Tag Archives: training wheels

Barbecues and Training Wheels

I spent most of yesterday afternoon outside.  First, I removed the training wheels from Madeline’s bike.  Second, I assembled our new barbecue.

It feels like it might be a little too much barbecue for us: it has a side element, which is something I never used on our old barbecue; it has a “back burner” and I’m not sure what it is for; it also has an electric rotisserie thingie, which we may use, but still–possibly too much barbecue.

You may recall that last August/September I was looking for a barbecue (I can’t find the post), and I complained that at what seemed like prime barbecue end-of-season time, there were no barbecues to be had, other than high-end way-beyond-our-budget models and cheap low-end ones–nothing that fit what I was looking for.

So when at Costco in early January I saw almost the exact barbecue I wanted at pretty much the exact price I wanted, I just up and bought it without much thought (I didn’t notice the unnecessary side-element until I got home with it).  I was pleased as punch (except I didn’t really like spending the money).  But wouldn’t you know it, a month or so later Wal-Mart had switched their “Seasonal” section from winter supplies like tobaggans and snow shovels to summer stuff like barbecues.  And they had quite the selection of barbecues which fit my specifications, didn’t have some of the unnecessary extras, and were cheaper!

The barbecue we purchased is just fine, but we could have saved a few bucks. Alas.  Many of our possessions are a monument to impulse buying.  Lesson learned. Again.

So back to the training wheels thing.  One of Madeline’s friends told her that training wheels are usually removed around age 4. And it seems that our neighbours are planning on removing the training wheels on their four-year-old boy’s bike this year. Madeline is 7 years old (as of last December). Until Madeline told me what her friend said, I didn’t think she was too old for training wheels.

We bought Madeline’s bike two years ago, after realizing that it just wasn’t going to work for her and Luke to share/fight over the Dora the Explorer tricycle.  We automatically put training wheels on because she had only ridden a tricycle, but we left them on for two years.  And she was nervous and uncertain, and she did rely on one or the other training wheel for balance, but  that may have simply been because that crutch was available to her.

At any rate, I had been planning on removing them this year.

Today was that day. And, boy, let me tell you, it was such an anticlimactic event. I had envisioned that glorious moment when I would release my hand from the seat of her bike after running her to a start, Madeline tentatively venturing off on her own two wheels, each second passing in slow-motion to the tune of “Chariots of Fire”, Dixie and I jumping up for joy whilst angels sang and trumpets rang from the heavens.  And so on.

As it was, I released my hand and off she went without a hitch.  I was still very proud of her and it did fill my heart with gladness, but the fact is, we could have taken those training wheels off last year or the year before.  Maybe she only needed them for a week or two.

Here’s the footage (in terms of sound, it’s mostly wind in the microphone, and there’s a big lull in the middle):

Now that I’ve watched it again, there may have been some angels singing.  Seeing the smile on her face on the return ride–full of pride and excitement–fills my heart with such joy.  The background picture on our desktop is Madeline on the skating rink, smiling proudly, just like she did on her bike today.  These are the highlights of parenting.

Also: I walk funny. I have never noticed this before. After watched the video, I asked Dixie, “Do I walk funny?”

Without batting an eye, she said, “Yes, you do.”

She married me anyway.