For almost a year the Cycle Sprog household has been in the grip of magical forces. N started to read the Harry Potter books last summer, aged 9. He disappeared into his room, and hardly ventured out until the final book was finished. I was allowed to read the last book to him, which was a real honour - I just wish I'd been able to read all seven to him. Now aged 10, he's on the 3rd reading of the books, and never seems to tire of them.
To add to the magic, I'm now reading The Philosopher's Stone to 7 year old T - it's wonderful to see his eyes open in wonder as the story unfolds, and I'm hoping I've caught him early enough to be able to read all seven books with him.
I'd read the Harry Potter books when they first came out and at the time lamented that they hadn't been around when I was at school. It's been wonderful to revisit them now and see how much pleasure they give. JK Rowling's prose transports us all to another world, and the strands that run through the books are something that I couldn't appreciate on the first reading.
The downside of all this is that both boys are obsessed with Harry, spells, wands and everything related to the stories. Our rarely used chopsticks have been commandeered as wands for T, and N got a "proper" Harry Potter Wand for his birthday which rarely leaves his hand.
The other day I found myself saying "Put that wand down BEFORE you get on the bike". That goes into my list of "Things you'd never say before having kids" - along with classic phrases such as "Please don't lick the toilet seat".
That's the great thing about having kids - you end up saying and doing things that you'd never even begin to imagine prior to parenthood. Thus the other day I found myself out in public, at the end of a family cycle ride, trying to keep two tired boys entertained until we could get to the café for some much needed mood boosting snacks.
"Wingardium LeviOsa" I proclaimed (with the correct pronunciation - any self respecting Harry Potter fan knows it's Wingardium LeviOsa, not LevioSA). As if by magic, the bikes rose up into the air and suspended there.
Unfortunately my magical powers are directly proportional to the length of available seat post above the bike frame, so whilst the Wingardium Leviosa spell worked fine on mine and Chris's mountain bikes and N's Islabikes Beinn it failed to work on T's Cuda CP20R - ooops!. I bet Hermione Granger never had that problem!
I'd love to hear what desperate acts you've found yourself performing to keep the kids happy during a family bike ride. Do please let me know via the comments below, or on the Cycle Sprog Twitter and Facebook pages.
It's taken years, but I've finally discovered that I'm not actually weird, I've just been living in the wrong place!
What if...... we follow our dreams?
The Highland 550 is one of the most grueling MTB rides in the UK - follow the progress of a 13 year old and his dad
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