Alternate Title: Why I Suck At Parenting, Part 32
Before I itemize my issues with teaching my twins to ride bikes, let me just say that I’m not even talking about riding bikes on two wheels. I’m talking about riding bikes with training wheels. That’s how bad a parent I am. My kids can’t even ride bikes competently on training wheels.
Photo courtesy of hobvias sudoneighm (cc) Flickr
These challenges may not seem Himalayan in their size, but I have parenting days when a lone speed bump is insurmountable.
Bike Riding Challenge 1: The bikes are crap
I have mentioned before that my husband acquires everything we need (and a lot of crap we don’t need) at garage sales. It truly is amazing that he didn’t meet me at one. Needless to say, our kids’ bikes are used, no doubt purchased for $5. And they’re worth every penny. All 500 of them. And not one more.
William’s chain guard sticks out, occasionally slicing his foot. We fix it, but then he falls and it warps again. Vivian attempted to ride hers for a few days with the back brake on. Then we pried that off the tire, only to find out that the tire is warped. Haven’t fixed that yet.
Bike Riding Challenge 2: Hills
We live in Calgary. For those who bomb the Canadian Geography category in Jeopardy, Calgary is near the Rocky Mountains. There are steep hills, everywhere. I adjust the training wheels at one spot, only to find they’re not even half a block later.
Bike Riding Challenge 3 (and 4): The Twin Factor
When my mom was visiting in May, we took the kids out on their bikes. After helping me catch kids as they fell off their bikes on yet another hill, she said, “I think you should start taking one out at a time.”
Add to this the race factor: two wobbly twins each on four wheels careening down the straightaway looking at each other screaming, “It’s my turn to be first!”
It can make me weep.
Bike Riding Challenge 5: Me
I have this annoying habit of over-instructing. In my chosen profession of teaching, this can be a strength; students know what’s expected. In any other setting, it’s annoying. “There’s a corner coming up. Slow down. Brake carefully. Turn slowly. Can you see the car coming 8 blocks away? Get over to the side.”
It’s bad when you start to annoy yourself. And likely your neighbours. And definitely your kids.
Most definitely your kids.