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.