Sunday, July 27, 2008

No More Training Wheels

Sweet Pea is 6 now. Last year she briefly expressed the wish to take her training wheels off of her bicycle, so we tried it. It didn't work out so well (despite putting extra knee, wrist, and elbow pads on her, lot's of encouragement, etc.), so we put them back on.

This year she decided that she wanted to try again. So about 6 weeks ago I lowered her seat all the way down, and helped her glide down the incline on the cul-de-sac next to our home, with her feet out to the sides to keep her balance/keep her from falling. We did that for two weeks, then I bribed her to put her feet up on the pedals while I started her off and had her glide down the incline.

Well, one thing's led to another, and after two trips to a local parking lot with an ever so slight incline to it, I can say that those training wheels are off for good.

Sweet Pea still doesn't have quite enough control for a trail or a sidewalk, but she can start herself, turn, and control her bike better every time. Her confidence (fashion sense?) is such that she refuses the extra protective pads, and her competitive nature on the last outing had her complaining that Buddy Boy was pedaling faster than she was.

Buddy Boy, for his part, was being a great older brother. He demonstrated various things to her (like how to keep your pedals level while you're turning so they don't catch the pavement and dump you on the ground) and did a good job of keeping far enough away from her so that she didn't feel like she was going to crash into him. I also took the time with Buddy Boy in the parking lot to work on such skills as looking before you turn, signaling, and pedaling while standing up.

I must admit to feeling a bit of a pang during our last outing. My baby girl is growing up, and we'll never raise a baby again. Soon she will tire completely of her parents, and be primarily involved with her peers instead of us. While I have some inner trepidation that Buddy Boy will not be able to live independently, I also fear that Sweet Pea will grow up too fast, and leave too soon. She already pushes limits constantly, considers herself the center of the universe, and can pout and throw a fit like the hardest core 'tweens around.

Meanwhile, summer carries on, with the kids going to day camps and us going to festivals and carnivals. Life is good. Soon we will depart on our annual vacation (holiday). It's really a shame that kids don't realize how good they have it. What I wouldn't give to have a summer filled with playing outside, going to camp, ice cream, and no school or work.


Maddy said...

Summer days were beautifully endless when I was small. I'm convinced that they are far shorter these days.
Best wishes

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Children never realize how good they have it until they reiterate those same words one day.

Keep having fun with your children for I do believe they keep us young at heart. Kudos and continued success for your children.

Lea Schizas

Casdok said...

They do grow up unbelievably fast.

Oh those long summer holidays when i was small....

Niksmom said...

Sounds nearly idyllic...and makes me long for the long, lazy summers of my youth!

Enjoy them as long as you can.

kristina said...

Wow, way to go, Sweet Pea! And Buddy Boy too------just stand still and enjoy it all, and it'll stay with you. Funny but when Charlie hops on his bike and rides off I still glimpse the little guy who held onto his training wheel bike handlebars for dear life.

AndreaS said...

That's wonderful for your Sweet Pea! I tried to get my daughter off her training wheels today for the first time. I have new hope from reading this that she'll stick with it.

It's hard to watch how fast they grow, but we can sure enjoy it while we can. Sounds like you are!

Anonymous said...

Yes! I am so proud of her! Summer is great when you get to do so many fun things. Our kids do have it good!
Enjoy your vacation.

Daisy said...

I love the bike picture! You'll need to keep that one for your Christmas cards or scrapbooks. It brings me back to remembering La Petite learning to ride in a parking lot - the parking lot to Lambeau Field.

Ange said...

Mine haven't lost their training wheels yet, but I imagine it being bittersweet like when they start walking without the aid of your are so excited to see them walk, to gain some independence, but then they are growing up needing you less is some ways, but more in others. No more babies for us either, and it is definitely more "difficult" watching the little one grow up.

storkdok said...

Great job Sweet Pea! One of my goals for A this summer was to learn to ride without the training wheels. Because of the bug anxiety, I can't get him outside much, so that may be put off until next year.

I also have those pangs. When N, the 3 year old, watched his brother at day camp swimming, he wanted to join. I told him he was too young. He then said he wanted to grow up right now! Pang! Not yet! He is 3 going on 30...

We went boating yesterday, very beautiful Maine summah day! Life is good, got to savor it. Going to ride Thomas the Tank Engine this weekend. Making dh take time off heah and theah, the Maine summah ends too soon, ayuh!

lonestar818 said...

Wow, congrats to Sweet Pea :)

I long for those kinds of summer days too :)

Sandra said...

Hi, I just found your blog yesterday. Thank you for sharing your experience, love, wisdom with us. I feel like I know your family and the other commenters personally. I love how everyone has lovely nick names for their precious cherubs! My 5 y/o son is hunny bunny!

Beautiful story and Buddy Boy is amazing. No doubt he will continue to surprise and thrive!


Club 166 said...

Thanks for dropping by, Sandra. Both kids have grown so much this year that we'll probably have to get them both new bikes next season.

It's nice to go back to a summer post in the middle of winter. Makes you remember that warmer days are coming.