Sunday, April 10, 2011

to bike or not to bike

That was the question for the last four and a half years.  For Christmas of 2006, Patrick really wanted to upgrade Kendall from her tricycle and get her a two-wheeler bike.  Patrick was disappointed that when she saw her big present on Christmas morning, she passed right by it to go look at everything else.  In fact, Berkeley at just 20 months was more excited about the bike than Kendall was.

Berkeley's Bike

We convinced her to try it out a few days later, but she wasn’t a big fan.  She only ever hopped on it a handful of times and we didn’t want to FORCE her to ride it.  In her defense, we didn’t have any sidewalks in our neighborhood in Charlotte and since our driveway was a little sloped, it wasn’t the easiest place to learn.

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We offered to take her to a parking lot somewhere to learn, but she declined.  Again and again and again.  A couple years ago, we bought the girls scooters and they took to those quickly.  Whenever we’d offer to teach Kendall how to ride her bike, she’d say, “Naaaaaaaah.  I’ll just ride my scooter.”  Every time I’d see a little four year old kid out there riding a bike, I’d think, “Man, I’m a lame mom.  My daughter is [insert age here—five, then six, then seven] and I still haven’t taught her how to ride!”

Well, I guess Patrick was feeling lame too, cuz for Christmas this year, he got new bikes for Kendall and Berkeley. 

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Kendall had clearly outgrown the one she got four years before, so if we were going to do this, it had to be a bike that FIT.  Once again, Kendall was not that excited about a new bike.  Even though it has been winter, we’ve had plenty of nice days since Christmas where she could have learned to ride, but she just didn’t WANT to.  Berkeley wasn’t all that thrilled either.  A month or so ago, we rode the bikes to the park (with the training wheels) and it was a nightmare.  One or both of the girls were crying multiple times throughout the excursion.  Seriously?  Who knew it was going to be this difficult?

Yesterday, after the soccer games were over for the day, I decided that we had to pull off the band-aid.  I wasn’t going to give them the choice—we were going to take off the training wheels and figure it out once and for all. . . whether they WANTED to or not.  Patrick and I went out to take off the tiny wheels and we were able to get both of Kendall’s wheels off but only one of Berkeley’s.  The darn thing was stuck, so we said we’d just take Kendall’s bike to the park and Berkeley could ride her scooter this time.  Wouldn’t ya know it, Kendall was upset and said Berkeley was lucky!  Kendall said she was nervous and didn’t want to fall and hurt herself.  I told her that it wasn’t going to be as hard as she was imagining it and that when she figures it out, she is going to love it so much that she’s going to wish she didn’t wait so long to learn!

Patrick headed off to the park with K & B while I stayed back with Emery to mix up the pizza dough for dinner.  Twenty minutes later, the two of us walked to the park while we let the dough rise at home.  In that 20 minutes, Patrick had coached Kendall and she was riding completely by herself like she’d been doing it for years.  With a HUGE grin on her face, she told me that I WAS RIGHT—she LOVED it and wished she had learned a long time ago!  She said she didn’t even fall once while she was learning.  I watched her ride around and around and around the park.  I was a proud mom.  She didn’t want to leave and made me promise we would come back to the park on Monday after school so she could ride some more.

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Phew—she figured it out just 9 days before her eighth birthday.  It sounds so much better to say she learned to ride her bike when she was seven instead of when she was eight!

In other bike news, not only did K & B get bikes for Christmas, but Patrick surprised me by getting the two of US bikes too!  (Excuse the scary Christmas morning pic!)

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For our date on Friday night, we decided to go out on them for the first time TOGETHER.  The plan was to bike to a restaurant (about two miles away), eat, then bike home.  Unfortunately, Patrick got a flat tire on the way there, so we had to walk his bike most of the way to the restaurant.  After dinner, we walked it over to a bike repair shop so we wouldn’t have to walk it all the way home.  Of course, it was pitch dark by the time it was fixed.  I was wearing ALL black and since there are NO street lights between there and home, it was freaking me out that I couldn’t see anything (and no one could see ME).  I was having visions of running off the curb into the road or into a telephone pole!  Patrick didn’t mind that he couldn’t see, but apparently I’m a wimp.  We ended up walking the bikes most of the way home!  In spite of that, it was a fun date, and I’m looking forward to our next time out on our bikes!  Won’t that be fun when the WHOLE family can ride?

6 comments:

Sarah said...

That is awesome that you can all go on rides together now (and that Kendall admitted you were right about loving it!). What a fun idea for a date night. Kind of makes me wish we had bikes!
So you're probably right about the milk thing, but what it came down to was my own selfish preferences- I couldn't commit to the diet changes for him. It should be easy since it's what I grew up with, but I've been completely converted to milk and now it's hard to go back...You made me think though, which was good. I tried researching a little online about milk-related hearing loss, and there is not a lot out there. I am curious to know what the study was that your doctor told you about. I find it interesting that doctors never even consider milk allergies as a plausible cause for hearing loss- no one ever brought it up to me. I also remember in my nutrition class at BYU, the teacher telling me that there is no such thing as a true milk allergy (protein) beyond early childhood, which totally rocked my world. I had always been so convinced that my whole family was allergic. Anyways, I'm not sure where I stand now. We may do the diet thing in the future if things get bad again, but I'd like to research the subject some more first.

The Dahle Family said...

Way to go, Kendall! Spring has finally arrived in Montana, and with it, Xander is really wishing we had his bike up here. But when we get back in just 3 weeks, he and Kendall will have lots of fun riding together! If we can locate his bike in the storage heap, that is. Or maybe we left it in Melayna's garage... I hope so. If not, maybe Berks will share if she prefers her scooter anyway...

Family bike rides are so fun! We've done it with Aaron hauling the trailer with both kids in it, before we had Hazel. We went to Cherry Creek res and had a blast! Do you guys have a trailer for Em?

The Dahle Family said...

And I can only imagine how totally excited Xander would be if we ever got him a brand new bike for Christmas! Those are some pretty cool-looking bikes your girls have got there! I'm glad they've finally gotten excited about them!

Mandy said...

Love this post, Mer. I was just thinking to myself today that Lily's bike is collecting dust in the garage and the hills are SO steep here that I'm not sure when she will have the opportunity to learn. We will have to hit some bike trails (or a parking lot) soon. I Love baby Kendall and grown up Kendall both.

p.s. I drove past a sign for Bothell WA today and thought of you :) Wish you could visit sooner than later.

jan said...

I was walking through the park the other day and saw a biker hop off his bike, pull a tube out of his pocket and a small pump. In about 20 seconds he had repaired his flat tire. It was like watching the pit crew at the Indy 500. That's the kind of guy you want to go biking with! I am so proud of Kendall and even more proud of the fact that Patrick taught her to ride a bike without making her cry. What a great dad! Thanks for sharing the fun story. love you

molly kay said...

Kenadall was really ready- that is why she picked it up so quickly. Hudson taught himself at 3- before I even thought it was time to teach him to ride. He got it for Christmas and we thought we would teach him sometime that year. Nope- snow all over our front porch, he rode it back and forth all on his own. Robbed us of our first child opportunity to teach him! Easton was 6- which I thought was WAY OLD! We all got new bikes 2 years ago- we've only taken ONE family bike ride! The kids ride all the time and now we've got baby with us. Someday...