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Monday, 29 April 2013


Yesterday is a day I hope I remember when I am a little old lady in her eighties. In fact, I hope it brings a big smile to my face much sooner than that - like maybe on the mornings when I have spent more hours awake with a newborn than asleep, causing me to feel a tiny bit bleary eyed and grumpy with the world in general.

Bike Bucket tutorial by NoodleHead
Not one, but two of our girls cracked that childhood milestone of riding a bike without stabilisers. Woooooo-hoooooo!

I am full of pride about this fact. And, so are they. Indeed, any person who has held a conversation of more than a sentence in length with any one of us in the last 24 hours is probably well aware of just how excited and proud we are all feeling.

It has been a long time coming. Or, at least it has felt like that. Especially for the six year old, who seems to have had a bike forever, watching as each of her friends ditched their stabilisers and sped off into the distance.

Yesterday was their turn. The eldest one did it first. Taken out to the park by Daddy, who vowed they weren't coming back until they had it cracked. Half an hour later, I had a call from a very excited pair. And then it was the middle girl's turn.

The sight of them peddling about with big grins on their faces has had me jumping up and down cheering in the middle of the street. Funny thing, being a parent. Right now, I am struggling to think of anything I myself have done recently that has made me this excited and proud.

Last summer, after spending an afternoon watching the Olympic time trials on TV, the girls and me had gone out the back so they could get on their bikes. It was the middle girl who was keenest. And, faster than her big sister. And she knew it - "I'm Bradley Wiggins, and you're Chris Froome", she'd taunt as she peddled past her.

On that day, as the eldest girl was moaning that she didn't have a basket or toy seat (as the middle girl Bradley was smiling as she painstakingly spun out the process of strapping her teddy into the pink toy seat that came on her bike), I promised  her I would make her her own special basket when she worked out how to ride without her stabilisers. I had hoped this would motivate her, but, on that particular day, it just led to more grumpy complaining.

More time passed, with a fair few bike outings ending in frustration and impatient clashes between mother and daughter, her bike firmly returned to the garage with neither of us in a rush to get it back out again any time soon. Anyone would think we have similar temperaments and are capable of winding each other up as a result. It is just as well they have two parents, really. I am happy - and grateful - that Daddy was the one to get them to this important milestone in their little lives.

So, here are two bike buckets. I let them each choose the fabric they wanted (from what I had in the house) and set about fulfilling my promise. It's the least this ridiculously proud Mummy could do.

As for them, they are delightfully proud of themselves. They cannot wait to get out on their bikes - even to the point of rushing to be ready for school early enough to get out on them and peddle to school.

And that Olympic legacy we all like to refer to so much is real. When the middle girl fell off her bike yesterday, she got straight back on. "That's what the man on the Olympics did, Mummy." So it was, I thought.

1 comment:

  1. oh those are so cute!!! beautiful job. And yay for no training wheels! great job girls!