Thursday, September 28, 2006


After a summer of Dada pretending to pedal a bicycle at the pool and elsewhere and after minutes of pleading at the dinner table ("I want a bicyple. I want to buy one. Now"), Julie and I discussed it and decided that it was in fact time to look at bicycles for the child.

So off we went to Academy (local big-box sporting goods chain) to look at bicycles. Interestingly, of the four models of 12" bicycle, one was Disney Princess branded and two did not have brakes, leaving only the with-brakes Dora The Explora-branded bike, which was also twice the price of the others (for the brakes and little bag I assume). However, the Dora bike was also the best constructed (not that it can possibly matter for a a bike this size--it's not like she's going to be doing extreme BMX with it or anything, at least not for a while). All had training wheels.

She rode it around in the store, not entirely clear on the whole peddaling concept (no surprise as she had never ridden anything with pedals as far as I know). She kept peddaling backwards and putting on the brakes (maybe that's why they make 12-inchers without brakes?) but by the time we made our decision and started riding toward the front she was starting to get the idea.

We went home (by way of Amy's Ice Cream for a little treat) and got the bicycle out in the driveway. Dada put on her helmet and started riding up and down the driveway.

She did remarkably well, able to pedal for two or three revolutions before hitting the brakes. Going up the driveway, which has a slight but noticable incline, required a little help from Mom. Going down the driveway she was pretty good at using the brakes to slow down (which is why we went with the model with brakes).

She did take a spill coming down the driveway for the first time, turning too sharply and falling over sideways. She wasn't scraped at all but did hurt her lip just a little. She cried for about as long as it took to get her into the light of the front porch but then she was fine and right back on the bike. Tough kid.

I don't think she's quite ready for fully unattended riding yet (limited to the driveway of course) as there's a lot to coordinate between the pedaling and the steering and the braking, but I suspect she'll get it before too long.

Other than that, nothing too momentus to report. She's been going through a growth spurt and her sleep pattern was a little chaotic this week, going to be late, waking up early, insisting that we stay in her room, wanting a light on (she has until now slept in a completely dark room). It seems to be seems to be settling out now, thank goodness.

She's still enjoying gymnastics class and starting to be a little more confident about things like forward and backward rolls.


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