My most conscious moment of the day...
Trying to keep my cool while teaching, or attempting to teach, my eight year old how to ride a bike sans training wheels.
In advance of this outing, she was very nervous. I told her it would take time and practice. I told her she'd get the feel for it. I acknowledged that falling down is part of the process, but promised her that she'd still be alive by the time it was over.
My hubs and I ran along side her while she peddled away, all the while getting frustrated at every lean and sway of the bike. There were moments where she showed signs of getting the hang of it. Hubs even let go of the seat a couple of times for a second or two or three! Those moments were awesome. And even though we tried to capitalize on those small wins, she still wasn't having it.
Her fear of falling was paramount. Her frustration was evident by the nearly constant stream of tears and screams at us because we were doing this, that or the other wrong. The overall tone of the entire thing was just cruddy.
Seriously? I had no idea it would be this hard. It took every ounce of patience I had to keep it together through the process. I stupidly thought it would be fun and enjoyable. Maybe that's why I was so pissed. I set myself for an expectation that wasn't met. Plus, I work my ass off to communicate that things take practice. That you're not born knowing how to do everything well. That lots of things take hard work and persistence. Yet still, she would not come around to the idea that this was something to be excited about, something to keep trying to master.
This is the same child that got a billion blisters on her hand after relentlessly attempting the monkey bars until she mastered them at, I believe the age of five. This is the same girl that, just today, doggedly pulled herself up onto a bar, as tall as she is, to position herself in a gymnast pose where her hips are pressed against the bar. She then flipped over the bar and proceeded to do it three more times. Each success was prefaced by at least 3-4 failures of pulling herself up.
So understand my confusion when bike riding clearly did not get the same level of interest or effort.
While I'm glad I held it together, I'd rather enjoy the process. Hell, I want my kid to enjoy this process. I realize I can't make her enjoy it, and I also don't want to force her to do this either. So, I suppose the best thing to do is to avoid setting expectations next time.
With that said, if someone's got some secret sauce or advise, I'm all ears. I mean it. I'm not kidding. I want advice people.
Be open to what comes.