So this happened on Sunday!!
Jay learned to ride his bike with no training wheels!!!
It's so funny, because when I think about it, 5.5 years old is still super young to learn. But I feel like almost all of his good buddies have been able to do it for a while now. While we haven't put any pressure on him to learn, I've definitely been thinking about it (and so has he!).
Several months ago we decided to give it a try. We took off his training wheels (and subsequently took off Charley Kate's because if there is anything I know about second kids, it's that they want to be doing what their older siblings are doing) and spent an afternoon working with them. It just wasn't going anywhere! So my sister and brother in law let us use their old bike with no pedals (a balance bike). I guess technically it was a regular bike just with pedals that were easy to take on and off. We took the pedals off and just encouraged Jay to coast around on it. Just walk and run and glide. No big thing- just whenever he thought about it or wanted to we would get it out and let him. It started happening more and more and he was getting very comfortable on that bike.
Sunday afternoon Anthony and Jay were shooting baskets and the girls and I were playing on the front lawn- riding scooters and doing gymnastics. Charley Kate grabbed her bike out of the garage and was coasting around on hers (her bike has no training wheels but still has the pedals). She honestly was coasting and pedaling 2-3 times by herself- at which I was SHOCKED! Well, Jay saw her and decided to coast down the driveway and street on his bike. His balance was so spot on I knew it was time!
I said, "Jay! You are so ready! Let's put your pedals on!" So we did! And after about two tries all by himself, HE WAS OFF! No Anthony or me chasing him and helping him balance- it was all on his own! I had no clue it would happen so quickly for him! I seriously started crying! What a proud proud moment! He had worked so hard for so long- and he wanted it so badly! It was such a sweet reward for him- one of those lessons that is so much bigger than just riding a bike. He learned that if he kept working and practicing it would happen! Makes a momma's heart swell with JOY!
The next day he got home from school and begged to go ride. Ummm ABSOLUTELY! So we went out front and he was working hard. He saw his (a couple years older) buddy a few doors down and wanted to show him what he had learned. Well, this was the best thing that could have happened. An older, cooler boy who can ride really fast?! Jay was so determined to keep up that he went from riding about 20 yards at a time to riding up and down the street really fast nonstop! I mean, YOU GO BOY!!!! I am so so proud of that child!
Now... not to be outdone, just one day later, this NOT EVEN FOUR YEAR OLD child is doing this...
Yup! Charley Kate has ALSO learned how to ride her bike without training wheels!!!
Her story looks a little different. Bike riding (even as a toddler) has always come very naturally to her. She has always wanted to try. So watching her brother's success just lit that fire even more.
I learned something about Charley Kate through this... She is honestly the most determined child I have ever personally known. While Jay spent Monday zooming up and down the street, Charley Kate spent Monday coasting down our neighbor's driveway. She would walk the bike to the top, get herself going, and start pedaling. The majority of the time she would get 4-6 pedals in a row and then fall. She would get herself up, walk her bike back up to the top of the driveway, and repeat the process. A lot of the times when she fell, she would grunt or get mad or fuss to herself. But she'd pick herself back up and keep going. She wouldn't accept help. She would just. keep. going. She did this probably 50-60 times- NO LIE. I have never seen anything like this. She has the scratches and bruises to prove it, too.
By the end of Monday she got here, and was SOOO proud of herself! And I was so incredibly amazed at not only her skills, but her absolute determination and fire. Those skills are going to serve her so well in her life. Her little spunk, her little spirit, her little fire... "Though she be but little she is fierce" perfectly describes this child!
Tuesday it was RAINY and cold. Both kids were begging to head outside and ride- but there was just no way. So when it was sunny and gorgeous this afternoon, I knew exactly what we'd be doing!
We headed out and Jay went to get Braden and took off. Charley Kate took off to her driveway and started back up. More confident this time, she was getting further and further. And then it clicked. And she was off. Up and down the street! As much as Braden helped Jay to really get going, having an audience really helped to spur CK on. She loved all the neighbors out chit chatting and cheering her on. And she fell and scraped herself a few times BUT SHE KEPT GOING. This girl!!!!
Needless to say it was a very exciting, very emotional week for the Squills! We are so proud of our precious bigs!
And Molly was out being the cheerleader! She will be there before we know it...