It’s that time of year when kids across this country are actually dragged by their ears to the malls of America so that they can kick and scream on some watered down version of Santa as he listens to “Little Jaunito” tell him about wanting a “Red Rider Uzi with Matching Bandana.”
I happen to avoid the mall like the plague. As we all know, they don’t sell Cantillon in the Kiosks so what’s the point of trudging through the aisles looking for something that doesn’t exist. I for one believe in Santa Claus but the older I get, the more I tend to want to believe in Cantillon Claus. You know the one that eats the cookies and leaves a bottle of Lou Pepe Framboise behind!
Now that I am a father of a child who “understands” Christmas, it is somewhat more difficult to go shopping. No longer can we go down the aisle at Target and pick up things for her even though she’s sitting in the shopping cart. It sucks. But the upside is it means she’s that much closer to being able to brew her own beer.
As you may recall, last year, we got Sydney her very own My First Homebrewers Kitchen. She has literally worn out the mash paddle with each and every batch. She’s a prodigous kitchen brewer that Sydney. She brews 2-3 times a week just like her dear old dad. Now that she’s a year older, I’ve returned to the crossroads of responsible parenting and Christmas. You see, this year, she wants a bicycle of her very own. Maureen and I are all for that. We have a large carport she can safely ride in so why not. She’s already told Santa that it needs to be Pink. Ok that shouldn’t be too hard.
Yet, as we all know, if you want to be the coolest kid on the block your bike better have some serious accessories on board. So, I’ll be keeping an eye out this year for the kinds of things that are bound to make hers’ the baddest and most trickest trike on the block. I already have a bid on a vintage license plate to hang off the seat. It was easy finding a Duvel Metal License plate. But, they’re a bit more liberal about these things in Belgium. I looked high and low for one in pink but the best I could do was White, Red and Black. Sorry Sydney! Daddy is good. He can turn Barley into beer but he can’t make Duvel pink! (You’ll learn soon enough that’s a job for even bigger corporations)
Now that I have properly decked out the seat of the bike, I’ll be turning my attention to the handle bars. As we all know, no trike would be complete without a beverage holder. So, I found a sweet swivel unit on line (in Chrome no less) that rotates as she rides as to not spill her beverage. As she has graduated from a sippy cup to a real cup this is very important. As we all know, no one likes to cry over spilt milk.
From the same online site, I acquired the requisite Frame and Ice Chest combination for the back deck of the trike. This was a tough sell to her mom. She was concerned that perhaps Sydney would end up with too many beverages on board causing her to become “tipsy.” And as we all know, Drinking and Triking is a serious no no.
This is why I was able to convince her mother that we should absolutely spring for the “My First Pedal Lock Breathalyzer.” Thing is, I’m having a hard time finding one of these. My conversations last year prepared me for the inevitable “I’m sorry sir we don’t stock breathalyzers that read Vitamin D levels on your child’s breath.” But I thought without a doubt, I would be able to acquire one somehow. So if anyone out there knows of a place where I can purchase one, I would really appreciate it. I can’t let Sydney Milk and Trike. That would be irresponsible parenting to say the least.
Oh and speaking of responsible Triking, I have one essential piece that I need to acquire. It seems that Sydney really wants a Pink Princess Helmet. It’s gonna suck when she opens the one on Christmas Day that I got for her. It’s Gray with Flying Pink Elephants (Thank you Delerium Tremens!). Like any great father, I will explain that they were all sold out of the Pink Princess Helmets but had these awesome Pink Dumbo ones in stock. Sydney’s pretty smart so I figure it will take her about a week to figure out those aren’t Dumbo. Flying Elephants yes, Dumbo No.
But it won’t matter. Because by then, she’ll be the coolest kid in the carport. Each morning she’ll peddle out the garage with an ice chest loaded with Milk for her friends. Pink Elephants will flap in the breeze on her helmet as she peddles down the drive. I’ll be momentarily disappointed that Dogfishead was out of Cycling Jerseys in 2T. But Sam will make it up with a trailer for the trike with some kind of new fangled orgonoleptic chocolate infusing milk back as an yet to be invented accessory for her trike.
And on that Friday December 26, 2008 I will smile from work at my uber slick parenting skills. Sydney’s Tricked out Trike will have a Devil for a license plate and a pedal lock should she ever think about overindulging on Vitamin D before peddling. I can go to work each day safe in the knowledge that I have provided for her and that no way in hell is there going to be a cooler kid in the carport than her! And that my friends is what I call responsible parenting…