriver, then I asked Wee Man again if his parents knew where he was.

Although he assured me again that his whereabouts were known, I told him that in five minutes they had to wrap it up.  Then I told him that my husband and Connor would walk home with him, so they could let his mom know where he was, and my husband could introduce himself.

“They don’t have to, I have my bike.”

“Well, that’s how we do things in our family, we meet the parents, so just ride slow.”

Off they went, and five minutes later, Connor and hubs were back.  Apparently the little huckster ran off ahead, and into his house.  When hubs came to the door, he opened it, said “you can’t come in right now, and slammed it shut.”  Connor carried on all the way back home, because he had his heart set on seeing the boy’s room.

I guess we will never know what’s going on in other people’s homes, but I was glad we tried to do the responsible thing.  Although it was only 15 minutes, the whole time the boy was in our house I was creeped out, because all I could think was, I could never let Connor go into a stranger’s house and feel safe about it.

Anyway, the following Saturday Connor insisted he wanted his training wheels off for good, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t ride without them.  Granted, he did suffer a crash that scraped his ankle, but he calmly said he needed to go in for a band-aid, and once acquired, he marched right back outside to ride again.  He was so proud of himself, and so were we.  For once, he was determined to see something through, no matter how hard it was.

We haven’t seen Wee Man lately.  Maybe he got his driving privileges suspended, or maybe his parents are paying more attention to his whereabouts.  I sure hope so, anyway, since I’d hate for him to show up at my house with a backpack full of C4.



About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

9 responses »

  1. I agree with you about not letting my son in other people’s houses. Even people I kind of know. If I’ve never been in their house, my son’s not going there. Call me overprotective if you want. . .it’s better than the worst alternative.

    And I shudder to think Wee Man might have been fibbing to you, and his parents didn’t know where he was? And never thought to go look? Or cared?

    Rock on, Connor, for kicking the training wheel habit.

  2. I had the same thing happen to me. A new tenant and her son moved in our building a few months ago. The boy is probably around 4 or5 years old. His mom let him play outside on the other side of the building and didn’t even watch him. He wanted to play with my son and I asked him if his mom knew where he was. I made it a point to go tell his mom where he was and she didn’t seem to care. A few times my son wanted to come inside and I told the boy to go home but he said he hated his mom and didn’t want to go home. I knocked on her door and told her that there would be no one to watch him outside so she should go get him. She mumble something about him being just outside and didn’t seem to care. Her boyfriend was there too a few times. I live in the front apt by the door to our hallway and she lives down the hall in the back. She can’t even see the front of the building from her apartment. A few times he was out there with no supervision and by his behavior I think he is maybe slow and has a behavior problem. I almost called social services on her but then I didn’t see him for a week or two. I thought maybe she actually started acting responsible and watching her child. In my day we would never play outside without our parents knowing where we were and definately not at 4 years old. I am totally in agreement with your opinion. I just can’t believe some parents these days.


  3. Oh yeah, there is NO WAY I let my kids into a home before I can sniff it out. One, I want to see how the place is decorated and two, I want to make sure they don’t have their crack pipes and dug paraphernalia out in the open. call me crazy but I like to know what my kids walking into. That and I have to warn the parents about my kid anyway. I’ve never had a play date yet where I dropped Alex off and left him alone.

    And Connor is a flying rockstar on a bike. To take a spill and get back on the horse, that’s great!!! He can teach Wee Man a thing or two I think.

  4. That’s just weird how some parents still let their very young kids loose without a care. I cannot even imagine doing that!! And the fact the hubs got the door slam is kinda scary. I would never let Connor go there alone. Even if you saw the place and it looked like the Cleavers’ house, that first encounter would still be on mind. “Oh sorry our bathtub is acting as a meth lab right now. Do come back later!”

    I’m really amazed that Connor just up and decided it was time to ride without those training wheels! He was determined not to let Wee Man outdo him- how’s that foe social awareness!!! He’s doing great!

  5. I am in total shock reading this – how is a 6 year old out and about by himself? Going into a strange home by himself? Granted they are in the same class but still. Haven’t Wee Man’s parents seen an episode of Law & Order SVU? Are they oblivious to the news? Or do live in the land of make believe where no bad things happen?

    Those parents are so lucky that you are normal parents who did the right thing. And how amazing for Connor to ride his bike without training wheels!

  6. holy christ, how have I missed you when you’ve got grace, lizbeth and karen v all commenting you?? And you’re FLANNERY. . . it’s not like “smith”. Anyhoo. . . here I am.

    So first of all. . . my neighbors are like that. I can look out all times night and day and there’s a pantsless child without shoes toddling about the cul-de-sac unsupervised carrying a hammer or a chainsaw or somesuch. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

    Secondly . . . i’m EXTREMELY uncomfortable in situations like that. My daughter was outside playing and two neighbor girls came over and were playing with her in my back yard. They’re a lot older than she is. . . maybe 11 or 12 at the time. . . and she was 6. We were two door down from their house, but I don’t really know their parents despite living so close. It’s an old vendetta that I refuse to release related to the first day I moved into my house. (They didn’t say hi. . . they just rang the doorbell dropped a flyer off in my door saying “Please give to Leukemia” and went home before I could answer. Don’t get me wrong. . . I’m all for Leukemia as a charity. . . but the day I move in, maybe ring the doorbell say hi, tell me you live two doors down THEN spring Leukemia on me.) So anyway. . . here are two nearly teenage girls whose parents I don’t know, in my backyard, without their parents knowledge. . . I kicked them out. I just said. . . I’m sorry, we need to go around front and play, unless you kids run home and let your folks know you’re in my backyard. It was just extremely creepy and “exposed” feeling. I try not to put myself in positions where things can go really really drastically awry.

    Pretty sweet about the training wheels. My 9 year old NT daughter has yet to shed them successfully, but nobody rides bikes anymore around here. . .

    • @blogginglily I hate your bastard neighbors now too. The nerve!! They couldn’t at least spit in your eye and HAND you the flyer??

      Yeah, the neighbor kid thing is weird. I wouldn’t want my kid in someone’s house or yard, but maybe I’m overly protective like that. Still, I agree, it’s better to be cautious in that situation.

  7. Pingback: Proof That Karma Exists and It Is Out To Get Me « Living on the Spectrum: The Connor Chronicles

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