One example: riding down the street...
Kid one- crashes into a grass ditch and refuses to get back on the bike.
Kid two- is actually pulling their bike and not riding at all
Kid three- driving around like a wild drunk, crashing and doing it again... faster
(Pre-bike ride today, super excited, can you tell?!)
That sounds fun, right? Come on, doesn't it make you want to bike ride every day? Yeah, me neither. So for awhile, when we biked, I walked.... while ONE kid rode. This saved us all a little sanity. That can only last for so long though, so tonight I offered while praying to Calgon, God, Buddha, and anyone else that might be listening.
Bella was SO excited, then I made her grab her new sports on with the bike attachment. Then she cried.
"Mom, I do not want to do this. You are SO mean. Why are you forcing me to do this? You never listen to what I want. You are the worst mom ever. I don't even want this thing (pointing to the prosthetic). I never even asked for a bike hand. You wanted that, not me. I ONLY wanted the one for tumbling. UGH! I'm not going"
"Uh yeah you are. I'm sorry that you are not happy but you are trying this. I'll be right there to help you but you are wearing the prosthetic for ONE block."
More tears and frustration. "FINE but ONLY for ONE block!"
"Sounds good!" she doesn't get a choice to brush her teeth or comb her hair because as her mother, I know best. She was not getting a choice about at least entertaining the option of trying the bike hand for one block. It's not like I was asking her for something crazy. It was completely reasonable and how would she know if she liked it or not if she didn't give it a chance.
Away the boys, Bella and I went down the street. Fifteen minutes later, we were three houses away. Yes that was NOT a typo, three houses people... HOUSES, not blocks! Bella was barely pedaling. The boys... see what I said earlier, they are those kids! I kept encouraging and giving support.
"You've got this Bella!"
"Good job pedaling, use your strong legs!"
"You've got this!! Keep going!"
"Look at you! Nice work pedaling! You are doing great!"
"Keep it going sister!"
"Deep breath in and deep breath out, keep trying"
"Mom, I'm trying. I'm facing my fears. I'm really, really afraid. I'm scared I'm going to fall. I'm afraid, what if I fall? I'm trying hard mom. I'm breathing in and out. I can do this. I can try new things." She said to me and my heart took a hit. She was facing her fears of bike riding. She's unsteady even on training wheels. She's nervous and afraid. She needs a lot of encouragement. She was getting it. All that really mattered was that she was trying.
About that time, her dad pedaling down the street on his bike! She was so excited. He rode up to the boys and stayed with them and would pedal back down by us. Slow and steady we were getting there. All of the boys in our crew were extra patient.
At one point she asked to take off her prosthetic and I agree to let her at the end of the street. She didn't argue and kept going. At the end of the street, she stopped and asked if she could take it off. I helped her then stuck her prosthetic arm under my arm and we both rode off. About two turns of the pedal she piped up.
"Mom I actually think it's easier with the prosthetic. Can you help me put it back on?" I did. I was actually happy that I had pushed it a little harder than she might have liked. She realized that it helped her be more steady. It helped her to have full control of the handle bars.
Around the corner we went, slow and steady. We pedaled back in the driveway. I stopped to tell her how proud I was of her and that she did a really great job trying so hard. She really faced her fears and grabbed the bull by the horns. I shared with her that I was so proud that even though she was afraid, she still tried. That I was really proud of I told her, for trying!
As we parked our bikes, she had one more thing to say...
"Mom tomorrow's my birthday. Do you think we could get me a new bike?" I simply smiled. We'll see!