the mommy fail

Peatie pedals down the bike path.

Peatie proudly pedals down the bike path on his clown-bike.

Last fall, ‘Love found a 12” bike at a yard sale down the block from us.  We thought we’d use it as a balance bike for Peatie; unfortunately, the pedals kept kitting his legs, and the instability made him nervous.  We stuck training wheels on the thing, and he pedaled around proudly this spring.

A tall boy, our three-year-old dwarfed the 12” bike when pedaling.  Since my mom had a 16” bike around from when she babysat years ago, we moved Peatie up to that one and offered the smaller bike to Goober.

Little Goobie, not-quite-two-and-a-half, has not yet mastered the art of pedaling.  (Somehow I have not managed to find much time to work on this skill with her lately, though I can’t think why.)  Since her big brother has a bike, Goobs was pleased as punch to have one to call her own—even if she couldn’t ride it.  She would perch on it and rock back and forth, trying to convince the bike to move, or she would attempt to push herself along with her feet, legs bumping the pedals as she went.  Once again I started thinking that a balance bike would be ideal—especially after talking to some moms who have them.  But they’re so expensive!

My solution?  Remove the pedals from the 12” bike we had.  A quick search online provided photographic help from folks who’d already completed this project, and in no time, the deed was done!

Goobie on her balance bike

Goobie delightedly scoots around the driveway on her new balance bike.

Now for the Mommy Fail.  Having removed the chain and pedals from the bike, I proudly presented it to my daughter, who excitedly mounted the bike…but could hardly move because she was on her tippy-toes.  Though she couldn’t verbalize it, I could tell from her frustration at being unable to move and from the look in her eyes as she walked away that she was sorely disappointed.  Worse yet, big brother Peatie tried it out and found that the 12” bike was the perfect size for him to use as a balance bike.  Poor Goobs.  Not only could she not ride her precious bike, but now her brother was using it again.  Mommy felt terrible.

So how did I manage to salvage this?  I spent some money.  I managed to find a 10” balance bike for $35-and-change from Walmart.  I tested it out, and little Goobie can just barely straddle it comfortably.  The money for the balance bike will come out of the birthday check I’ll get from my parents this week, but the look on my little girl’s face was completely worth it.  Mostly I use my birthday money to get stuff for the kids anyhow, since their joy brings me delight—a double-gift.


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