Sammi: "Where we going Daddy?"
Me: "Well it's a beautiful day, so I thought we'd go find an empty parking lot so you can learn how to ride your bike."
Sammi (stopping dead in her tracks): "Uhhh... My bike?"
Sammi: "But my bike doesn't even have training wheels on it."
Me: "You're too big for training wheels. You're going to learn how to ride a two-wheeler today."
Sammi: "But what if I fall off?"
Me: "You've got a helmet and pads for your elbows and knees. I think you'll be okay."
Sammi: "What about my shoulders, or my face, or my butt? Are you sure there aren't any other pads that we can buy?"
Me (smiling): "You're going to be okay. Let's go."
I finally talked her into getting in the car and we found a large, empty parking lot. I got her all "padded up" and started the bike riding lesson. I ran beside Sammi as she pedaled. At one point I decided to let go and she kept pedaling.
Me (excited): "You're doing great! Look, you're doing it all by yourself."
Sammi looked over at me and saw that I was no longer holding on to her. Her beaming smile vanished instantly and was replaced by a look of abject terror. She twisted her handle bars and flipped over them landing on the pavement with a thud.
Sammi (screaming): "WHY DID YOU LET GO OF ME?!?"
Me: "You were doing so well honey - you were riding all by yourself!"
Sammi (taking her helmet off and dropping it next to the bike): "You made me crash by letting go! I hate this bike - I'm never getting on it again!"
Sammi sat down on the ground next to her fallen bike, took a drink from her water bottle and glared off into the distance.
Just then, a father and daughter rode by the parking lot on their bikes. They were talking and laughing. Sammi quietly watched them as they rode by. Once they were out of sight, she silently set her water bottle down, snapped her helmet back in place and looked at me with a new determination.
Sammi: "Let's do this."
After another 20 minutes (and a few more small crashes), Sammi was riding around the parking lot all by herself. She still had a hard time starting and stopping by herself, but her fear seemed to vanish.
On the way home Sammi couldn't stop talking about riding her bike.
Sammi: "Riding bikes wasn't so hard, was it Daddy?"
Sammi: "Yeah, you were scared, but I wasn't."
Me (smiling): "You sure showed me."
Sammi: "I'm already an expert - aren't I Daddy?"
Me: "You sure are!"
Sammi: "By tomorrow, I'll be a Master Bike Rider."
Me: "You think you'll be a master by tomorrow?"
Sammi: "Yeah, I'll be Sammi the Bike Master!"
Sammi (in her best 'public announcer' voice): "Ladies and gentlemen-en-en... Introducing, Samantha - MASTER OF ALL BIKE RIDERS!!! And the crowd goes crazy - aaaaaahhh, woo hoo, yay for Sammi!!!"
|The Bike Master|