Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There are magnets in everything

The Collective spent most of the day yesterday, trying to learn how to ride bikes.

The Collective are 7 and 5, so yes I have heard the criticism from some who think I should have done this prior to now. (This is strange to me, be nice)

They have both been riding with training wheels. PN actually doing better than SR. WE have gone through a lot of training wheels. 2-3 sets per child. SR was not interested in learning to ride. He did not think it sounded fun, and would only get on the bike if we had a destination. He did not see bike riding as a fun activity, but more as a mode of transport. PN just wanted to ride and smile. However, he caught on, and seemed to be enjoying it.

So as with all new things, I had to make an announcement in the morning, that we would be taking off training wheels, and practicing in the back yard sans wheel. PN, was ready, Rockstar ready. SR on the other hand thought "if it ain't broke why fix it". We gathered tools, and the tire pump and headed to the back. They helped take the training wheels off.

I pushed them both off in the yard, and they did OK, we did this for about 30 minutes. (Going from pushing and running behind one child to the next is for 24 year old Moms). The grass seemed hard to pedal in, so we moved up front out the sidewalk. I have a lot of sidewalk, and when it needs to be scooped I curse it, but today it proved to be a good thing.

First thing I note is heat and humidity, ick....The Collective seem to get the hang of it. The biggest problem as with all things is confidence level. The will ride, and when they over think they steer into the grass. I also note there must be a bike magnet in trees, each other, and any object in the line of sight. If there is something to avoid, The collective seem to want to run directly into it.

The most comical part of the day had to be SR. He was nervous. He has only required a bandaide once. One time. He was 2 and dropped a can of pork and beans on his foot, and sliced his toe open...he flipped out. He is not my risk taker. He should be an actuarian for Insurance companies, because he calculates risk all day. If it appears to be unsafe, he steers clear. PN on the other hand, well she is my gambler. (Hence her 2 broken arms, prior to the age of 3) She is my climber, my camper, my hiker, my fisher, my curious monkey child. SR did fine despite all of this. Although he kept telling me "we are defeating gravity here you know, a feat that should me impossible, we need inertia, and centripetal force"...Oye. So when he would crash or fail, or pull into the grass, he would shake his fist and say "I curse you inertia!", or I curse you gravity!"

We took frequent breaks yesterday as the temps and humidity made it uncomfortable for me. I spent the day all yucked with sweat. Ick...

We are going to try it again today. PN can go about 50 feet, and then she gets nervous. SR about 30. I am unsure how long this will take. DH is saying his guess is 7 days...I contend it might take 3 days...

It is a confidence issue right now, neither of them trust themselves. Wish me luck...

9 comments:

Guard Wife said...

Good luck!! :)

Linda said...

my daughter learned to ride sans training wheels last summer...when she was 7. So anyone who takes you to task should come to me as well. I didn't push her, and she actually picked up a friend's bike (without trainers) and just rode it one day. She's only fallen a few times since then.

My son is 5, and we just got him his first "real" bike (with coaster brake and training wheels) for his birthday this year. He's not very confident on it yet either. But I figure he will be fine by the time he's 7...or the kids in the neighborhood will pressure him into it. He's got balance, he can ride a scooter with great skill...

Army Wife said...

They are riding!!

Karen said...

My nine-year-old still isn't confident on her bike and my seven-year-old pretty much refuses to ride, even with his training wheels, so I think you're doing quite well.

Kate said...

Do not feel bad...I had to give in and buy my 11 year old an adult tricycle this year, in hopes that we will become a riding family soon. Now that she's good, my six year old needs a bigger bike.

Anyway, I think you are doing great!

jck said...

sending you lots of luck!

And for those silly enough to criticize the "delay"... I know adults who never learned to ride so Phhhtt to them! You are doing great!

airforcewife said...

SR totally cracks me up!

Tina said...

Shoot, I'm in my 40s and the only bike I can ride is the recumbent bike at the gym, and sometimes I manage to get tangled up and trip off that thing!

Bou said...

I don't get these people giving your crap over 'you should have done this already'. Give me a break. Families fit it in when they can.

My eldest was 8 or 9 when he learned. My husband works a lot and I just was too tired to deal with three kids, so close together, and teaching the two wheel thing. It takes time and patience.

My pediatrician told me not to sweat it. He said it's not uncommon when you have kids so close together for the oldest to learn when the youngest learns. And pretty much, that's what happened. One day, my oldest jumped on the bike and rode away... I did NOTHING. The next day, my middle son did. It is much of what you're seeing with your two. Would it have been nice for SR to ride 2 years ago? Maybe. But he wasn't mentally ready. Now he is and he's learning at the same time PN is.

It's just... the right time.

I'm so excited for them!