Filed In: Stories
Friday, November 1, 2019 | Chris Blandford
I have almost four years of parenting experience. So--like a bicycle maker who has made four bicycles--I’m basically an expert. In that time, I’ve decided that 90% of parenting--like in any great, political struggle--is setting appropriate precedent. Having a bit of foresight. I swear to God, you let her lick the butter knife one f-ing time and a week later she’s throwing her toast at the dog and telling you that she loves Momma more than you because “you’re the not-nice one”. It’s infuriating. Your own past moment-of-laziness scream-laughing in the corner, mocking you so.
The other 10% of parenting, I’ve learned, is patience.
So it goes that a father should never, ever--under any circumstances--build his own daughter a fillet brazed balance bike. Because if he does, a couple years down the road that same father will be standing in a bike shop with that same daughter looking at a perfectly appropriate, in-stock, single-speed pedal bike, and she’ll point to the perfectly appropriate tig welds on its downtube and proclaim that that bike is “bumpy” and therefore complete, unacceptable shit.
The patience-portion of parenting, I’ve found, is futile.
And so, much like a judge faced with a similar case, a father has two options: break precedent and deal with the consequences or honor precedent and blame a previous entity for his own, obvious incompetence.
I started designing Mathilda’s pedal bike yesterday. New project. It’s not my fault. I’m really looking forward to building it. I can’t wait to file all of those fillets, and outfit it with equally-shiny-or-else parts. It’s going to be an infuriating pleasure.
It’s turning out to be an... infuriating pleasure.