The Day the Wheels Came Off

This summer my daughter reached a major milestone in her life, she learned to ride her bike without training wheels!

We decided the safest place to practice was in our alley. Eloise was on her bike, my son was on his balance bike and Maggie was buckled in her stroller with a sippy cup and a fistful of Cheerios.

My daughter quickly learned a lesson from bike riding, it’s not an easy thing to do while wearing a skirt. Who knew? A quick change of clothes later and we were ready to try again.

We started off in the typical, “Dad helps child ride a bike much like a Norman Rockwell painting,” type of fashion. I held onto the seat and helped her keep her balance as she worked on the most difficult part of riding a bike, getting started. At first, the farthest she could go was a couple of feet, then five, then ten feet, she was really improving! After a half-hour or so she ran out of energy and Maggie ran out of Cheerios, it was time to call it a day.

Day two of learning to ride started off a lot like day one. The more we practiced, the further she was able to go. Elouise rode down the alley and I jogged next to her as her brother weaved in and out of us on his balance bike. Things were going great, until Henry gained some speed coasting down a driveway, turned his front wheel too quickly and (in slow motion) went sailing over the handlebars and landed on his face. The front of his helmet stuck out just enough that it took most of the force of the hit. All he ended up with was a scrape on his nose and cheek, but man did it look BAD. I ran over to him scooped him up and immediately checked to see if he had all his teeth. Apparently the fear I have of getting my teeth knocked out is also a fear I plan to pass on to my kids as well(much like my fear of birds).

As I inspected my son for extreme bodily damage, guess who came pedaling up beside me, all by herself? Elouise! She pedaled over to us from about twenty feet away. She rode over shouting, “Dad, Mom, I did it! I can ride all by myself.” From that moment on, she didn’t need or want anymore help.

My wife and I watched her happily meander up and down the alley like she had been riding a bike all her life. Then we went back to the task at hand, picking gravel out of our son’s knees, elbows and face.

Happy Parenting!


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