Friday, April 25, 2014

Duct Tape 'Em Down

Spring is here - flowers, fresh cut grass, and bike riding.

When my son was 3 years old we purchased a bike with training wheels. We would go outside and ride which meant my son would sit on the seat and hold the handle bars while I pushed him. For whatever reason he kept refusing to keep his feet on the pedals, let alone help by pedaling. Sometimes the pedals would spin by themselves, sometimes they wouldn't, but he would not keep his feet on them, he'd even go as far as to raise his legs and prop them on the front tire fender.

As a baby he had riding toys and we'd push him around the house and he'd prop his feet on the front so he didn't have to do any work and his feet wouldn't brush the carpet. You can see...the baby sister has the same idea, hold her legs up and let momma do the pushing.

Anyway, back to my 3 year old son, I was tired of pushing all the time and more was tired that he wasn't trying to learn to do it himself. SO...I went into the garage in search of duct tape. One way or another he was keeping his feet on those pedals. Yes, I duct taped his feet onto the pedals so he'd learn to bicycle his legs, even if he wasn't pedaling with force, he was going to do the motion. My husband pulled into the driveway and looked at me, looked at my son, looked back up at me shaking his head and asked "what in the world are you doing?" For me it was quite simple, I was fixing the problem. My husband really tried not to laugh and call me crazy. After three days of this, my son learned to keep his feet circling.

Now he's 5 years old and he's been riding his bike as much as he can. About two weeks ago, he asked my husband to take the training wheels off. Without any discussion my husband walked into the garage to get a tool to remove them. first thought was no, no, no....I can't hold him upright on the bike while he pedals and hold the baby. He loves his bike and it's too soon, I don't want him frustrated with riding. But and here's the big but - I didn't say a word, I kept quiet. Which if you know me well, this was huge! Me, quiet about something I didn't think was a good idea, this was/is rare.

My husband held the bike steady and helped hold while he pedaled and wobbled. My son practiced a couple times and it was difficult. In the following two weeks the weather was sketchy so he managed to practice about five different days. Then as I'm outside, I see him push off his feet, pedal, and take off riding doing circles, and eventually riding circles around me. He stopped and just grinned at me. Most parents would probably say good job and be proud. While I was extremely proud of him and cheered, I also told him that it's not even fair that he learned that quickly and I can barely ride a bike. I'm actually quite horrible at riding a bike; I wobble, I'm scared, and basically I look like a fish out of water. He thought this was beyond great, he's better than his momma at riding a bike, which energized him to ride even more, going faster, up the hill, down the hill, and circles around me.

When my husband came home from work, I told him, "well, we've come a long way from the duct tape!"

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