Jump to content

Easy Rider: A Christmas Tale


  • Please log in to reply
No replies to this topic

#1 diary~dad

Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:57 PM

Easy Rider
By Joseph Kelly

I can still vividly remember my first bike.  It was a golden Malvern Star with a dragster seat and sissy bar.  I thought it was the coolest piece of equipment I’d ever seen. Since getting that first bike at Christmas before my fourth birthday, until I finished high school some fifteen years later, I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t ride a bike.  But it appears as though a love of bike riding hasn’t passed through the genes.

A few Christmases ago, when Maisie was about four, Santa delivered her a bike straight off Cinderella’s parking lot.  It had pink highlights, pink streamers screaming from the handlebars and a basket on the front emblazoned with hand painted fairies.  Bolted onto the back wheel were two pink training wheels that I figured we’d be rid of in no time, once Maisie got the grasp of basic cycling mechanics.  All Christmas day Maisie wouldn’t get off her bike – it looked like the start of a long and beautiful relationship.  Until Boxing Day.

My memories of bike riding are only getting rosier as I get older, but I know for a fact that having a bike as a kid gave me a sense of freedom and confidence that has since been unmatched.  I don’t think there was a single corner of the town I grew up in that I didn’t reach with my trusty Malvern Star.  And I loved the autonomy it gave me in deciding where I would go and when I’d head back home.  At four years of age I felt like Peter Fonda in Easy Rider!

So I was very keen to see Maisie start down the path of discovery that having your own transport allows.  I was so keen that on Boxing Day I decided to teach her, in one afternoon, all the cycling skills she would need to last her a life time.  The pinnacle of this plan was to launch Maisie down a hill and leave her in charge of regulating her speed while also navigating her direction and suppressing her fear.  How could anything go wrong?

As soon as we got to the top of the hill and Maisie looked down she began to get worried.  “You won’t let go will you daddy?” was all she kept nervously asking me.  I explained to Maisie that I would run alongside the bike while she braked and steered and I would be there if anything went wrong.  There were two things I didn’t count on: first, a four-year-old on a bike goes very, very fast down hill and secondly, panicked four-year olds do not act calmly and rationally when they find themselves on a run-away bicycle.

The results are, in hindsight, disturbingly predictable.  Maisie wasn’t hurt, but her confidence was battered and she had a few “trust issues” with her dad that she needed to workshop on the long walk home.  While we were able to iron out our relationship pretty quickly, Maisie’s relationship with her bike has taken a lot longer to mend.  For nearly two years now her bike has only seen the outside of the shed a handful of times.

This Christmas, though, we are both two years older.  For my part I like to think that I’m more patient and more prepared to let my girls discover things at their own pace.  And two years on, Maisie is starting to see the attraction of a bit of independence and has shown some interest in her bike.  So, with no pressure from me, Maisie has asked for her bike to come down to the beach with us for the summer.  And whether she takes to the bike or not isn’t important.  Because on the bike or off, I’m pretty happy for Maisie to be Dennis Hopper (complete with training wheels) to my Peter Fonda.

This is my last blog for this year.  Thank you all for your wonderful contribution and feedback throughout the year.  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year and I'll see you all in 2009.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Britain's youngest parents: mother 12, father 13

A 12-year-old schoolgirl and her 13-year-old boyfriend are believed to have become Britain?s youngest parents, after the birth of their baby girl earlier this week.

When Prince George met Bilby George

Prince George has met an Aussie marsupial named after him in his first official engagement in Australia.

Asphyxia link another piece of the SIDS puzzle

An Australian study has uncovered information which could lead to a better understanding of why babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Pregnant woman dies after doctor removes ovary instead of appendix

When a UK woman went to hospital suffering appendicitis, doctors mistakenly removed her healthy ovary - with tragic consequences.

The milestones I can't wait to celebrate

Nothing can beat the feeling of witnessing that first smile, first step and first word - but here's a list of 'firsts' I'm really looking forward to now.

How you develop in your baby's first year

Just as babies undergo rapid growth as they learn and change in their first year, we?re learning and changing quickly as parents, too. Don?t underestimate the developmental stages you go through when you have a baby.

Can you make your baby smarter even before birth?

A product new to Australia claims to help babies be born "as intelligent as possible", but not all experts agree on the benefits of educating babies while still in the womb.

How a mother's love helped unearth the skills of an autistic savant

Autistic savant Ping Lian Yeak, a prodigious artist who has had his work shown all over the world, couldn't have done it without the support and love of his proud mum.

Rescue dog Zoey and BFF Jasper star in adorable pics

Photographer, self-professed "crazy dog lady" and mum Grace Chon takes photos of rescue dog Zoey and her 10-month-old son Jasper together. The results are just too cute. See more on Instagram @thegracechon.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

A tiny heart: a baby?s death gives life to another

Simon Alexander Garcia lived only one brief hour. But somewhere, a little girl?s heart is beating today because of him.

Ear piercing: what age is best?

What is it that shapes our opinions on what?s an 'appropriate' age for our children to get their ears pierced? Parents share their views on how young is too young when it comes to piercing.

Why is childbirth still such a pain?

The options given to women to help them cope in labour have barely changed in years.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win the brand new phil&teds vibe

Check out the good looking new release of the Vibe 3 and the Verve 4-wheeler inline strollers. To celebrate their release, we have a Vibe with double kit to give away.

Baby sleep

From birth to one year and beyond, read about baby sleep, soothing techniques, routines, and sleep school experiences.

Easter gifts for babies, no chocolate in sight!

If this is your little one?s first Easter you might want to mark the occasion with something a little extra special. Here are 10 Easter gift ideas, which won't harm little teeth.

7 tips for a kid-free trip, not a guilt trip

Although I?m jumping out of my skin to take my child-free holiday, I?m dreading the goodbye. But I?m determined to make the most of it without tarnishing it with guilt or sadness about leaving the kids.

Itchibubs: clothes for babies and toddlers with eczema

Parents of children who suffer from eczema will know only too well the scratching that occurs around the clock. A new clothing range aims to help make everyone more comfortable.

Ear piercing: what age is best?

What is it that shapes our opinions on what?s an 'appropriate' age for our children to get their ears pierced? Parents share their views on how young is too young when it comes to piercing.

Caring for kids helps grandmothers stay mentally alert

Looking after grandchildren can help grandmothers ward off brain disease - but it's also possible to get too much of a good thing, researchers say.

Why I loved my third home water birth

After two water births at home, I was determined to give birth to my son the same way. I just hoped this birth would be quicker than my last two.

Revealed: 7 ways food marketers try to trick consumers

If you?re confused by food labels, you?re not alone. Next time you?re shopping for food, look out for these seven common labelling tricks.

'My mother-in-law found out our baby's gender behind our backs'

My husband and I mutually decided that we didn?t want to know our baby's sex before the birth, but his mother couldn't handle that.

 

Free Printable Activities

Keeping little hands busy

Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.