2 weeks ago, at the start of the Easter holidays, the little one was too scared to even go on her balance bike outside.
After buying knee and elbow pads (which she no longer wears) and with lots of encouragement she can now ride her bike properly. She can set off with the pedals instead of running with her feet. She can ride around a car in a circle. She can apply breaks to slow herself down.
She can, to put it simply, ride her bike!
I am in awe of how amazing she is. Here are a couple of photos and then a video to show how amazing she is (excuse the start, I was no my bike while recording the video!)
I told you in a previous post how I was frustrated that the little one didn’t seem to have the confidence to ride a bike or even try stuff.
I also told you how I got knee and elbow pads that gave her the confidence to try. It also gave her the confidence to move from trying to ride on the balance bike to going on the pedal bike which I took the stabilisers off a while ago.
For the last 2 days she has been riding the pedal bike like a balance bike and I even got my bike out so she could copy me (you know what kids are like, they love to copy!)
She loves the idea of being able to ride to her friends house or go out on the bikes with me. It’s a good start. She loves the idea of riding her bike and with the pads is brave enough to try.
So I have been giving her loads of encouragement for trying. High fives and cheers and praise worded around “How brave you are for trying”, “how bold of you to push off so fast” “how amazing that you kept your feet up even when the bike wobbled” “I love how you keep on trying and trying until you get something”
I taught her how to push off with one pedal keeping one foot on the ground.
I taught her to use her feet to get up speed like she did on the balance bike and tuck her feet in once she was going.
I suggested it would be easiest to rest her feet on the pedals.
I suggested she could try pedalling while her feet were there.
And then this happened.
I nearly fell off my bike. I was so impressed with her. My little girl can ride a bike. I never thought it was going to happen let alone a few months before she turned 6. Well done little one!
A walk along the cliffs of Arbroath. Photos taken moments before the heavens opened and we got drenched!
A play in Monikie park
Then off to the local pub for lunch
3 of us only managed to eat about a third of this!
Spud the cat tried to help with the jigsaw. The little one and I agreed he wasn’t really helping!
The little one isn’t the sort of kid that runs headlong into things without any concern for her safety. She’s a cautious child – wary of trying new things in case she gets hurt or doesn’t like it.
We’re working on it. We give her lots of praise for trying and sticking at stuff. Way more praise for trying than for achieving. I use phrases like “I love the way you keep trying until you get something” or “I love how you stuck at that”. I use examples of things she was scared of when she was little but loves doing now (like going up and down the slide) to illustrate how things she is scared of now could become things she loves later.
The challenge comes with something like learning to ride a bike. She wants to. I want her to. But she’s scared. We’ve had a balance bike since she was 2 but she’s always been a bit wary of it.
So today I decided to go to Halfords and buy a set of elbow and knee pads for her. She loved that idea and was straight outside on her pedal bike
She had a good try on it but wasn’t quite brave enough to pedal without me there supporting her but the good news is she asked to go out on her balance bike – and not just out but she wanted to go down the path for a walk
She did brilliantly…pushing herself to go further with her feet up, tucking her feet into the frame and leaving it until the last possible second before she put her feet down again.
She got lots of praise for being brave and fast and controlled. She loved it. We went just over a mile down the path and back and I was so impressed by how much better and bolder she got in just a short space of time. I’m starting to think that this summer we might actually be able to go out on our bikes together.
Oh and Spud the cat came with us
And they had a race. He won but she said she did!
On Saturday I caught a lurgy and the little one woke up with her voice gone. This meant she spent the day shouting because she thought it sounded funny. It also meant by 8pm I couldn’t swallow because my throat was so sore and I took myself early to spend a few hours sweating out a fever.
By Sunday I was feeling a bit better. I could swallow but I still ached all over. The little one wasn’t 100% either. Her voice was a bit better but she had a temperature.
It took all the pressure off Mother’s Day. Even if we had wanted to do something there was no way it was going to happen.
