Our driveway needs a LOT of work so we keep our riding toys down the street with my parents where they have a long, smooth driveway. We have a hand-me-down bike that was given to Vivi but she's not quite tall enough for it, but Jebriel really wanted to ride it. One of his favorite books right now is about Mickey Mouse owning a bike shop. He tried riding a couple of times but struggled (his arm and leg strength isn't what it should be, I think mostly because the orphanage compound wasn't that big and he hadn't had much practice running or climbing) and ended up giving up, walking the bike around instead.
Yesterday before nap time, we read the Mickey's bike shop book, and he noticed the bikers wearing helmets, and asked what kind of hat it was. I explained that you wear a helmet when you ride a bike, and he said "I need a helmet!" I told him that first he needs to learn how to ride a bike, and then we'll get him a helmet. I know the thinking on that is a little backwards, but we weren't spending $20 on a helmet if he was just going to walk the bike around the driveway.
After naptime, we went for a walk through the subdivision across the street, and it happened to be right at the time that a school bus dropped off a bunch of elementary school kids, most of whom ran home and hopped on their bikes. Jebriel was enthralled again and kept pointing out every bike and helmet he saw, and telling me that he needs a bike and a helmet too. I kept telling him he needed to practice on the bike at Nana and Bapa's house and when he can ride by himself, we will get him a helmet. He insisted on going down to try right away, so we walked down and got the bike out while the girls played in the Cozy Coupes. He hopped on the bike, put his feet on the pedals, and after I gave him a little push, he took off riding! He struggled a little and almost gave up, trying to walk the bike instead, but then he asked for a helmet and I told him he needs to learn how to start, stop, and ride all by himself before he gets a helmet, and he hopped right back on.
After about 15 minutes of practicing, he had figured out how to start, stop, and ride all by himself. I let him ride the bike home so he could show Eric and ask him about the helmet. It took a while to get home, but he did it entirely by himself.
So, last night, we took him to the store and bought him a helmet. It has Lightning McQueen from the Cars movie on it, and it came with a bell. He carried it through the store so proudly!
As soon as I cut the plastic off, he wanted to wear it:
Then he wanted to sleep in it:
Don't worry, safety police, we unhooked the strap. Which caused him to wake us up at 5am and 6am to tell us that the helmet had fallen off and to ask us to strap it on again. Then at 7am a pair of robins started dive bombing our windows, so I got very little sleep, but that's another story...
FINALLY it was morning time, and after breakfast, we got dressed to go outside. Except Jebriel, who wanted to wear his lion shirt so that he didn't have to take his helmet off to change. As you can see, it's somewhat of a girly bike, which he isn't aware of yet but none of his friends have seen it and I'm afraid they're going to burst his bubble when they see it. I'm hoping to check out some mom2mom sales to find a used one before Easter.
I let him set the pace, with the girls in the double stroller, and after walking down to the sub, up into the sub, and down and around a culdesac, I gave him the choice of turning left to go back home, or turning right to keep riding, and he chose right. We went down and around another culdesac and he wanted to keep turning right, but it was almost lunch time so we had to start heading back. He didn't seem to get tired at all, and he rode the whole time.
Since the ride home from this walk, he has been asking constantly when Daddy will come home so we can eat dinner and go for another walk so he can show Daddy how he rides so fast, and only turn right, not left to go home Looks like we've found a new pasttime :)