May 02, 2013

I Can Ride My Bike with No Handlebars

For Jannika, we went the old-fashioned route.

We bought her a bike with training wheels for her 5th birthday. For a while she rode with the training wheels touching the cement, but then we found that she tipped over every time she turned a corner (every, oh, two minutes?). So we adjusted the wheels so they were slightly elevated. She rode the rest of the year riding 0.02 MPH with the bike leaning 10 degrees to the right and her body leaning 10 degrees to the left to balance it.

When she turned 6, she had made zero progress and was still riding her bike like a dork, so we took off her training wheels.

Training session #1: Jannika screaming in terror, me balancing the entirety of her weight in my arms while puffing behind her, and then the wheel nut slices off a giant cockroach-sized chunk of my leg and I'm bleeding all over the sidewalk. (I realize "giant cockroach" is a weird sizing comparison. The only other thing I could think of was Pink Pearl eraser and Kroger Valued Customer keychain card. My brain has issues. I'm open to other normal suggestions.)

***fast forward five months**

Training session #72: Jannika screaming in terror, Rob balancing the entirety of her weight in his arms while puffing behind her, and me glaring at a large white scar on my inner calf.

Suddenly, however, around training session #75, she got it. And took off. And we wept in relief. And we started having nightmares about repeating the whole process for child #2.

Silas, however, had gotten one of these from his Grandma when he turned 3:
And while we were skeptical at first, suddenly he was this miniature gliding wizard, unafraid of taking the Stider down a huge hill, regardless of the fact he had no brakes (and was deaf to my terrified screaming).

So I had this genius idea to get him a real bike (one with brakes and pedals) for his 4th birthday last week and skip the training wheels entirely. I scrounged around for a quality used one (because what would a birthday be without at least one present from a garage sale?), and secured a nice bike with one day to B-Day.

Training session #1 (Tuesday): Silas grinning with delight, me hardly balancing his weight in my arms while puffing behind him.

Training session #2 (Last night): This happened.
What a squishy little peanut.
So I feel obnoxiously qualified to give some unsolicited parenting advice: GET YOUR CHILD A BALANCE BIKE. For reals.

I'm walking around with a high today, feeling almost as good as the first morning I realized I was done changing diapers for the rest of my life. It's a double the coffee, triple the creamer kind of a celebratory morning. Ride on, man!

Speaking of garage sales (because, yes, I can talk about them all day)...
Don't miss out on my Families in the Loop post: 
 Rob is still reeling from the embarrassment.

No comments: