Our street is not conducive to teaching your children how to ride a bike. And that is the excuse that I’ve been using so that I have a perfectly good reason why my 8 year old cannot ride her bike without training wheels.
It has nothing to do with the fact that the last time I climbed aboard a bike, I took out an innocent mailbox.
About 6 months ago, I removed the training wheels in an effort to stimulate the desire of an 8 year old to ride a two wheeled bike. And for 6 months, Cailey has been begging me to put them back on.
It’s not that she’s fearful of balancing on two wheels. She is rather fearless, that one. It’s just that she can no longer go screaming down the street with her feet propped up on the handle bars.
Since I had thrown the training wheels into the garbage, the likelihood of them returning to the bike was not good. And so I’ve been working with her, encouraging her in the idea that no respectable 8 year old still has training wheels.
But the two wheel balancing act simply hadn’t taken. I’ve aided her in balance, I’ve whispered words of encouragement, and have even run along side of her, keeping her from crashing into the pavement.
I run only when being chased. Running is not something that I voluntarily engage in.
One day, while my head was stuck in the fridge evaluating my snacking options, Fiddledaddy thought he would work with Cailey and her pink princess bike.
I wandered outside a short while later only to see Cailey whizzing by me. On her bike. Unaided. Strawberry blonde hair blowing in the breeze. Bugs in her teeth.
HOW DID YOU DO THAT?
Six months of semi-intensive training by me = no progress. Five minutes with Fiddledaddy and she’s flying down the street on two wheels.
The only problem was that she didn’t learn how to brake and/or turn. So she celebrated her newfound bicycle freedom by mowing her little brother down.
He was undaunted, and continued to taunt, torment, and generally chase her.
I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL HE LEARNS TO RIDE A BIKE.
Now that she has mastered two wheels, she’s looking ahead to her next accomplishment.
Cailey has had Christmas and Birthday money burning a hole in her pocket. So this weekend we went shopping at Sports Authority. Emme had been saving long and hard for a new pair of Heelies. But Cailey set her sights on some Roller Derby Boot Skates. With a purple toe stop and bright purple wheels.
As a product of the 70’s roller skating rink, it was a proud parenting moment. I gingerly caressed the ball bearing wheels and fondly recalled my first pair of boot skates. They were white with blue wheels. And came in a groovy red/white/and blue skate case. If I were to close my eyes, I could still smell the faux leather whenever I opened the case.
Excitedly, I told her of matching pompoms to adorn her skates, and cool sweatbands and leg warmers.
She cocked her blonde head to the side, and skated off on the carpeted Sports Authority flooring. Nearly taking down an end cap or three.
I sighed happily. She has inherited my sense of grace as well.
The skates weren’t purchased just yet. But I’ve made a promise to take her to the roller skating rink and show her my old moves.
Which I’m sure to immediately recall. After 30 some-odd years. After all, it’s just like riding a bike, no?