Kids are all different, aren't they? My Annie, she's unique. I don't know if you all remember her, ahem, between the ages of 1 and 4, but wow, unique.
Well, turns out it's because she's an extremely independent learner. She observes and observes and observes (don't push her into it! no she doesn't want help! no she doesn't want to try just yet!) and when she's ready, she does things all by herself and usually quite perfectly too.
That doesn't really work for a 1-to-4 year old. No wonder she was so mad at me all the time.
But for an almost 6 year old and a bike with no training wheels to tackle, it's all good.
We finally got rid of her teeny hand-me-down bike from Corry Village with the shot-then-repaired wheels and the 2nd-time's-the-charm training wheels (not to mention the used-to-be-rubber handle bars that had turned rock hard and the seat that was just a little too moldy for comfort) because a new hand-me-down one arrived at our fingertips a few months back (Thanks to S, the also cake-decorating-hero-friend, for spotting and delivering it!).
Annie observed for many months. Took it out on a stroll once or twice even, but our driveway at the rental house was on an incline and not conducive to good try-it-myself methods.
When she was a 1-to-4 year old, I would have pushed the concept. "Come on Annie, it's easy, I'll help, let's just try. it. RIGHT. NOW. Wait, why are you crying?"
Now, I know better.
We arrived at the new house with the level driveway and Annie found herself observing/testing more and more. I did offer a hand and a tip every so often, all the while trying to sound neutral and apathetic about the whole thing. "Here's a thought--nothing you have to act on, but a thought nonetheless..." etc.
Well, she finally caught on to my helpfulness and last weekend asked, "Mom, is it alright if I just do it myself?'
Sure thing, darlin'. I'll be inside if you need me.
Not 30 minutes later, she had turned into a no-training-wheels bike rider. (FINALLY!!!)
She's been out every afternoon since.
Annie, you go girl.
Pay the proud mama no mind. She'll be inside if you need her.