Monday, April 14, 2008

Catching Up

A couple of my friends are teaching their children to ride bicycles. I think the kids are somewhere around 6 or 7 years old. My friends are vacillating between joy and frustration and hope and defeat through this process. I imagine the children are as well.

I can't help but smile a bit remembering feeling the same things when teaching the girls to ride. Technically, we only taught one of our girls to ride. She learned pretty quickly at age 6.

When The Little One was that age, we tried to teach her, too. She fought us tooth and nail, crying, complaining, generally not trying too hard but choosing to play the "helpless baby of the family" card.

We finally gave up and decided to let her decide when she wanted to learn. She was nine, and most of her friends knew how to ride a bike. One day she came home from a play date and announced that her friend's parents had taught her how to ride a bike. What?!

I was a little angry at first. Who did those people think they were? That is one of those things parents fantasize about - first word, first steps, learning to ride a bike, first date, prom, getting married.... it's on the list, for heaven's sake.

I've gotten over myself since then and am glad she can ride with us now. We are planning to do an organized ride with the girls this season. It will be their first of the sort, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I do.


We took the Not-So-Little One and some of her friends to Dave and Buster's for food and games. They all got along nicely and seemed to have a great time. After we arrived and charged their gaming card, the girls split into two groups of three and set off to earn tickets.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that each group compiled their tickets at the end, split the winnings into thirds, and spent them in the "winners circle" accordingly. That way, no matter who won the most (or least) tickets, they would all leave with equal loot. They even went so far as to agree on the prizes so that no one would feel like the others had better stuff.

Not sure where they got the idea to do this, but I was mighty proud of them all. They were polite and courteous to the staff and encouraging to one another. They were not demanding, but accepted the information when we had spent all we were willing to spend on the games. I would take these six girls anywhere. And.... they sang to me in the car.


BB said...

We have not yet begun to do this. Our son will probably be ready to get his driver's license before we get around to teaching him.

amcnew said...

It is not as romantic as it appears on the commercials, I'll tell you what.

I have an idea - tell him that it is a law that all boys learn to ride a bike before they turn 10! That oughta do it.