Sir’s normal caregiver is on vacation for two weeks, so he is a guest student at “Baba’s school,” i.e., the Montessori preschool where my MIL teaches, this week and next. He will be an official student there starting this fall, so this serves as a trial run for all of us.
I, of course, had a basketful of worries heading into these two not-our-usual-routine weeks: would he nap at school; should I pack his lunch or let him eat the school lunch; would getting him to/from school impact my work time; et cetera; et cetera.
As of Day 1, my worries were mostly unfounded. I decided it would be easier to pack his lunch the first day, and make a different decision about later days, if desired, than letting him eat the school lunch and then expecting him to go back to eating what I packed. He ate fairly well (for whatever reason, lunch is often his lightest meal of the day).
Sir is used to napping on a cot, and having nap time with other kids, but not as many kids as are at the preschool. Despite my worries, this part of the day went fine, too.
As for transportation, we’re trying a variety of modes and transporters this week.
- Monday: Baba picks up in the morning on her way to school.
- Tuesday: Matthew takes Sir to school by bike, using the trailer.
- Wednesday: I take Sir to school on “our” bike (i.e., BUB + IBert).
On all days, at least this first week, my MIL is hanging out with Sir for a couple of hours after nap time, outside of school (her workday usually ends around 1pm, when the kids go down for their naps), and dropping him off at home in time for dinner.
The Tuesday morning trailer trip was a bit interesting, due to a known problem with the rear drop-out on Matthew’s newer bike, where it just doesn’t hold the axle well. The result is that sometimes, especially under load, the rear wheel shifts out of place. If not immediately caught and corrected, this is a very dangerous situation (i.e., his rear wheel could come off, causing a crash).
[Bike tech note: The bike has semi-horizontal dropouts, which are useful for fixed gear conversions and allowing adjustable wheel bases, but don’t work well with the newer external cam quick releases. The older standard internal cam quick releases work better, particularly ones that are either steel, or have steel “teeth”. ]
The issue was made better by swapping to a different axle a couple of months ago, but he’d never ridden this bike with the trailer-specific axle before, and pulling trailer plus Sir definitely equals a heavy load. It did not go well — over the course of the 4-mile trip, he had to stop five times to adjust the rear axle/wheel. But they made it there safely.
Sir enjoyed pointing out construction equipment and trucks along the way, and Matthew enjoyed dropping The Dude off at Baba’s school. The other kids definitely seemed to think Sir arrived in style (he was in a Chariot, after all).
We’ve planned these two weeks for over a month now, and I was really hoping that we would get to trial our new bike for the school run. We don’t have it yet, but there’s a chance that we WILL have it for next Tuesday or Wednesday! (The frame and parts shipped late last week, and our LBS told us 4/28 or 4/29 as an estimated completion date.) I don’t know how the Edgerunner will compare to riding with the IBert, but it should be much easier than pulling a trailer! We are ready!