Friday, August 20, 2010

Learning to ride a bike...

Well, kind of a big wheel/tricycle really. But I think it is self-confidence building all the same.

For the past month or so, Wyatt has been riding a trike borrowed from a neighbor. He previously had very little experience with pedaling of any kind, and if he actually got up the nerve to, you know, SIT on a "bike", what soon followed would go something like this:

"Help! NOOOOOO!!! I CAN'T DO IT! It's TOO HARD!!!" And other displays of frustration, which often led to crying, which more than likely led to a tantrum of sorts, which was accompanied by more screaming of "Help!" and refusal to get off the bike because it was just TOO HARD, and maybe, just maybe, if he COULD do it himself, we might decide to make him try other things too.

Pretty sure I have mentioned here before that my kid warms up to things at a glacial pace, and if I have not, let me now take the time to do so. GLACIAL PACE, people. There.

With that in mind, I never really expected him to take an interest in riding a bike before the age of, say...12? Wanted him to, yes, but never really expected it when you couple his caution and perfectionism with the fact that his strengths definitely lie in the cerebral realm, and not so much the physical coordination realm.

I have had to face the fact that most likely I do not have an Olympic athlete on my hands. (Given my own coordination inadequacies, this should really come as no surprise, but you always want your kids to be better at things than you were, right?) The talking Olympics though? No problem. I have a gold medaler right here. He can talk your ear off and often answers yes or no questions with a 10 page, single-spaced response of verbal information. And questions. About everything. That I know nothing about. So if ever there WERE a talking Olympics, I would sign him up and we would display that gold metal proudly.

Ahem. All this to say, there is a delicate balance between pushing my child too hard and just enough, so that he is uncomfortable but still the teensiest bit willing. I'm sure I fail on a regular basis. But watching him go from, "NO, I CAN'T RIDE THE BIKE! I DON'T LIKE IT!" to "Can you push me, this is too hard." to "Look, I am doing it by myself!" (before running off into the grass while looking backwards to make sure I am still watching) to "I DID it!" to "Look how fast I can go! Watch me! Watch me!" (while zipping around the driveway, backing up, and performing hair-pin turns) is pretty darn rewarding.

Plus, now I have ammo to use whenever he says he can't do something because its too hard. (Which is still often, but now I have a CREDIBLE response, right?).

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