Monday, September 13, 2010

He was right....again.

It's almost birthday time around here again......and, there has been a lot of talk about bicycles lately.  Our six year old son got a bike for his birthday back in February and his 4 (soon to be 5) year old sister immediately started talking about a pink bike (as opposed to brother's red bike) for her birthday. 

Back in February, I asked my husband about training wheels for our son.  "He won't need them" was his reply.  I kept my "yeah, right" to myself and was picturing our son getting overwhelmed and frustrated by defeat and eventually never wanting to ride a bike again.

I was wrong.  While I would have tried to hold onto the back of the bike and help him balance all over the yard, my husband had a different approach to teaching kids how to ride.....push them down a hill and let them figure it out.  After just a few tries he was riding 30 feet or further each time.  By the end of the first day, he was riding circles around our house. 

Now, it's our sweet little girl's turn to learn to ride.  She will be 5 next week. 

Since she is only 5 (not six like big brother) and not quite a physically agile as her brother, I assumed that we would get her a bike with training wheels.  When I mentioned this to my husband, he again said "I don't think she'll need them."  I reminded him that she would be a year younger when learning to ride and he said "I don't think she'll need them.  We can always add them later if we need to." 

Green light!

What Plain Jane heard   "Go ahead and get training wheels.  We'll use them if she needs them."

I then had an opportunity to go shopping without the soon-to-be birthday girl, so I went to Target to look for a pink bike, thinking "I'll just go ahead and get one with training wheels so that we'll have them."  This is about what I imagined I would be buying...

Lo and behold, Target doesn't sell any bikes with training wheels!  No problem, I thought, "I'll just buy a set of training wheels to have at home in case she needs them."  Lo and behold, Target doesn't sell training wheels, period.  Maybe that should have been my clue.  I explain to my husband that I could not find any training wheels and he says "Just give me about an hour with her and we'll see how she does."  "Ok, we'll be headed to Wal-Mart the next day to get training wheels" I'm thinking to myself.  So, I bought the bike, without training wheels, and it is currently in hiding until next week.  It looks more like this....

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon, my six year old comes running in the house to find me, "Mama!  Mama!  Come look!"  I hurry outside to see my little girl sitting proudly on top of big brother's bike, ready for her Daddy to push her down the hill.  With just a little push, she is riding all by herself!  Over and over again she rode through the yard, with only 1 encounter each with the truck and hickory tears, no frustration, just a sense of accomplishment.   Now, if we can just get her to wear one of these....

Once again, he was right.  No training wheels for this family!  Maybe by the time #3 and #4 are big enough for bikes, I'll trust him on this issue and have more confidence in my kids' riding skills....or, maybe I'll continue to be the over-protective mama bear who doesn't want to see her little cubs get hurt.....

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