As is typical for my oldest son, he has taken a while to get to a goal but once he set his mind to it, you can’t notice that he couldn’t do it before today. He did this with crawling and walking- he was on the late side for each but once he took his first step he didn’t fall and looked natural enough to make you think he had been walking all along in secret somewhere.
Today it was riding a bike. He informed me that he wanted to try to ride his bike without training wheels. He first said he wanted to do it for the 4th of July parade in the neighborhood but I convinced him to at least give it a try in the cul-de-sac before venturing off in a crowd of neighbors down the main drag of the community.
So, after much excitement (and me having to get a shower and coffee to wake up this morning) we got a wrench and removed the training wheels from his bike. In doing so I noticed that one was bent to the point that it was probably becoming more of a hinderance and danger than a help. He donned his helmet and mounted his stead. We kept a hand on him to get him started and he began to pedal down the driveway. A quick left at the end of the truck, another at the other side and he was on his own headed back toward the trash can next to the house. He stopped with both feet down and did the traditional ‘Oh, I thought you were still holding on to me”.
We moved out into the cul-de-sac to get some additional space and got him going again. He began pedaling and turning like he had been riding all along (and probably has in his mind for some time- that is how he is, The Analyzer). The runs got longer and soon he was starting and stopping on his own like a pro. He was able to navigate well, steering close to but turning away from the curb, and took on bumps and small hills to get in and out of the driveway.
This all took place about an hour before the parade. We took some time to add some Red, White and Blue to the bikes then headed over to the parade grouping. I am proud to say he rode in the parade free of the confines of training wheels (and the comments from his friend that were sure to come) and perhaps our pride in him was only matched by his satisfaction in himself.
It was a big day for The Analyzer- and we have done our best to keep reminding him how proud and excited we are for him. In the past month he has overcome the fear of swimming (has actually swam under water without holding his nose compared to last year’s swimming lesson attempts that had him clinging to the wall of the pool at the YMCA) and now has learned how to ride his bike on his own. It is magical to watch him do this and it takes away all the frustration of the “learning period”, which is a big relief.
One further comment on the parade, my youngest, Sir Talks-A-Lot, decided to ride a 4 wheel peddle car instead of his bike (with training wheels). After about 100 yards he complained about being tired of peddling. He made the parade route (shortened somewhat) but only with quite a bit of complaining. He was especially annoyed when I mentioned that riding a bike was a lot easier. Later we all went out and he rode his bike but again complained “I’m exhausted”. We are hoping he takes a nap this afternoon.
More info to come on the next DaddyCast (unless my mind wipes clear of those parts of the day).