As a father, I don’t feel that I have many parental jobs that are solely my own. But the one that I distinctly own in our household is getting our kids transitioned from training wheels to a 2 wheeled bike. Sydney was my guinea pig and I learned a ton about this mysterious process in which you try and teach a kid how to do something that is now second nature to you. Its hard to explain how to feel something.
Reagan was not interested in learning to ride a bike at all. So I waited. Half the battle is just getting the kid to want to do it. Otherwise, they just fake it and don’t put anything into it and just fall over. There has to be desire. But I had given up waiting. Finally, I told her, “This week, we are doing it every day until you get it”. I knew it would be painful at first but hoped that we would turn the corner quickly.
Day 1 was mostly just a fight to do it. I decided to teach her on Sydney’s bike because the bigger frame and tires seems to get you a more balance-able solution. Once she was on the bike, it was me running behind her keeping her upright. Just getting her to stop whining and just get comfortable was the goal for the day. One lap around the block and that was it. Might be a long week.
Day 2 was kind of a drag getting her out the door again. She didn’t want to do it but finally bit and came outside. We started around the block in the downhill direction and she had a couple moments of brilliance as we headed down the street. But then she quickly moved to leaning to the left and I had to keep pushing her over to the right. But she was having fun and that was a break through of sorts. She was comfortable.
Day 3 was here. I told her it would be up to 7 days to nail this thing and we were counting them down. I recall her saying that even after 7 days she would never get it because its too hard. We started off from the driveway and she pedaled her way about 4 houses with me in a dead sprint trying to keep up with her for fear of her leaving me. Did she just go from a cold start to riding a few hundred feet? Oh man. She finally leaned left and we had to recover it. I was pumped! I think you just rode that bike, Reagan! Got her moving again and she was on her own again. I was running hard to keep up. I had to leave her side and cut the corners through the neighbor’s grass to catch up with her. She got a little more wobbly on the uphill climb back home but all in all…we got this! She is riding. Summon Mom…
So 3 days and she had it. Mission accomplished. We took a couple days off after this because of weather and timing. Went back out again afterward and I didn’t even run with her. I rode a bike next to her around the block. I would push her off to get started then pedal to catch up to her. When we got back home, I rode in front, dismounted, then quickly caught her as she is still pretty goofy with the brakes.
Reagan never disappoints me on these athletic achievements. They always take a little bit of drama though. That’s her style I guess. As long as she delivers, I will deal.