Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Balancing Act

We absolutely LOVE Graham's pre-school this year, but I have to be honest in saying that proximity was one of our initial reasons for choosing to send him there. I loved the idea of living so close that we could walk. In fact, I had visions of walking Wynn and Harris in the stroller while Graham rode his scooter next to us. Of course Graham was too young for it to actually work out this way so letting him ride in the front of the stroller was my only option for walking with all three. 

Over the next couple months, several of Graham's friends would begin turning three and they were all getting bicycles with training wheels for their birthdays. I knew that I wanted to join the bandwagon at Christmas in hopes of Graham being able to ride his bike along side of us shortly after the new year. 

I pitched this idea to Brian, but he had other plans in mind.

Years ago, we were watching an episode of Shark Tank (typical Friday night) and the balance bike made an appearance on the show. Brian thought this concept was extremely genius and couldn't wait to take this approach with Graham. So instead of training wheels for Christmas, Santa left a Kazam balance bike for Graham under our tree. 

At first I was a little concerned that pushing a bike with your feet wouldn't give Graham enough stamina to keep up with me and the stroller, but once the weather began heating up in February, I decided to put my hesitations aside and give it a try. For several days in a row, I would stroll the babies along in the wagon while Graham began familiarizing himself with the balance bike. He was sold in minutes. We would make a loop around the block, and Graham loved every minute of it. You could tell he felt accomplished. Neighbors outside would comment how great he was at riding his bike, but little did they know, he was a beginner. By the weekend, Graham was feeling confident enough to put his feet up in the middle of the bike. With less than two months of practice on the balance bike, Graham is probably ready to try riding a real bike. The balance bike surpassed my expectations, and while I don't have any experience except my own, when I was three, with using training wheels, it does seem like an unnecessary step in the process of learning to ride a bike. 

Fast forward six months (from the fall), and my dream is finally a reality--I push Wynn and Harris in the stroller as Graham rides his bike next to us. He's a little speed demon with those feet and has amazing balance. It's been a learning curve to give him this much freedom, but I love that it's teaching him about stop signs, cars, and following all kinds of directions as we cruise through the neighborhood streets. 

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