Friday, 23 April 2010

The marking of a major milestone

Yesterday my eldest was four. We gave her a bike for her birthday and despite the fact that it was not one of those very tacky, cheapily made Princess bikes that she really desired, she loved it. We had hidden it under a blanket in our bedroom and it was the last present she discovered yesterday morning. She was particularly enamoured by the pink bag on the front which ressembled back pack.

Over the last two days she has asked both the OH and I to take her out on the bike. It was quite a painful exercise for us, bent double over the bike to keep her steady. Despite a few wobbles and falls, she was determined to keep having a go. I even managed to get back from town in time today to wheel the bike to pre-school so she could cycle home. She was so thrilled to be able to show it off to her teachers, both of whom showed just the right amount of excitement about it.

She was able to do a few seconds unaided before she lost her balance and I was a little disappointed that she was unable to do more, as she's brilliant on the balance bike. She even asked later on today if she could have stabilisers put on it and reminded us that Peppa Pig had had stabilisers on her bike initially as well.

OH took them to the shops after supper to buy her a helmet and knee pads and at her request a bell. Back she came with the Disney princess helmet and the Barbie accessories bag of kit! Our 2 y/o daughter came back with a helmet too. Hers is orange and features Bob the Builder, ever the tom boy!

It was quite late but the OH had promised them a last ride in the close so off they went whilst I finished a blog for Minerva's Mind. I was just about to start the dinner when OH came running in and suggested I came out to take a look. I was amazed. It was like the transformation from the ugly duckling to the swan - our 4 y/o could ride up the hill and then having turned the bike round with the help of her feet, ride all the way down.

It happened just like that! I was so proud of her and she was pretty pleased too. There were grins and hugs all round. On reflection, I was thinking about why it had happened. Had the investment in the balance bike paid off? It's fantastic to think we do not have to go through the pain of stabilisers. Was it self-belief and determination? Did the patient, calm manner of my OH, who would make an amazing teacher have something to do with it? Whatever the reasons, it represents a major milestone, and in some ways was more rewarding than the success of my social media course on Monday. Perhaps because the sense of joy in her achievement was so tangible to us all that the overall impact was greater.


  1. That's fantastic as she's very young to be able to ride a bike without stabilisers. :0)

  2. Thanks Nova. I was thrilled and then the inevitable happened, she was not quite as confident this morning. One step forward, two steps back. Still we are well on the way to it happening. Definitely recommend bikes like the Early Rider which teach them how to balance without pedals.