On Wednesday, I posted the following on Twitter:
Off to bang my head against the wall a.k.a. once again attempt to teach 5-yr-old Hadley to ride her bike.
I was only kind of joking. My husband Jamie and I tried to teach her last summer but to no avail. To be fair, it was a half-hearted attempt and we kept giving up out of frustration.
Last week, I decided this is The Summer of No Return.
All of her friends can ride on two wheels. In fact, many who are her same age have been doing it for a couple of years. I jokingly call one of our neighborhood families “athletic freaks of nature” because their boys were careening down the block at age 2.
Of course, they also couldn’t stop and could be heard howling “HELLLLLLLLP!”
With an emphasis on the first few letters.
I don’t remember learning to ride my bike. I guess I always assumed when I taught my children, it would be a bonding experience. In all my infinite bike wisdom, I would instruct them accordingly, then run along behind them as I guided their path. After a few failed attempts, I would release them and they would soar away as I sang out, “Fly little bird, fly!”
Instead, my experience has been “YOU’RE BEING ABSURD. YOU WON’T DIE!”
My daughter Hadley is athletic and normally fearless. She brazenly confronts most situations but learning to ride a bike is not one of them. Already at 5 years old, our relationship is a complicated one. We’re a lot alike–both the good and bad. She’s a spirited firecracker like me but also shares my lack of patience. It’s only a matter of time before one of us will eventually melt down.
With Bike Riding 101, we both did.