Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SaurKid Gets a Bike

Yesterday SaurKid got this brand new bike! That would send most kids into raptures, but he had mixed feelings about it. You see, he didn't know how to ride a bike. And he knew I was going to force him to learn.

He's 12 now. When he was about 6, his father started trying to teach him how to ride. But it was an unpleasant experience, and SaurKid associates the pain of skinned knees, scraped hands, and bruised legs with riding a bike. At the time, I was too poor to afford to get him a bike and try to teach him myself, so eventually the attempts were abandoned.

But things are different now. I can now afford to buy him anything he wants (and doesn't want!). I've been wanting to ride a bike again, and SaurKid is the "lucky guy" that I've chosen to go on excursions with me.

Before the Big Event, we took a trip to Target and bought knee and elbow pads and (of course) a helmet. Then we came home and SaurKid reluctantly strapped everything on. We went outside, I rode the bike to demonstrate, discussed the different features, and then he got on.

At first I walked beside him, holding the bike while he got the feel of peddling. We tried practicing on the grass where a fall would be softer, then we tried it on the street. His starts were wobbly and hesitant, while he got the feel for the balance. But suddenly he had gone a couple feet on his own, then a couple more... all within 15 minutes! Soon he was riding up and down the street, around the corner, and down another street.

He was so excited, and so proud of himself! He had finally conquered one of his inner demons. And he has now realized that repeated failures don't mean permanent failure.

"I know what Dad will say. He'll say "that's good, buddy," and that'll be it," said SaurKid woefully. We both knew his father wouldn't be thrilled that *I* had taught him how to ride a bike. His father is highly competitive with me, and I try to let him be Top Dog unless he neglects something like this.

When his dad came by that night, SaurKid was anxiously waiting outside to show him what he could do. The moment his dad and stepmom were out of the car, SaurKid was down the road like a shot.

"Ah," said his father in a smarmy tone of voice. "I see he learned to ride."

"First time, too! He got it in 15 minutes!" I said happily.

"Uh, after doing it about 5 or 6 times already. Well..." and then he faded off into a mumble, because he knew that wasn't true and he wasn't finding anything he could use to diminish the victory. I think he was trying to say he'd already taught the kid how to ride, but everyone knew that wasn't true. Not being exactly swift of mind, he had started to lie and suddenly realized it would be patently obvious. He's a quirky person.

Ignoring him, I yelled encouragements to SaurKid. When SaurKid arrived back in front of us, his stepmom was whooping and jumping up and down! I could've kissed and hugged her right then.

"Uh, that's good, buddy," said his dad.

P.S. Go over to Michelle's blog and encourage her to come clean about her colorful past. There's strength in numbers and I'm hoping that she can't kill us all.


Eddo said...

Well Hooray for the Step Mom!! She sounds like a good person.

As far as read dads I haven't had the best experience with mine either. I can't imagine having a son, especially a son like me (ha ha), and have NOTHING to do with him.

The crazy thing is, he spends time with my sister, but only when it is convenient and only once a month. He is single, been married 3 times and apparently he is only concerned about himself.

As for Saurkid, that little genius can probably do anything he sets his mind to. Tell him his internet fans are proud of him as well!

Ellen said...

Woohoo and many Bravos to Saurkid! Learning how to ride a bike can be frustrating, and I had a hard time with that when it came to my son. He just never took to it, and I decided not to push the issue. When he's ready to do something, he will figure it out in his own way and I let it go at that. It was better than the arguements and pleadings that insued otherwise.

So glad to here that Step-Mom was a great sport about it. Nothing reinforces self esteem more than a cheering section.

Eddo is right, the blog Aunties and Uncles are mighty proud of Saurkid!

Reverberate58 said...

Congrats to SaurKid! Those inner demons can be tough sometimes. Now you have a riding buddy how cool is that!!

Mindless Dribbler said...

Well well well...good luck in getting him off the bike now SK :)

Heather said...

Yea!!! You two are going to have so much fun together.

Stepmom definitely deserves props for cheering him on while Dad deserves a swift kick in the ass.

SaurKid must be so glad you forced him to learn - I remember thinking a bike meant freedom when I was his age.

