Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Next She'll Be Asking To Borrow The Car

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Pac NW. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and Lauren was being a pain in the ass. Well, maybe that's too harsh. She was being tempermental. She had her new gymnastics class in the morning and I had her all dressed and at the class on time, only to have her stubbornly refuse to participate. Very unlike her. She was clingy, shy and even a little weepy. I couldn't figure it out. None of my usual tricks were working. Threats of "if we have to go home and you didn't do your class, it means no TV and no computer" weren't working. She meant business. So we left and she was crying and I wasn't happy - I just LOVE wasting my time and money like that. Anyway, that was the morning and we all got over it.

Flash forward to the afternoon and the beautiful day and a very bored Lauren. I take her outside and we practice riding a 2-wheeler bicycle without training wheels. She's been working on it, little by little, for a week or so. But yesterday it clicked for her and she was off! So good that I decided to have her ride the bike (Nicholas's bike, mind you, with the seat lowered) all the way to the elementary school so we could pick up Nicholas and ride/scooter home together. She had to stop many times on the way to school, but that's OK. She never fell. If she felt wobbly or unsteady she mastered braking (at least a little bit) and then dropping her feet to the ground. Turns still give her trouble, but she's getting better with each attempt. We made it to school, surprised Nicholas, and headed home. On the way back Lauren was much stronger - going for whole blocks before stopping at each corner (per my instructions). It was very exciting for me to see her do this! She learned a whole year earlier than Nicholas, which I understand to be pretty typical. Little sibling in a fat hurry to catch up to big sibling and all that. And Nicholas was cool about letting her ride his bike and him riding the scooter home instead. I like when they're nice to each other and share without whining about it. He was even encouraging her and giving big praise for how well she was doing. :)

I'm looking forward to being able to take family bike rides this summer, and having Lauren ride her bike next to me when I go for a run** (I've never liked pushing a kid or two in the jog stroller - ug!) This feels like freedom, her being able to ride a bike. A last hurdle we made it over in leaving the "little kid" hindrances behind. We're past diapers, naps, and now training wheels. Woot!

** Speaking of running, I've just agreed to join a Hood to Coast relay team with Mr. Chick. I've done a similar race years ago, but this will be my first Hood to Coast. It's a 12-person, 196-mile relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast. Each runner runs 3 legs of the race, and each leg varies between 3-7 miles. Sometimes you end up running in the middle of the night, depending. It's a lot of fun, but will be a lot of work getting ready. But I find I need a "goal" to keep me motivated to do stuff, so this fits the bill. I've been running, mostly on treadmills, for ages now as we've had crappy weather for such a long time. Now I'll need to adjust to running on the streets again, which is very different. Time for some new running shoes!

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