Monday, May 29, 2006
Lead by example
The dotter's first foray with a bike was fun, exciting, and a wee tad scary. You see, we have these little itty bitty hills in the blocks around our house--nothing like the Big Hills down to the bottom of Hippy Dippy Enclave in the Woods, but enough to put the fear of hills into the dotter. She went down them, the bike started going faster, she didn't have the automatic-braking thing in her autonomous muscular memory yet, and she kind of panicked. She hasn't been out on the bike much since. So, in an effort to "lead by example", I had OmegaDad rummage through the garage and lift my bike off the hook in the rafters. It has been hanging there for an ungodly length of time. Six years?? OmegaDad had to haul out the can of FixAFlat, too. So after some repairs, I climbed onto that bright shiny blue monster, and pedaled. "Riding a bike" in this instance means slowly pedaling about 100 yards, stopping the bike, getting off it, and waiting for OmegaDotter to catch up. Lather, rinse, repeat. But we pedaled around the neighborhood on Sunday. I talked a lot: "Now, what's that?" (pointing to a stop sign). "Oops!" sayeth dotter, grinning, coming to a stop next to mom. "Now, we ease forward and look left. Are you looking left?" OmegaMom gently grabs the dotter's head and turns it left. "Now we look right. Are cars coming?" "No!" sayeth dotter, who is still looking left. Sigh. "Now we turn and go through the intersection fast so...Dotter! Don't stop in the middle of the road! Come on!" Dotter gamely pedals onward. The end result: OmegaDotter got practice looking out for stop signs, pedaling down hills (very very slowly, putting on her brakes again and again so that now it's almost second nature, with lots of "thumbs up" signs from mom), looking both ways at stop signs, and learning to keep her eyes on the road, rather than on the dogs barking at her from this house, or the kitty cat coming out to greet us from that house, or the kids playing on the swings at the other house. Mommy got a sore butt. We did another neighborhood tour this morning. OmegaDotter got more practice. OmegaMom got more of a sore butt. By the end of today's biking, I was able to bike all the way down to the bottom of the incline and wait, instead of stopping two times on the way down. Dotter's confidence is rising. But, dayum, my butt is sore!