Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's NOT About the Bike

Over the summer P started trying to ride her bike.  First she got on her balance bike. She was determined to get it down, and she did in about 3 days.  She wanted to ride everyday.  She gained so much confidence she was going down steep hills and ramps and loving it. She learned to use her hand brakes and then asked for the pedals.  I was proud of her determination.

I had the pedals put on the bike. Suddenly it got hard and uncomfortable. She didn't want to ride it anymore.  She didn't even want to try.  This is a part of P's personality that I will have to work on. When she knows she can do something she has unbelievable determination. But, if she has even the slightest thought she can't she won't even try.  This is where the bike riding is not about the bike.  It's about her getting past her fear of failure.  It's about not saying "i can't" before even trying.  This is a huge building block for future success.

For three days I pushed her to try.  I told her she couldn't give up and she had to at least get on and give it a try.  She did get on but I could tell her expectations of success were determined in the first 30 seconds.  When she did try she rode her bike just fine and every single time it was fear that stopped her.  It's amazing how fear alone can make us fail.  

When P started trying to ride with pedals she was riding great for about 30 yards and then she pedaled in the wrong direction so the bike came to a quick stop and she fell over. I think that was the one act that set the tone for riding with pedals.  I really wanted her to push past her fears. I wanted her to try because she was so so close to realizing what she wanted to accomplish.  

The neighbors saw her trying to ride and me pushing her.  I saw the looks on their faces. I could see what they were thinking. I was trying to get my 3 year old to ride a bike. What an accomplishment for me.  I could care less if P never rides a bike. I do care if she doesn't try.  If she doesn't get past this block in her head it worries me. This is the kind of stuff that determines whether she will continue giving up every time something gets hard.  Life is full of hard stuff on the road to amazing accomplishments.  I don't expect the neighbor with a drug addict/dealing son and a 7 year old who can't even read a fortune cookie to even begin to comprehend any of this.  Their judgment is still annoying.  

Dave even got in on the bandwagon and tried to motivate her to try.  We finally set the idea aside.  But every time we saw something related to not giving up we pointed it out to her.  We watched Kung Fu Panda.  Po didn't give up even though he was afraid!  Dragon Warriors don't give up!  Are you a Dragon Warrior P?  Yes I am!  We tried again.  At least she tried. To me, that's what counts. 

It's October.  P hasn't touched her bike in over a month.  She has conquered her fear in a few other areas so maybe we will try again... 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


 Hat: Target, Jacket & Pants: Lands End, Boots: Sorel
Once upon a time I had a daughter who never said a peep about what I dressed her in. It was fantastic!  When all the other daughters were voicing opinions and wearing crazy mismatched things in public, mine was always ok with her stylish and coordinated outfits.  Then, slowly but surely that little girl started to develop opinions.  I sense she's always had them but only recently has she gained the wisdom to vocalize them.  

Yesterday it was rainy and cold. Our first real day of fall/winter.  I finally got to pull out P's winter clothes. When I dressed her in navy, wide-legged cords with a cute cambray shirt she objected. "I don't like this! I don't like this shirt!".  I pulled out all the options that would go with her pants.  She picked out a stripped blousy shirt that I must admit was a better choice than what I had picked out.  I got her outer gear on reluctantly; double breasted yellow rain jacket with a hat and new,warm Sorel boots.  I saw the sour face but we were running late for school.  

On the way to the car she says to Dave "Can I take this costume off when I get home?"!!! Costume?  What costume?  I had to take a picture of her when she got home because I swear one day she'll look back at this and laugh at herself and her comment.  Costume?

Shirt & Leggings: Estella-NYC, Dress: Tea Collection, Boots: Land's End
Today's outfit was selected the night before. I wanted to go over it with her so that the morning would go smoother.  Turns out P is a girlier girl than I thought.  She wants to wear dresses. She doesn't want to wear pants.  Perfect, I bought her 5 pair of cords! Now I'll have to figure out a way for her to wear them.  I'm glad I bought lots of leggings and undershirts so I can layer all her dresses for winter.  Well, at least she continues to have a good sense of style. She does listens when I point out why something doesn't go with what she's wearing. And like I said, her choices are often better than mine.  I just liked it better when it was like having a doll I got to dress up everyday.  Now, someone pulled the cord on the doll and she started talking!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Summer She Jumped!

Every summer P has gotten more and more courageous in the water.  This was the summer she found the courage to jump into the pool.  It seems so basic but I believe it's a great leap of ability and courage on her part. I don't know when it actually started but I do know it was with Dave. With him she found the courage to jump off of him into the water and then from the edge into the pool.  It doesn't matter how deep the water is, she's jumping.  

I find it very interesting that I'm the one who pushes/encourages her to do more, to find her courage, to not give up but she always seems to find it on her own when she's with Dave.  When she was afraid to get back in the water it was me who talked her through it and asked her to find her courage.  But her first lap across the pool, width wise, was with Dave.  He doesn't like to push her or to get her to finish what she started. It's not something he was groomed with as a child.  I also know when she wants the easy way out she'll call for him. But after we've done some groundwork together I'll walk away and bam! She rises on her own! 

To be honest, I've been hurt and frustrated that I put the work in and Dave gets to see the grand results. However, when I see the big picture....she does better without me, I think it's a good thing.  What I'm seeing is I am laying down the groundwork and helping her find whats within her.  And when I'm gone she's finding it all on her own.  So, now I feel relieved that as she grows up, and her life becomes more her own, she'll fly without me.  To me, that's the greatest reward.