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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Biker Boy

After seeing Robby sit on his bike for the first time this spring, it became clear that a trip to the bike shop would be in his future. His treasured Lightening McQueen bike was now too small for him. Even with the seat fully extended, he had a difficult time pedaling because his knees kept hitting the handle bars.

A few days ago we surprised Robby with a new "big boy" bike. We parked it at the end of the walk for him to casually discover when he was helping his Daddy take out the trash. Our surprise plan backfired as we ended up investing in a lengthy discussion trying to convince him that the bicycle was for him and wasn't parked by a door-to-door salesman. He finally accepted that the bicycle was for him but only after he suggested that we include a note or a tag next time we want to leave him a surprise so that he won't get confused.

For most little boys, a new bike would be reason for celebration. For Robby, the acquisition has sparked anxiety and apprehension.  It wasn't the bike that has caused him to worry, rather the lack of training wheels that has sent him reeling.

I tried to calm his fears, promising him that we would take it slow. I reminded him that both swimming and ice skating were scary and difficult when he first started, but now he is swimming like a koopa and sliding across the ice like a pro. He seemed more comfortable and willing to try a two-wheeled bike after reflecting on everything that he once thought to be hard but now finds easy.

Seeing Robby mount the bike, he looked like such a big kid. Of course, the fact that he was still wearing his cowboy boots reminded me that he is still my little boy. He stood straddling the saddle and slowly lifted one foot off the ground.

Boom! Down he went, with the bike on top of him. My little trooper simply offered "that stinks" as he hopped back on for another try. This time he tried to lift the opposite foot- and proceeded to fall on the opposite side. 

After two falls, he finally agreed to allow me to hold the handle bars. We were quasi-successful, but truth be told I was exerting a lot of pressure to keep the bike erect. For some reason he doesn't seem to have a strong sense of balance.

We'll keep working at it, and hopefully by the end of the summer he'll be pedaling around the neighborhood with his friends. He promised that we would keep practicing, but also provided me with a warning. "Momom, I may never be really really good on a bike. That's okay though. Not everybody is meant to be a biker dude." 

1 comment:

  1. If you have his old bike still, try taking the pedals off of that one and let him use it as a balance bike. We started my son off on a balance bike as a toddler/preschooler and he just transitioned to a regular bike at Christmastime. He was just shy of five. It took him a couple of tries to get pedaling, but he never used training wheels. It seems so much easier for them to learn balance without having to worry about pedaling at the same time!