This past weekend was a "free" weekend for us here at the Dadekian household. That meant there were no birthday parties for us to attend or to throw. There were also no other previous obligations. So, Andy and I made lists of things we needed to get done around the house or with the kids. I mostly have spring cleaning things to do, like clean out closets and get out the girls spring clothes organized. I know you're all jealous! Andy had to do some yard work and run some errands, but one of the main items on Andy's list-teach Sonya to ride her bike.
A few months back we were walking home from school with Sonya's friend Lourdes. Her mom had brought her bike for her to ride home, but we noticed she didn't have training wheels on it. Sonya was intrigued and wanted to try it. Anna, Lourdes mom, helped her try. She wasn't very steady, of course, but decided that when we got home she wanted to take the training wheels off her bike. Like RIGHT NOW! Because Lourdes doesn't have training wheels and that means SHE CAN'T EITHER! After I explained to her that we have to wait until Daddy is around to do such things, she let it go. That weekend the training wheels to her bike came off. We didn't expect too much, I mean she wasn't even five yet, but she sorta tried in the backyard anyway. Then it was "winter" and the bike went away. It's not like we have snow around here, but it does get darker earlier and a bit cooler, plus we had a lot of rain here this winter. Well, a lot for L.A. Thus, the bike spent the past few months in the garage.
Now that the weather is nicer and the days are longer, Andy thought it would be a good time to try and teach her. For real this time. Before she was mostly in our backyard, so she could fall on the grass and just get the feel of it. They went down the street to the school parking lot a couple times but that was it. This weekend, he decided to take her to the bike path about a mile from our house.
Here's the deal with Sonya and learning things. She picks some things up very quickly, mostly academics, as I've mentioned before. Physical challenges, however, take her a bit longer to get the hang of. She was almost 18 months before she walked. She gets frustrated VERY easily and is quick to give up. Just recently I moved her to a more challenging gymnastics class, and she's cried at some point in every class since I moved her. She acts like she's preparing for a suicide mission instead of flipping over the uneven bar. I'm not one of those mom's who makes her kids do what she wants even if they don't like it, but I'm not letting her give up just because something gets a little difficult.
On Saturday morning we told her Daddy was taking her to learn to ride her bike, and there was nothing but sniffles, tears, and a bit of whining from her for a good half hour. Again, we could have let it go and not made her do it, but that only sets a bad precedent. Plus what kid doesn't LOVE riding their bike? It's the only bit of freedom you get until you can drive, which in kid time is like, 100 years away for her. We knew she'd like it once she got the hang of it.
So, Andy dragged her up to the bike path and I stayed home with the other two. Then I decided to put them in the jogging stroller and run up to see how it was going. When I got there, Sonya was still teary, and Andy was nearing frustration. I took over for a bit, making her pedal while I held on. Then, as soon as I let go, she would immediately take her feet off the pedals and fall to the side. I did this with her for about 10 minutes, went jogging some more, came back and helped out again. I told Andy it might take a few days for her to get this and to not worry if she didn't get it that day. He agreed and we told Sonya she could be done for the day. Surprisingly, she wanted to keep trying. So, I left them to continue the quest and jogged back home with the younger two. They got back about half an hour later. Sonya seemed more encouraged, while sipping on the Slurpee Andy bought as her reward. Andy was confident she was starting to get it.
This was our opening and when we have an opening with Sonya, we have to take it. After breakfast Sunday morning, they went back out. Sonya again sniffling and teary as she got dressed. Then she convinced Lana to go with them and ride her tricycle. This put her in better spirits and made her more willing to go. They left and about 45 minutes I got a text from Andy saying Lana was being whiny and had to pee. Off I went to pick her up. When I got there Sonya was eager to show me how well was doing. She hopped on her bike and after a few seconds, managed to get herself going all on her own. Then she even pedaled for at least 5 feet before falling over! I was impressed and let her know it. She was beaming.
I went back home with Lana and Georgia. An hour later Andy and Sonya returned. Sonya ran into the house calling for me excitedly.
"How did it go?" I asked.
"GREAT!" Sonya replied. "Show her, Daddy!"
Andy handed me his phone to show me what he had recorded. Wouldn't you know it, she learned to RIDE HER BIKE!
I'm so proud of her for learning so quickly and so impressed with my husband for teaching her so well. Nice job Andy! Fantastic job Sonya!
Now let's just hope it sticks!
Just a quick little button to this story; After I uploaded this video to my post, I watched it back to make sure I did it right. Sonya was sitting here with me and after it ended she said,
"I'm the best!"
Yes, Sonya, you are the best indeed!