Thursday, March 08, 2012


Mr. I'll Meet My Milestones When I'm Damn Good & Ready struck again yesterday when he, out of the blue, right before dusk, decided to tell me that he knew how to ride a bike & wanted to show me.


Ethan got his big boy bike almost two years ago, a 4th birthday present from my parents.

and he was over the moon about it, as long as it had the training wheels securely in place... so. (and how cute is that face he's making? sigh)

Then came the "strider" bike, the one with no pedals. The bike we paid for that, had we thought for even a second, we would have realized we could have made out of the big boy bike we already had by simply taking. off. the. pedals.


But anyway, he loved that damn strider bike and learned how to balance like a pro on it. Well, until this happened:

And then the strider bike kind of lost its appeal for a while. What with the split-to-the-bone chin injury and all.

He'd been back on & off the strider bike for a bit, while the big boy bike gathered dust (and likely black widow spider eggs--remind me to hose that sucker off) in the garage. Husband & I were not sure when the transition would happen, but it hardly seemed worth the fight--we both agreed that he was not likely to be toodling around on a pedal-less bike in college, so whatever. Pick and choose the battles. Deep breaths & all that.

So I was surprised yesterday when Ethan abruptly looked up from his coloring book (all Star Wars, all the time) and announced that he had something to show me outside. "I can ride a bike. With the pedals. Want to see?"

Okay. We dug the big boy bike out of the garage, strapped the helmet on and, lo & behold, without much wobbling at all & very little holding on the back of the bike to help him steady, off he went.


Where was the entire weekend of falling down & getting back up? Of breaking our back hunched over holding onto the seat of the bike while he wobbled down the driveway? What happened to the confusing trust issues of "when do I let go of the bike & let him do it himself? Do I tell him I'm letting go or will that make him anxious? I should just let go & hope he doesn't fall, because if he falls after I let him go, he's going to totally blame me for that & never be able to have a functional relationship with a woman in his life. I should just let his father teach him how to ride a bike," type stuff?

True, I did help him up once after he slow-motion keeled over into a neighbor's shrub, and held the back of the bike to help him regain some confidence. But he clearly knew exactly what he was doing from the word "go" and needed no real assistance. Yet another example of Ethan's watch & learn & then do-when-I-know-I-can-do-it approach to life. Crawling? Potty-training? Swimming? Sleeping? And now bike riding. In his own time & his own way. We've learned to just trust him when he says he's not ready for something & we sit back and wait. Eventually he always finds his way to whatever it is, and then its really his.

After showing me what he could do, he pleaded to go down the street to the school yard so he could practice with more space. Hard to say no to that on a gorgeous day & given his level of enthusiasm, so we biked (well, he did--my bike *might* be covered in black widow spider eggs, too.) to the school yard and off he went...

On our way back from the school yard, Ethan informed me that pretty soon, he'd be able to trade in his bike for a motorcycle. Um. Nice try.


SnarkyMommy said...

Yay Ethan!!!! It was such a milestone for Jack. I had tears in my eyes when he finally mastered it. It's so "sunrise, sunset" because they are literally learning to drive away from your trusting, helping hands. Sob.

Chiconky said...

Oh, this gives me so much hope! Eli still doesn't have any interest in a two-wheeler, and for some reason, in my mind he should be all over it. He's the same way though, when he's ready.


Sarah said...

Go Ethan!!! We are still rocking the training wheels here, but Harry has not been on his bike since November-- we'll see what the spring holds...

Becca said...

Go Ethan go!! Once they lose the training wheels they start going FAST and making crazy tight turns and it is terrifying and breathtaking to watch. God speed!