Sometimes it just takes a grandpa | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sometimes it just takes a grandpa

Bria came to this life with extreme caution. As fun-loving and wonderful as she is, the prospect of trying something new is less than thrilling to her. In fact, the prospect of trying something new basically strikes terror into her heart.

As her mother, I've learned to watch and wait and mostly let her go at her own pace. If I ever see that her own pace is not going anywhere, sometimes I intervene--like the time I threw her into the pool at her third swimming lesson of sitting on the sidelines and not even daring to put so much as a toe into the water. (Just in case you're wondering, that was successful and she is quite the little fish nowadays.)

However, learning to ride a bike has turned out to be one of those moments where I felt I should just wait. So what if most kids these days have it down pat by the age of four? Bria has been perfectly content with her scooter (which took overcoming a bit of fear itself) and I figured that if she really felt out of the loop, she'd eventually learn. Bike riding is not a life skill that gets neglected too often.

I do admit I have worried though. It's not like Joel and I are all that into biking. I finally sold my much-neglected mountain bike at a garage sale last summer, realizing the last time I had ridden it was probably to get to a class my sophomore year of college. Chloe learned on the bike we bought for Bria for her third birthday. The bike she was so excited about, and yet became terrified of after she tried to climb on it for the first time. I worked with her quite a bit on that tiny little bike, but she was just too worried for it to ever work. So, it got put away in the garage with my mountain bike until Chloe showed interest in it, learned how to ride it pretty well, and then grew out of it. Bria probably sat on it for a total of six minutes.

But, nobody seemed to mind that there was a major lack of bicycling happening in front of our house and I continued to wait it out.

And then I went up north for Women's Conference this past weekend. I really only got there in time to meet a friend for lunch and then go see my mom's class, so I left the kids with my dad. After I was finished, I called to see how it was all going and my dad informed me that he had taught Bria how to ride a bike. You can imagine my surprise.

Surprise that turned into complete shock when he added the words "without training wheels."

Really? My Bria? Learning to ride a bike in a matter of a few hours and completely without training wheels? It's practically a miracle!

When I called Joel and told him, his response was, "I'm a terrible father." Which, of course, we all know is absolutely false.

Sometimes it just takes a grandpa.

It takes a grandpa

26 comments :

  1. She looks so happy about it. I bet she loves it.

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  2. It's true--sometimes it takes someone who they trust that's NOT Mom or Dad. Congrats to Bria!

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  3. So now we are going on a long bike ride to the lake when she gets here!! Yeah and Dad is so good at that!

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  4. So true Lara. I miss my grandpa. They just have the magic touch sometimes. How sweet.

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  5. Wow - two kids milestones in a row! How awesome!
    :~D

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  6. She looks so great! I don't remember who taught me how to ride a bike.

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  7. My little Sister Jessica still can not ride a bike! LOL! Bria looks so good on her bike and happy! She is going to be tall and slender like her beautiful MOMMA!

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  8. So true that sometimes it takes a Grandpa. How sweet and special that he took the time and effort to help her. And she looks GREAT on that bike!! Go Bria!!

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  9. My son didn't learn until he was eight. He goes rock climbing on a regular basis but something about the bike just freaked him out.

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  10. I Love it. The photo, the story, the insight. Great post.

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  11. That's a great story! It's amazing what a "papa" can do. My dad is one of my kids' favorite people ever...congrats to your daughter :)

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  12. Congratulations Bria! (And Sophie yesterday, too!) A neighbor kid taught me to ride a bike when I was 6; I'd never been on one, and my parents didn't want to do training wheels. Said kid plunked me on his bike, stood me up at the top of a grassy hill, then pushed me down the hill, screaming "PEDALPEDALPEDALPEDALPEDAL!!!!" at me all the way down. At the bottom of the hill I kept pedaling, and I was officially riding a bike!

    I was terrified. So I feel Bria's pain!

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  13. Sometime it does take a grandpa!
    Go girl you ride that bike.

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  14. That's just great! Doesn't it make you feel so good when your kids accomplish great things!!

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  15. Yay Bria!! Yay for grandpas!! I must admit that I've been a bit negligent on that part as well. Elizabeth was also born with a cautionary attitude. Her training wheels were just taken off last year.

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  16. Her father is a sissy music teacher, Conner only learned last year (frankly, because I didn't have the will to take the training wheels off).
    HOWEVER, I will say tht sometimes it just takes a new perspective to make our kids do something. that's why it takes a village. Sorta.

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  17. The story made me miss my parents, and then I scrolled down and got goosebumps when I saw the photo. SOOOO sweet.

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  18. I love extended family because they have interests and talents that may be different from our own which they can pass on to our kids when we won't (or can't)!

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  19. AWESOME! If it makes you feel any better -- Ellie won't ride her bike without training wheels ever since she fell off it and broke her arm. I keep trying to convince her it will be ok!

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  20. Great photo (an awesome story). It was so much fun seeing you on Saturday. I'll have to send you some of the pictures I took of the kids. Matt said he was sitting in the car for an hour waiting for me to call him. Oops.

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  21. Not sure if it's coincidence, but my FIL seemed to be present when most of the grandkids took their initial steps. :)

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  22. How awesome! Just so you know, Elodie really isn't a huge bike ride either- she is just now getting to where she wants to ride for fun. She is still at a really slow pace and it's pretty painful to stroll along side her begging her to pick up the pace. I'm with you though, it's not a huge deal..walk, ride....as long as she is getting excercise!

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  23. I was thinking about this topic again this morning, how sometimes it takes someone besides mom or dad to get kids to do certain things that are outside of their comfort zone. I always wonder Why I couldn't get them to do that. It's a mystery. . .
    :~D

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  24. Awesome!! Way to go Bria! I still can only ride a bike where I can touch the ground while sitting on the seat. :)

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