Thursday, May 19, 2011

And they're off!

When I was a kid a zillion years ago the coolest thing in the world to do was ride a bike. My brothers and I would ride our bikes up and down the street, have bike races, and bike over to our friends homes all the time. One of my most vivid memories of Christmas was the year I turned seven and Santa bought new bikes for my brothers and me. Mine was a yellow and white huffy bike with the big banana seat and I thought I was hot stuff. I loved that bike and it was my most prized possession until I finally outgrew it. 
I suppose I just always assumed that my kids would feel the same way about riding a bike that I did. I was wrong. A couple years ago my mom asked me if it was okay if she and my dad bought the girls their first bike for Christmas. Umm, heck yeah you can! Riding over to their house on Christmas day I was so excited because I couldn't wait to see the excitement on the kids faces. Well they were excited all right, but not quite as much as I thought they would be. When we finally got the bikes home (all of which had stabilizers because my kids had no clue how to ride) they just kind of sat around in the back yard. Occasionally the girls would get on them and ride, but to them it just wasn't that big a deal. To say I was disappointed in their lack of enthusiasm would be putting it lightly. I kept trying to get them to learn how to ride without the stabilizers, but they would blow me off everytime I brought it up so eventually I stopped trying. 
To me it just seemed odd a 5, 7, and 9 year old not knowing how to ride a bike, but I kept telling myself that times have changed, just get over it. Well a few weeks ago something weird happened. We were in the backyard and Audrey asked us to remove her stabilizers. My husband took them off and for about two and a half weeks she would practice riding her bike on the back porch. I have absolutely no patience when it comes to teaching my children how to do things so umm, I was really no help. I would sit on the glider and look up occasionally and offer encouragement. Then last week when I glanced up to say something to her I realized "holy crap she's riding!" and for Audrey that was that. She started riding up and down the street and has been having the time of her life. 
A few days ago Sophie got on Audrey's bike (hers still had stabilizers on it) and decided that she was going to learn too. Would you believe that little monkey messed around until she got it? All on her own in about an hour. 
Meanwhile Kylie would kind of glance over at her sisters and not say anything. Everytime I would ask her if she wanted to try she would tell me that no, she had better things to do so I didn't push it. Then yesterday while the girls were at school my husband decided that he would take the stabilizers off Kylie's bike. I just knew that she was going to have a fit when she discovered what he did. So yesterday when the girls came home from school and asked to go outside I told them to have at it. A few minutes later I hear "Hey, what happened to my bike?!" Then Audrey and Sophie offer to teach their big sister how to ride. Naturally this was too much for my girl. She snapped at them "NO!!" and started to practice on the driveway. And apparently that's all it took because within twenty minutes I had three little girls riding their bikes all over the place. I think this year I'm going to ask Santa to bring me a bike so I can join them.


greygillfish said...

I purchased a bike last summer for myself so that I could go on bike rides with the kids too. The only problem is that I realized our neighborhood has lots more hills that I hadn't noticed before. It's funny that the kids can both zoom right up the hills and I am huffing and puffing to catch up. HA! You should defintiely get a bike...your girls would love for you to join them.

P.S. I had a pink huffy with a banana seat as a child and I almost purchased an adult version just so I could reminisce. I loved that pink huffy! I got a schwinn instead. HAHA!

morrest1101 said...

I had a pink banana seat bike called the "seaprincess" with a white seat and loved it! I could give all my friends a ride too. My parents still actually have the bike all these years later for the grandkids to ride. My parents have the perfect set up for riding on their little back streat in a small town.

Gunner is 6 and has been riding a bike for as long as I can remember. Last spring he learned to go without training wheels (as you call stabilizers I think). He could ride non stop and actually rides the 2 miles into my parents house while the hubby and I walk. There are some serious hills.

I finally got my bike for mothers day and just now need to get a baby carrier for Layken. Hoping soon so we can all be riding.

And my fondest memories of childhood are riding our bikes in our neighborhood full of kids! I'm 28 and it does seem so long ago... and yes, oh how times change!