Last week the school had a ‘fewer fumes day’ which means everyone was encouraged to ditch the car and either walk, cycle or scoot to school.

This was music to my ears. I love a walk in the morning and the kids tend to be in better moods for the 10 minutes of fresh air and exercise. Having it set as a school themed day was perfect as the boys didn’t protest at walking to school or view it as one of Mum’s victorian lifestyle choices.

I like to think of us as an ‘on time’ family. Not a ‘we’re running 5 mins late’ or arriving hideously early to things family. We usually arrive at our destination by the skin of our teeth and that suits us just fine. (This is relevant I promise).

With this being the aim for the morning school run, I gather everyone out of the house with 10 minutes until the school gates open. So far, so good. The little one decides he wants to cycle, even better. It’s quicker. I hurry to the garage, get his bike out, it’s a little buried as it hasn’t been used for a couple of months, dust it off and we’re good to go. I do a final check: baby in buggy, 10 year old got all his stuff, dog on the lead, 6 year old on his bike. Perfect. 8 minutes to go and we’ll just make it in time. That is until the little one forgets how to ride a bike. Literally forgets. It’s official. The one thing that people are pretty much unable to do, my son has achieved. So much for the expression ‘it’s like riding a bike; you never forget how’. Except he had.

The bike was hastily abandoned in front of the house and we hurried across the riverside lands (6 minutes to go until the gate opened). After a couple of minutes I did a quick scan and realised not all of us were hurrying. The little one had developed a limp. When questioned it seems the fictional affliction which had flared up first thing in the morning when he was trying his luck to get out of going to school, had come out to play and he was full on milking it in a bid to turn round and have a day on the sofa watching tv.

As all of us were dressed (barring the baby who was in a vest and snow suit) and out of the house, there was no way his antics were going to work. We pushed on and arrived at school a mere 2 minutes before the gates closed. Not the moment the gate opened as my fastidious older son would have liked but in custom style for our family.

I strolled home, after going back for the dog. In fairness I’d only gone a few paces before remembering I’d brought him with us and left him tied up outside school, pondering how on earth did one forget how to ride a bike? I recently started cycling again after a 15 year hiatus and it was true – you really don’t forget how to ride a bike. And yet my son had. Thing is, it had been nearly impossible teaching him how to ride, including him repeating ‘I’m going to die’ over and over as I was bent double pushing him around on it. I certainly don’t fancy doing that again. A job for my partner I think! He was the one who steeled himself and donated hours of his time and patience getting the little one riding in the first place, surely he can do it again? Watch this space!