(Photo stolen from these guys)
After years of not being interested, Smedley finally tried to learn to ride her bike without training wheels two weekends ago. She was very close to getting it, but very scared of falling, and since she didn't start trying to learn until sundown, her progress stalled.
Her little sister Sparky took one look at her bike on Wednesday afternoon, said, "I can do that," and proceeded to teach herself in about 15 minutes, no lie.
(Photo stolen from this guy)
Being upstaged by her little sister really chapped Miss Smedley's hide, of course, so she decided to try the bike again Thursday. It was, unfortunately, just about dinner time, I was still in a dress after work, and mentally and physically drained. But I went outside to watch or help her.
After about two minutes of halting attempts and near disasters, Smedley began scolding me, her basic tenet being "SEE?! I TOLD you I couldn't do it!" etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseum. I'd had it. I told her NO WAY would I play a further part in The Martyrdom of Saint Smedley, and went into the house. I could hear Smedley hollering outside, then stomping inside to holler (and sob) at me some more.
I squatted down in front of Smedley and told her she had all the tools, and when she was ready to really try I would help her, but she didn't even need the help. She just needed to change her priority from "fear of falling" to "will to ride," and she would do it. Of course she glared and cried and begged and glared some more, but I held firm.
Until later when, by myself, I beat myself up for being a crappy mom.
(Original photo stolen from this site)
Friday I got home from work at 7:00, tired, hot and sore-footed from a long video shoot, and Smedley greeted me with a huge smile. "I taught myself to ride my bike today, Mama! You were right and I was wrong, Mama," she said. I thought I might cry. You should have seen how proud she was, and I can stop beating myself up. For now.
So the two girls are riding all over the place now, and leaving their bikes in the driveway behind our cars. One problem at a time.