When we were in Nova Scotia, my Bestest Buddy and honorary second godmother to Owl (she couldn’t make it to his Christening) got to see him for the first time since he was 6 weeks old.
She brought him a little gift. And by “little” I mean “a giant three foot long cardboard box”.
Inside it was, no word of a lie, a two wheeled bike.
For the 20 month old.
At first I thought it was a trike, but she quickly explained that there were only two wheels.
I was touched, because I LOVED my bike when I was a kid, and I do want Owl to get his butt on one ASAP, but I thought she was crazy. Owl still gets tangled on his own feet. (Just today I watched him trap himself in a weird downward dog position with by pushing a ball between his legs and then trying to retrieve it with one arm on either side of his right leg. It was highly amusing to watch.)
“He may not be big enough for it yet,” said Bestest Buddy.
“There aren’t any pedals, either,” she explained.
It turns out that this bike works kind of like a scooter. It’s meant to be low enough that the kid can sit astride with his feet flat on the ground, and push himself along. Instead of training wheels, his own feet provide balance and stability. As he gains confidence and speed, he can lift his feet up for short distances, and coast. When he wobbles, down go the feet.
Apparently kids can learn to ride a standard bike by age 4 on one of these things. Youtube is full of videos of toddlers basically riding them like a two wheeled bike.
Owl has a Norco Run Bike, not a Strider, but the principle is the same.
What a brilliant frigging idea.
I’m sure lots of you have probably seen these, but they are entirely new to me. After lunch I insisted on putting Owl on the bike.
He was very excited about it (“bike! bike!”) but sadly, it’s still a good inch or more too high for him. He can just barely touch the ground on his tiptoes.
I have never particularly minded that Owl is small for his age. I am always amused when my friends’ much younger babies surpass him in weight, and I actually feel for parents whose kids are unusually big, because people often expect more from them. There’s a baby in Owl’s daycare who looked like a two year old when he turned one, and the mother said she got a lot of flack from people who said he should be walking and talking. Meanwhile people think Owl is advanced for his age, because he looks younger than he really is.
So I have never really minded having a baby who is in the 15th percentile.
Because DAMN, I want to get him on that bike.