For as long as Benjamin could walk, he's been obsessed with bikes. When we'd visit parks, he'd spend the majority of the time checking out the other vehicles the kids brought to the park.
For Benjamin's 2nd birthday, he received a Strider balance bike. I totally thought we were hooking the kid up because then he'd totally be riding a regular bike without training wheels the next year and for his third birthday, real bike!
He left the thing for dead. Little sister won't so much get a hand-me-down but a brand new, cobweb covered balance bike if she wants it.
So about six months later and after I noticed an expressed interest in scooters, I bought him one of those. He shows marginal interest in it. He'll occasionally ride it to the park, but most of the time it's only about 1/2 block and then he wants to hop in the stroller or begs me to carry him. It does at least get honorable mention.
After seeing a video of my friend's son riding a two-wheeler who is two months younger than Benjamin, I felt terrible for giving him no pedal option. He's never owned a tricycle. He doesn't understand the concept of pedals. Did I totally miss the boat by forcing him into a balance bike option over a tricycle or training wheel bike? And now he's over it all completely?
I researched used bikes online because I'm tired of buying all these things he doesn't even use. One guy highly encouraged me to get him a balance bike. Thanks, dude. Solid advice. Hmph.
One of our neighbors has a kid a year older than Benjamin who has literally been riding a bike since he was two. Like, with two wheels. When he saw Benjamin half-effort riding his scooter on the trails behind our houses last fall, he commented how he needs to be on a bike by now because he can do it. Can and want are two entirely different things, neighbor.
I bought two bikes from a lady off OfferUp for $30 last Saturday. One bike was $20 but both were $30. I figured we could have friends over to ride bikes with him for that extra $10. They came with bells and training wheels and were perfect. I got them home and Benjamin mostly wanted to sit on them for a minute, have us push him and ring the bell. He doesn't appear to remotely care about driving the thing forward.
He's three. And like a quarter. I kind of thought he would be into these sorts of things by now. We own a balance bike, a scooter and two bikes with training wheels. We have two living kids and no rider. Claire sure wants to ride, but sister is still mastering walking at this point. Instead of my vision of Benjamin riding his bike to the park and me following along with little sister in the single stroller, I push both kids in the double stroller to the park every afternoon to play. It kind of makes me want to get a tricycle, too. Just so I don't miss the boat with Claire, too.
It's times like these where I know I need to let him be who he is, but also wonder where the line of parenting should be heavier encouragement or more hands-off. It's also times like these where I get all grief sad, thinking about Andrew and whether he'd be into riding a bike. And because he would be turning 5 in just 6 months, he'd probably be riding all over the place. Andrew is (would be) Andrew and Benjamin is Benjamin. It's impossible to compare him with his brother who should be older, but it's hard not to.
Heartbreak and Healing
1 year ago