This morning after our usual big breakfast to-do, we took the boys to Creekside Park in the hopes of finding more room for them to practice riding. There's a big soccer field with a paved sidewalk perimeter, perfect for Gabriel to ride, but also, the field would provide some runoff room for Julian.
A big challenge with this bicycling thing is that Gabriel isn't quite mature enough to be counted on not to run into things, on purpose or by accident. I know from other parks how annoying -- and unsafe -- it is to have kids riding bicycles around pathways where toddlers are liable to dart out at any moment, from the perspective of the toddler-mom, that is. So I need to find parks where we can see him, and that he can ride on paths not shared by playgrounds, little kids, and people who want to walk along calmly without being barreled over by a hells-on-wheels 5-year-old.
The theory basically worked at Creekside: Gabriel rode around in circles happily, though I can see that getting old for him after a while. But he got to ride farther and faster than he ever has.
You can't see it in that video, but he's getting fast. Taking him to someplace like Shoreline Park would require one of us to have a bicycle too.
Julian, meantime, is doing fine with the riding part, but stopping and starting, not so much. He can use his coaster brakes to stop, but not to slow down, so he starts to panic if he gets going too fast. And he always does get going too fast, because he doesn't know how to ride slowly yet.
Then there's the problem that he's just 3 years old. The most minor thing distracts him, such as when he's riding along fine, then screeches to an ungraceful stop and drops the bike, just to tell me that his fingernail is too long or that he has to scratch his nose.
So it's a lot of work helping him, but he does make it a decent distance (25 meters or so?) before he comes to a semi-crashing halt. Enough that I'm finding immediate benefits to the running habit I'm still clinging to (2x a week or so, just enough to stay in training zone and never really improve!). He still has a way to go before he's really riding on his own, but he's on his way!
Katrina played on the family room floor tonight for 40 minutes while Dave had the boys out to Safeway, and I was making dinner. I'd set her up with a basket of toys, figuring I had about 5 minutes, but she was still there when the boys got back. She took especial interest in a board book, carefully turning it over, opening it, playing with the pages. I frequently made eye contact and talked to her, but she was just fine for a time longer than many 5-year-olds would play on their own. I was amazed. Of course, that sort of concentrated play would have been out of the question with any brothers here.
Brutal headache today, getting ready to turn into a nasty migraine tomorrow, I'm sure. This will be the fourth Sunday in a row that I predict a Monday Migraine. What is that about?!