So, my daughter is desperate to master the art of riding a two-wheeled bike this summer. It appears this will be the death of me, or the death of my patience (levels which, we all know, were a little low to start with).
Zoey has always been an active child. Anxious to climb to the highest slide and go down face first at the wee age of 18 months, it quickly became obvious this kiddo was not going to mimic her mother’s cautious nature. In many ways, as she has gotten older, her personality has become more and more like mine, but certainly not on the playground. Each summer she sets her sights on some new playground skill and relentlessly practices until she gets it DOWN. Last summer, it was the monkey bars and the scooter. It took months, many blisters, and a near concussion, but she got it. And you know what? It was great. I was proud. I set her up with the scooter, the helmet, the many trips to the park, and let her go. With very little coaching from mom, she took off.
Not so with the bike.
Two wheels and a set of handlebars seem to give Zoey supreme anxiety, a level of anxiety I didn’t know she possessed when it comes to athletic skill. She whines that her bike is too big (it’s not) and cries that she can’t do it (she can) every time we pull her spiffy Barbie bike out for a spin. Frankly, I’m ready to give up and maybe wait for next summer. But she’s not. Despite the crying, the whining, and the fact that she slammed in to the side of a building (twice) last Wednesday, she’s determined to get it.
I suppose this is where it might be nice to have another parent around so I can turn over the reins. I can nurse blisters and take her swimming and jog along beside her while she scooters down our favorite running path, but I can NOT seem to muster the patience needed to deal with this whiny, dramatic acquisition of two wheel bike riding. Every time she asks if we can head to the park so she can ride her bike, I cringe. She fascinates me…does she enjoy the crying? The drama? Why is she so determined to get this down?
Maybe we’ll both look back and remember the summer she was five, and how frustrated we both were while she doggedly cried her way through learning to ride a bike. I admire her tenacity and, if I know my child, she won’t rest until the last tear is dried and she can confidently climb on board the Barbie bike and take off with no fear. But damn. Getting to that point could very well do her mother in.
And she’s already asking if she can get a skate board next summer.