The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

Tricycle Triumph

Shortly before the Christmas holiday, during a stroll through a superstore, I glimpsed what I thought would make the perfect gift for the Pie: A Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle. The two shades of pink and purple hypnotized me into believing that my daughter simply could not exist without it. And it was on sale – so I bought it and hid it in the laundry room closet.

On Christmas Eve, while my daughter slept snuggled with her dolly and stuffed Curious George dolls, I snuck into the laundry room to assemble the glorious trike. As the pieces emerged from the box, I began to worry that I had undertaken a strictly masculine task and that my lack of a penis would surely inhibit my completion of said task. Before me lay the following: a straight axle, wheel hubs, pedal axle, nut caps (which sound to me like something men need in the winter), bushings (I’ll leave that one alone), fork arms, a seat unit and handlebar assembly. I recognized each of these words, but not how they were applied to the detritus that scattered my laundry room floor. So rather than freeze to death or end up throwing a nut cap through the window, I replaced all the items into the box and returned it to its hiding place in the closet. I was beaten and I knew it. It would have to wait until her birthday…or maybe next Christmas.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day. The Pie enjoys helping me with laundry – she pushes the hampers to the laundry room and hands me the clothes to place in the washer. So it was during one of our laundry trips that she got curious and opened up the closet door. At her eye level, there gleamed an open box of pink and purple plastic thingies that in her estimation were created exclusively for her immediate enjoyment. “Mama, make this,” she cried as I looked to the Heavens and questioned why I ever bought the thing in the first place. The Pie likes to help, at least what she thinks is helping, and she promised she would help me make the tricycle. “Okay,” I thought. “This might be a good mother-daughter bonding moment where she can understand that girls can do anything.”

Yeah, right. What she learned was that Mama knows a lot of dirty words and she’s not afraid to use them! While the directions for assembly were fairly straightforward, the application of them became inhibited with the presence of my “helper”. The instant I snapped the seat into place, she wanted to sit on it. The moment I installed the back wheels, she wanted to ride it. I temporarily placed the fork arms and was about to screw in the covers, when she hopped on and the whole thing blew apart underneath her. To an onlooker, the scene probably would have incited laughter of the gut-busting variety, but I was not amused. At some point in the assembly process, the Pie located the handlebars, hoisted them above her head like a WWE Champion and marched around the house screaming, “HANDLEBARS! HANDLEBARS!” Yeah, yeah … it sounds cute – but believe me, it was not. Nor was it easy talking her into handing them over when it was time to attach them to the trike. Just the threat of not riding the toy was enough to do trick, however, so we neared completion of the Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle.

As I tightened the final screw in the beast, I felt awash with pride and accomplishment. I did something I thought I would never be able to do – all through the encouragement from and love for my daughter. Seeing her pedal around the house on her new trike is reward I never imagined. I triumphed over fear and apathy for the sake of my child and learned a lesson in the process: don’t buy anything that comes in a box with the words “Some Assembly Required.”


January 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I love this, this is perfect! I can’t wait for Vivi to read this when she is 20!

    Comment by Donna | January 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. LOVE this, Jackie! GO YOU!! Although I have always thought you were amazing, I love seeing that you continue to prove that to yourself in the best interests of that wonderful child! Miss you both!!

    Comment by Janece Suarez | January 23, 2010 | Reply

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