My kid won’t ride a bike. He’ll jump off trees, swing from ropes, ride on zip lines hundreds of feet in the air across lakes without so much as a seat belt, he’ll laugh all through the iFly experience begging for more and he’ll ride every single adult ride they’ll let him on at Six Flags, but he WILL NOT RIDE A BIKE.
I began this all American endeavor when he was only 3. He was passed down a balance bike from his cousins and the first time I tried to get him on it, he just kept saying, “No! No! I don’t want to. Please no.” I tried EVERYTHING. I even sunk low enough to exchange goods and services with him. If you will ride your bike, we can go together around the block. Won’t that be so fun? “No.” We could take your bike down to Pops and Honey’s house and ride it. Pops loves to ride his bike. “Nope.” We could take it to the nature trails and ride it with Charis and Drew. “Uh uh.” Then my mom, Honey, even tried to intervene. “Guess what? Honey will buy you a new bike if you learn to ride one.” “NEVER!” Once he found the word, “never”, it was unending. From that point forward, at the slightest mention of a bike ride, he would shout, “Neveeeerrrr!” Think of the dog in Pavlov’s experiment. You ring the bell and the dog salivates. I mention the word bike, out screams “NEVER!” (Not exaggerating.) Wow. Okay. I was wrong to try to negotiate with the future dictator of America.
Nothing would suit this kid’s sensibilities.
Needless to say, he continued on his bike with training wheels.
After several years, when he was 5, I thought, “Okay, now, really now, he’s old enough, he will be ready.” I decided it was time for some tough love. I took the training wheels off and told him that if he wanted to ride his bike, he had to learn how to do it. “Time to gather your courage Wes! This is your time! The training wheels are gone. FOREVER. Don’t even try to ‘mom’ me on this one.”
I’ll show him.
He hasn’t tried to ride his bike since. He’ll be 7 in February.
Oh wait, you thought this blog would end with me telling you how we finally made it happen and how he is happily riding joyously through the neighborhood each day while shouting thanks to me for showing him tough love because the end result was so worth it?
I’m afraid there will be no miracles on 34th street this year.
Strong will anyone?