Jamie Dawn said...

Bravo, Saurkid!!!
That really is great. HIs dad sounds like a putz. The stepmom had the right idea. Saurkid comes first. His dad needs to lighten up, and quit trying to turn everything into a way to insult you. He's a clod!!

Ride on, Saurkid!!!!

Kathleen said...

I like Jamie's line..."Ride on, Saurkid!"

Sounds like there has been "Game On" with you and the ex for some time. Score one for Saur, too.

Scott said...

That is excellent! Nice ride too.


Nerdine said...

Well done Saurkid!
I remember the feeling. nothing like it!
And I like step mom. She knew just what the kid needed even if dad didn't.

michelle said...

As you know we forced my stepson to learn how to ride a bike. He did it in the same amount of time as saurkid. His mom had told the doctor she did not believe in forcing him to do anything. She also questioned that if he had a bad experience he would have nightmares and not try other things. We were the first to take him on a roller coaster too. Stepson's mom believes her fears are his fears. I have news for her...he is is father's child too!
Thank God! Just as Saurkid is his mother's child. We have great kids Saur, they are so much alike. They are both more brave, and capable than their "other" parent believes. Of course, that means more power to us. We get all the firsts.

On another subject...You are really going to force me to tell all my past secrets aren't you?

Edge said...

Good for SaurKid! I really liked this line:

"He was so excited, and so proud of himself! He had finally conquered one of his inner demons. And he has now realized that repeated failures don't mean permanent failure."

If nothing else you taught him failure isn't permanent. That's great parenting.

I'm proud of him and you.


daveawayfromhome said...

My step-son's father is like that, but worse. And, sadly, he doesnt have a decent step-mom to make up for his dad. He's cut-off all contact with that side of the family, and at 21, and considering their behavior over the years, that's to be expected.

All my kids (including him) learned to ride their bikes late, having balance problems until they were over 6 (and somewhat after). I think it has a lot to do with spending less time outside running around (and improving coordination) and more time sitting around the house, doing anything that's not physical.

Notsocranky Yankee said...

That's awesome! Self-confidence and encouragement are 95% of being able to ride a bike. (the other 5% being balance) Great job raising such an awesome kid.

I'm withholding my opinion of your ex. I always tell my kids, "If you can't say anything nice, just don't say anything."

(I realize I'm not very good at keeping quiet, work with me...)

michelle said...

Ok Saur, I can play your game. I added a wee little bit to the story. Go check out sweet-n-sassy.

green said...

OH how i miss riding a bike. One of these days - when I have a place to store it, I'm gonna gear up and ride....

mckay said...

Wooo!! for your kid :) big smiles and cyber jumps to add to the cheering section.

as i was reading i was wondering how the step-mom would react. good for her.

you're a good mom, saur!

Lee Ann said...

Oh that is awesome, wonderful that you taught him. I am proud of him and also proud of his step mom for showing the support that he deserved. YAY!
I know you are so proud of him.

R2K said...

I love to ride, and he will too. It is a great feeling of freedom and speed. And you can go so much farther and faster than walking. I mean you can go 10 miles if you want no problem (once he is old enough )

Tell him I do it every day, I am 24, and I am really cool.

Aunt Jo said...

Yay for the Mom and for the StepMom who kept in mind that it's about SaurKid not Sour Dad.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

You are such a good mom, Saur!

Sounds like your son thinks so too!

michelle said...

You motivated me. I rode around the park by our house tonight. Just me!

(I need to get those dancing legs back into shape.)

Nihilistic said...

I'm glad when I was a kid that I didn't have to wear the helmut!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I'm sorry I was swamped yesterday and couldn't answer each of you individually. Today's another crazy day, but with any luck I'll be able to interract more.

Yes, SaurKid's stepmom was awesome. She was my best friend before the divorce (and apparently one of the causes of the divorce. They were married shortly afterwards.) I'm glad we are friendly again. She's a treasure, and she's been living with my ex for years now. That's punishment enough.

Mr. Fabulous said...

That's awesome that he learned to ride. Very, very cool!

mal said...

all right! and started him off with a helmet too! I assume yours is up to date too? *S*