I’ve never really thought of myself as a natural scooter. (As in somebody who scoots. Obviously I know I’m not made of metal, annoying to meet on pavements etc. Although the latter could be true.)
Generally I lack co-ordination. Give me a plate to put away and I’ll manage to bang it on at least three surfaces along the way. I also lack the desire to make any sort of physical effort, apart from netball now of course, and given the choice, would always rather have a little sit down with a cup of tea and a penguin bar.
When I was first offered a mother and daughter toddler scooters combo then, you can imagine my reaction. I was never good at balancing, let alone balancing on a moving board with a tiny steering bar. I thought, no, it will never happen. A short derisive snort, tea sloshed over the keyboard a bit, crumbs everywhere. But then Bee happened to complain about her walk to college and was wishing she had a scooter. What are the chances?
“Wait!” I said, seeing an opportunity to cast myself as caring, attentive mother, ready to attend to her every need, “I will get you a scooter!”
And so my fate was sealed.
Bee hasn’t actually ridden the grown up version to school yet, what with the holidays and all, but Belle and I have been out for many a wholesome family scoot together. OK, that’s a bit of a lie. We have scooted round to the Co-op though to recycle the plastic, (what kind of stupid city council doesn’t have kerbside plastic collections??), but to be honest I’m not sure it was wise to balance two full bags on my handlebars on my first outing.
“HOW DO I STOP??!!” I screamed at Belle as I approached my first kerb.
“Use the brake!” she cried back, rather unhelpfully I thought, from miles ahead already.
The brake apparently is at the back, but taking both feet off the ground at exactly the moment I wanted to have both of them on it seemed foolish in the extreme, so instead I attempted an undignified sort of intermittent scrape with one foot, like you do on a swing when you’re little and want to slow down but are too scared to jump off.
Finally drawing to a halt, I lifted my scooter up the kerb, only to be met with a sharp crack of metal against my ankle bone. Belle meanwhile was loving it – her scooter has three wheels through, and doesn’t attack your ankles when you’re not looking.
Scooting home, without the encumbrance of a dozen empty four pint milk containers was easier, and at points I’d almost go as far as to say I enjoyed it, but I think I might stick to strolling along behind Belle on hers. I realise this makes me officially No Fun At All, but I am 34 and have nearly grown up children, so that’s as it should be.
I’m sure for Bee it will prove really useful, as she does have a bit of a trek to school every day, and Belle was delighted to at last be able to replace her rusty old five year old scooter that frankly, she had become too ashamed to be seen with. I fear though that if I continued with my screaming, foot scrapping, ankle bashing routine it could be me who ends up the embarrassment.