She made me a lovely card at school that the hubby hid in his room. I managed to keep her in bed with me for a couple of hours when she got up at daft o’clock before she was too excited and had to get the card.
No McD’s brekkie for us (a tradition for Sunday) because I wasn’t up to going out so we had a chilled brekkie in front of the TV while I did a few necessary chores.
When the hubby got up he took her to Asda to get the stuff for the packed lunches and he bought her a present as a well done for her presentation on Friday.
They came back with this for me
We spent the day snuggled up together on the sofa. She was adorable with me all day. She kept stroking my head and kissing me and telling me what a special mother I was.
It got me thinking.
I realised that I spend too much time caught up in the stuff I don’t have and all too often forget to focus on the stuff I do have.
And that’s a real shame. It’s something I need to change. Focussing on the stuff I don’t have makes me unhappy. Focussing on the stuff I do have makes me happy. No-Brainer really!
I reckon that’s another lesson from the Universe.
I’m a bit slow so it seems the Universe has to teach me stuff the hard way.
Like the lesson it’s been trying to get into my head the last couple of months. The last 2 months I’ve had almost no face to face clients and quite frankly it’s made me really, really, really miserable. I realised that the way I have been feeling good about who I am is by helping other people be all they can be.
But that’s not a healthy way to be. We should not be dependent on an external or environmental factor to dictate our mood or value in ourselves. That should come from within.
I need to be ok with being me no matter what I do in my day to day life. I can see that now. And with that realisation clients started contacting me again. I know…that Universe!
That’s not to say I have this cracked. Knowing what I need to do is not the same as doing it. But it’s certainly one step closer.
Yesterday the little one did a solo talk in her class on her rainforest animal which is a red-eyed tree frog. We had no idea she had to do this. On Thursday morning on the way to school she said “I need a poster on the frog and I need it today!” Obviously that wasn’t going to happen but that evening I printed off something for her to colour in and made a frog out of Fimo
I took him into school on Friday morning and sent her in with her colouring in and her cheat sheets.
Yesterday she came home with this
We are both so impressed with her.
I was over it. The angst and the bitterness. Last year I was over it and decided mother’s day was about me being a mum. I had a good day
This year? Well this year isn’t working out so well again.
At the start of the year the events I started with the police kicked stuff off again. Once more I found my expectations of what my mother would do didn’t match the reality. I feel like an idiot for thinking things would be any different this time.
And it hurts. Most of the pain has gone from my life now. In the main I live a happy and balanced life. I live life for the moment.
After all we can’t change the past and we don’t know what will happen in the future so all we can ever really do is live in the moment.
I am ok at that these days.
Sometimes things drag me back though. Like Mother’s Day. The constant adverts on the radio and TV “Tell us why your mother is the best…”
I wish I could. I don’t think I’d win any competitions with my competition entry!
I’m trying to see it as a day for the little one and I, but it’s too raw this year. I really can’t. It will be over in a couple of days and I can get on with the business of forgetting again. You see I am a mother. I would do anything for my daughter. There isn’t a single thing I can think of where her needs would not be more important than my own. My love for her does not have any limitations on it.
It has been a really hard and long journey to get to the point where I am able to accept that my mother not loving me in the same way as I expect a mother to love her daughter is not about me but about her stuff. But we all want to be loved by our parents don’t we? It’s a hard thing to accept deep down. So it hurts to be betrayed again more because I believed this time it might be different and it wasn’t.
I’m not sure about the best way to get through Mother’s Day this year.
I know I am not alone. People have lost their mums and miss them terribly. People have never had a mum in their life and feel the sense of missing out or being different. People who have a difficult relationship with their mother and are pressured into behaving like their mother matters when really they don’t.
So how do we deal with these Hallmark events which are hyped up to the max? Do we treat them as an opportunity to kick back and have some fun? Do we try and ignore them and get on with life as you would an normal day? Do we hide and wait until they are over?