Posts Tagged ‘learning to ride a bike’

Mobile First Aid

We’ve been enjoying the nice weather this weekend by spending most of the day in the local park, biking. Actually I haven’t been biking, we’ve been getting the kids out on their bikes. My 8-year-old picked up biking right away. You know the saying ‘it’s like riding a bike’, what do you say when you’re talking about riding a bike? My 5-year-old is learning to ride a two-wheeler and he’s actually done really well in just 2 days.

My 3-year-old has a scooter bike, you know the kind without pedals that you just scooter along. She’s doing really well on her scooter bike but of course she doesn’t go nearly as fast as the other two peddlers. This started to discourage her and she didn’t want to bike anymore.

Than a solution…

Since she holds the Band-Aids in the little bag attached to the front of her bike, she became the Mobile First Aid unit. My oldest scraped her leg with her pedal, the Mobile First Aid unit scooted over to apply a Band-Aid. My 5-year-old got stuck in quicksand (don’t ask). The Mobile First Aid unit was there to pull him to safety. She now had a reason to scoot around the park and it didn’t matter that she wasn’t going fast, her older siblings were waiting for her.

That’s all she really wanted anyway.

Nothing a little bribe can’t fix

Walking home from dropping my oldest daughter off at camp we ran into another mom. She had suggested a playdate with her kids, a riding playdate. After a conversation through her car window we were all in agreement, I’d take my two youngest to meet up with her and her two kids in the local school yard for some bike riding together.

I’ve been pretty neglectful at getting my kids out to the playground to practice on their bikes. I thought this would be a great excuse to get out. Of course I had forgotten my husband had taken the training wheels off my son’s bike. This meant he couldn’t ride it to the playground, instead he had to walk it. Well you’d think I was asking him to pull the van down the street with a rope gripped between his teeth while he walked over broken glass barefoot. We were just past the neighbour’s yard when he moaned about needing a break (insert rolling eyes and heavy sighs, his not mine).

And then you have my youngest who insists on walking her own bike. I didn’t want to discourage her, but after ten minutes and three steps forward I politely suggested that I’d carry her bike to the playground and she could walk or ride it around there. Thankfully she agreed.

Well the biking playdate didn’t last long. The playdate part did, the biking part didn’t. My son doesn’t have much patience so the fact that he couldn’t get on his bike and race through an obstacle course of trees in the playground on his first ride discouraged him immensely. Let’s just say the bike was told off a few times.

After an hour and a half of fooling around in the playground I convinced my two kids it was time to go (I still had to pick my oldest daughter up). Right on cue my son delivered his frustration on having to walk his bike home. I was tired. I wanted to get home. So I did what any mom in my position would have done…I bribed him with food. If he walked his bike home without an complaints he could have a freezie. And you know what happened? He discovered that walking his bike home wasn’t as bad as climbing up a hill of army ants. Food is an amazing motivator. Maybe next time I’ll dangle a freezie on a stick in front of my son’s bike.

From Training Wheels to Two Wheeling

Look mom, no trainers

Look mom, no trainers

My kids have always had access to bikes, though I was never that good at getting the kids out on them to practice. My oldest daughter was riding a bike with training wheels last summer. She never really seemed all the comfortable riding. I attributed it to her lack of practice and comfort on the bike.

My hope is to get the kids out on their bikes more this year. There are certain things all kids should learn when growing up: how to swim, how to skate and how to ride a bike. When I was a kid, my bike was more than a way of getting around, it was a sense of freedom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get my daughter use to her bike so I can send her outside to ride around the neighbourhood on her own. I mean she’s only seven.

The new school enables us to walk and in the Spring my oldest actually scootered there. By the end of term I noticed her balance on the scooter had really improved.

That’s when the crazy idea hit me — time to take the training wheels off my daughter’s bike.

So one weekend the training wheels came off and my husband took my girl over to the school playground to practice. They were gone for over two hours. I tried to continue my work in the backyard but all I kept thinking about was how the riding was going. I arbitrarily made the decision to take the training wheels off, but I wasn’t the one who had to ride the bike. Was my daughter sitting in the school yard, kicking her bike and cursing my name? Or worse, sitting in the emergency room waiting for stitches (though I’m sure my husband would call if that was the case). Was I trying to push her into something she wasn’t ready for?

As I prepare my acceptance speech for The Worst Mother of the Year award,  my husband and daughter walked through the back gate. No stitches or casts or tears, just all smiles. Her first attempt on her two wheeler, success. And now there’s no stopping her.