Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bicycle Races Are Coming Her Way

At the end of Christmas break last week, Andy decided we needed to get the girls out on their bikes.  Sonya has been able to ride a two wheeler for a couple of years now,  but is sometimes hesitant to do so.  We think it's because she doesn't do it enough and she gets nervous.  He's been trying to teach Lana to ride sans training wheels on and off for a few months now.  He had yet to be successful.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Lana tends to be a bit stubborn.  No, really she is! (Did the sarcasm come across?) If Lana doesn't want to do something, it's best to let her be.  Well, unless you like tearing your hair out and beating your head against the wall.  If that's the case, then by all means try to get her to do something she doesn't want to.  I will tell you though, that you would probably have an easier time getting Lindsay Lohan to attend church every week.  Or one of her court dates.  So yeah, stubborn.

Every month or so Andy would take the girls out to practice riding.   He would go to an empty parking lot or the bike path half a mile from our house.  When he would return I would ask hopefully how it went and he would just shake his head in frustration.  Lana would be into trying it, but one false move and threat of falling and she was out.  She was, however, doing a pretty great job on the balance bike that my parents bought  GG for her birthday last June.  Not sure how many of you know about this type of bike, but if you have little kids who you want to eventually learn to ride a two wheeler, I HIGHLY recommend it.  This is the one we have, except in pink. Of course.  It's low to the ground and the kids use their feet to make it go.  When it gets going, they put their feet up on the platform and  balance on it while riding for a few seconds.  It really helps them to get the hang of riding a bike before having to add the peddling part.  As it turns out, adding that part in, after having a bit more confidence is easy.

So last weekend, instead of taking the kids to an empty parking lot, we decided to just move the cars out of the driveway and use it and our street.   We don't have sidewalks, but we don't have a busy street, except when school in in session.  There is a middle school down the street from us, so every morning and afternoon our street gets a little nutty with parents rushing their kids to or picking them up from school.  On the weekends the street is usually quiet.  We figured we would just keep an eye out for cars, because the girls were mostly in front of the house anyway.  Andy was determined to get Sonya more comfortable on her bike and hellbent on having Lana ride hers without training wheels.  Georgia could practice on her balance bike while most of the efforts were concentrated on Lana this round.

The girls were all on board with doing this.  Well, for the most part.

"I want Mommy to help me ride my bike!" Lana insisted when we discussed what we were going to do that afternoon.

Since Andy isn't home all the time, he likes being able to do some of these milestones with the girls when he can. Even though he won't admit it, I know his feelings were a little hurt when she said that.

"I taught Sonya to ride her bike, I can teach you too," he assured her.

"But I want Mommy to help," she said again.

Lana is my girl.  A mommy's girl.  Always has been since itty bitty babyhood.  I don't know why, but she just has always preferred me, whereas Sonya has always been Daddy's little girl.  Georgia falls somewhere in the middle, mixing it up all the time.  I don't take it personally that Sonya prefers her father to me.  I get it.  I think all kids favor one parent over the other and it can change.  I told Lana I would come outside and help.  This satisfied her and we were ready to go.

I helped her get going on her bike.  I held on to the handlebars and the seat, running alongside BENT OVER mind you, as she peddled up and down the street.  Damn my lower back was sore the next day!  All that running bent over is not so good at 38.  Perhaps this would have been easier at 28.  It was worth it though.  She was getting better, and gaining the confidence she needed.  I promised I wouldn't let go until she was ready and I didn't.  She was never  ready on Saturday for me to let go.  Sunday, however, was a different story.  Sunday, she did this:

I let go of the handle bars first for a couple runs.  Then I told her I was going to let go of the seat and she was ready.  She even asked Daddy to help her, she was so excited.


It happend so quickly.  Almost overnight it seemed.  Although Andy has been trying with her for a couple months.  She just wasn't ready to trust she could do it.  Plus she didn't want to do it without Mommy.  At least that's the way I figured it.  I do have to give credit to that balance bike though.  That thing is probably the real reason she picked this up more quickly than I thought.  Definitely worth the money, I promise.  Especially if you have more than one kid.

Andy had promised her a while back that when she learned to ride he would take her for a slurpee at 7-11.  Obviously this was during a warmer time of the year.  Even though we live in Los Angeles, it does get chilly.  As you can see from the video it was a bit cold and overcast that day, but dammit, she was promised a slurpee and she was getting her slurpee!  Those might have been the only ones our 7-11 sold that day.  

So yes, my stubborn little mama's girl learned to ride a two wheeler.  Today I had her out there again and she was riding all the way down the street, stopping on her own and even doing a turn.  Those are things it took her sister a while to learn after learning the riding part.  But see, that's the thing about Lana.  You have to leave her alone to do things in her own time.  She's waiting until she gets it right.  Because when she does, she will wow you.  

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