Over the weekend, my twins finally learned to ride their bikes without training wheels. I’ve been bugging my husband to take them out for weeks, because I knew he’d have WAY more patience than I would to deal with all the whining and crying that was sure to ensue. Apparently, my son got the hang of it right away, and after some over-the-top dramatic melt-downs from my daughter, she eventually figured it out as well.
They were pretty proud of their newfound skills and very much wanted to show them off to me, so I agreed to take them on a bike ride yesterday after they came home from camp. Unfortunately, though, my daughter had to make the whole thing into a competition, as she typically does with everything concerning her brother. As it turns out, my son is definitely the better bike rider at this point, which just boils my daughter’s blood. (Of course, we tell them that they are both equally good, yada, yada, yada.) She does not want him to be better at anything and gets FURIOUS when he is. When he made it to the end of every block before her, she would scream and yell at him and get so agitated that she’d lose her balance and fall into the grass. And then she’d blame her brother — apparently, it was all his fault that she’d made herself fall down. Luckily, my son was oblivious to all of her bitching at first and just kept going on his merry way. But, after about five or six blocks of this all-out drama from my daughter, I had had enough. I declared the official ending to the bike ride, and we slowly made our way home.
When we got home, the kids wanted to keep practicing on the sidewalk next to our house. This plan, however, was just destined to be a disaster, because two wobbly new riders trying to go in opposite directions down the same path could not possibly end well. I decided to sit in the back yard and just wait for the bottom to fall out. As predicted, my daughter kept falling down while trying to avoid my son and his bike and grew more and more pissed with each scraped knee. She was screaming at my son for being “in her way.” Next thing I know, my son is putting his bike in the garage saying he’s sick of being blamed for everything and is done riding for the day, and my daughter is so upset that she’s PUTTING HERSELF IN TIME OUT in her room to cool off. What the??!! After a long talk with my daughter about the importance of practicing new skills, having patience with herself AND others, and not having to be THE BEST AT EVERYTHING, she eventually calmed down enough to apologize to her brother.
I’m sure the neighbors were all thrilled to see the bikes be put away for the day after all the commotion we had just created. I thought bike riding was supposed to be a fun, relaxing family thing to do together. Wow, I could not have been more wrong! Needless to say, I’m not looking too forward to our next bike ride any time soon. Maybe I’ll wear my ear plugs next time….