One of the universal rights of passage is learning to ride a bike. I had decided, very early on, that bike riding would fall into daddy territory. Mainly because I realized that while I am a fairly mellow person…as a mom I envision all sorts of horrific possibilities when my kids are doing almost anything. Say we’re at the park playing. When all they’re doing is digging in sand. I worry they won’t fit in with the other kids and be made fun of. Or that they’ll get sand in their eyes. Or they’ll burn themselves on the hot sand. Or suddenly collapse and die of heat stroke. Or that they aren’t getting enough water. Or that I’m looking at my phone to read a text and ignored them for a few minutes…scarring them for life and causing irreparable emotional damage. The list goes on and on. I decided that an activity involving them careening at high speeds on two wheels down a street with cars would not go well for anyone involved, if I was there.
So Sir Smiley has taken it upon himself to work with the kids. He even tracked down one of those coasting bikes, where you don’t have pedals but instead push with your feet. Apparently, it teaches kids to balance first before making them focus on pedaling as well. Seems legit. But after working with them for a few weeks, I have a sneaking suspicion (I seriously reread this…and that word looks wrong. Suspicion. It feels like it should be suspision, or suspiscion…but autocorrect disagrees with me. Now I can’t seem to find any spelling that looks RIGHT. I guess I’ll bow to autocorrect’s expertise)..a sneaking suspicion that they will learn to ride a bike around the same time they learn how to drive.
Sasquatch is terrified of her bike. It’s reminiscent of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
Well…maybe not quite that bad. But you get the picture. Sir Smiley spends a good amount of time coaxing her onto the bike, then pushes her while she wails in terror. Stops to give her a break. She then proceeds to somehow fall over and never even puts her hands up to catch herself. Splat! She is suddenly face down on the ground with the bike on top of her.
He has tried almost everything and she’s still terrified.
Then there’s Urpling. Quirky little Urpling. She loves the balance bike (I looked it up and that is the official term). Here’s a picture of it:
She hops on that thing at the garage, gives herself a good push, and coasts all the way down the block without ever touching the ground. Her natural balance is amazing. We were thrilled! This bike is perfect! Now we just need to get her on a regular bike. Except, once we do, she transforms into Sasquatch.
Finally, we tried King Toot. He loves the tricycle. Unlike our girls, he has immediately grasped the concept of pedaling and cruises all over the place. So we tried putting him on the balance bike. He grabs the handle bars…and shuffles himself around without ever taking his feet off the ground. He’s still impressively fast. But not quite what we’re looking for.
I’m not gonna lie and say this has been a crushing disappointment. I’m not ready to watch my kids cruising around the block on two wheels. They’re still my babies. But I have had a steady supply of amusement watching Sir Smiley’s frustration as he tries to find some way to convince just one of our kids to ride a bike. I mean, you know what they say…it’s just like riding a bike. But apparently it isn’t as easy the first time around.