Some of my favorite parenting moments happen when my kids accomplish something in a big, rapid leap, catapulted by a lucky confluence of circumstances There are times (fewer of them after the first two years or so of each kid's life) when Cook and I are able to provide the right object/idea/strategy/whatever at the right time, when that the kid is really ready for it, physically and emotionally. Usually, of course, we don't get the timing quite right, or we offer the wrong object/idea/strategy/whatever, and that's okay; it's just life. We do miss some of the optional windows entirely, but the stuff that really needs to happen usually happens eventually. When it all falls into place at the right time, though, it's great fun for everyone.
This weekend, we had one of those moments. Duchess got a new bike,* and we subsequently happened to drop by the home of the Blond Family, who keep an armada of bikes. Skipper mentioned her jealousy over Duchess's upgrade to Papa Blond. She was promptly given a bike (the Mudshark!) that L and R Blond have outgrown (though they were still using it to do wheelies and such, because that's the sort of thing the Blonds do on an idle afternoon), and she insisted on taking it to the nearby playground that very afternoon so she could learn to ride.
Everything came together just right. Within ten minutes, she was pedaling around the playground. Cook and I were a little taken aback, since it took a LOT more pain and time to get Duchess riding a pedal bike by herself. Duchess started learning to ride a bike when she was older and quite a bit taller, on a bigger bike. Skipper wants to learn, she has seen other kids and adults riding a lot (and spent a lot of time in a trailer watching me and Cook pedal), she's nailed down the balance bike thing, and her center of gravity on this tiny bike is about 14 inches off the ground.
Skipper could not be prouder. She's not ready to go pro, having not yet mastered the management of pedals,** but she's looking pretty good. So here are your videos of one of the great achievements of Skipper's life so far, featuring wedgie-picking,** weird distracted narration by me, and nauseating camera movement.
* An old but decent bike in reasonably good shape, miraculously procured off craigslist for $25 in one of those great deals that we almost never manage to land. We had a pretty excellent weekend.
** Her feet slip off the pedals, and she keeps accidentally braking (while never remembering to brake when she actually needs to).
*** I asked Skipper if she really wanted to ride a bike while wearing a dress and rainboots; she felt it was an ideal outfit.