Mon Petit Homme



My son has learned how to ride a bike.


It’s awesome to watch. The kid’s a complete menace: fast, super-fast, and always right on the verge of losing control. (I have put my faith in the good folks at the Canadian Standards Association, who certified his helmet. If his brains spill, it’s your ass, Inspector #3554!)


There’s only one problem.


He doesn’t know that he knows how to ride a bike.


Last summer, and most of this one, we watched him ride. His training wheels only touched the ground every once in a while. (His grandmother ran over the bike with her car an hour after she bought it for him. It’s never been quite right since. And the training wheels have always been a little cock-eyed). We were pretty sure he could ride without training wheels.  But he was not about to give them up.


“Other 5 year old’s are giving up the training wheels, you know. You guys are pretty big kids now.”


“That’s OK. I think I’ll keep mine until I’m a teenager.”


But the other night, for no reason we could discern, he asked for them to come off. His dad obliged.


He decided he didn’t want them off after all.


So they went back on the bike. But now, they’re 5 inches off the ground.


I think maybe he knows. And I think he knows we know.


And I don’t think he’s in a hurry to be a big kid.


 (Image borrowed from here.  No, it’s not my son.  If he ever slows down enough to be captured on camera, I’ll show you.)



9 responses to “Mon Petit Homme

  1. It’s always cool to watch this happen . . . that gleam in their eye when they figure out they’ve figured it out.

    Way to go, kiddo! He’ll be poppin’ wheelies before Labor Day . . .

  2. btw, I blogged about my son’s bike-riding adventure back around Father’s Day. The post is titled “Sunrise of Your Smile” if you want to search for it . . .

  3. I can’t watch my kids ride bikes or skateboards or anything like that. I know I’m gonna have to clean up the blood when they crash and burn, I just don’t want to see the crash and burn happen.

  4. My theory is Little Johnny down the street made fun of your kid for riding with training wheels [off with the training wheels]. Then Little Johnny took a header off his bike [on with the training wheels]. I bet when Little Johnny wakes up from that coma the wheels will come off again.

  5. tysdaddy: I was actually thinking about your post when I wrote this. And about the fact that I’m a little jealous that I didn’t get the “Aha” moment, where he figured out he was actually riding a two-wheeler. But that’s my boy…

    Sue: We actually had the first appearance of blood this morning (in the form of a scraped knee). He saw the blood only after he had mounted the bike again. He asked me to stop his bike from shaking. I had to tell him that it was his leg shaking uncontrollably. Apparently, he doesn’t do real well with the sight of blood either.

    Max: I checked up and down the block: no kids in comas. But I think you are absolutely right.

  6. Oh great. First he learned to walk, and now he’s on wheels! Watch out world!

  7. Ginny, didn’t you get the memo? As boys we’re built to confound our moms, as husbands we’re built to confound our wives.

    It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Crap, that was close… was that just a warning shot, or was that the beginning of, “fire for effect?”


  8. Beej: I know, I know. The whole time I’ve been raising kids, I keep waiting for them to hurry up and reach the next milestone (walking, talking, etc.). And then when they get there, I wonder why the hell I was in such a hurry, because it is never all it’s cracked up to be.

    Allen: Sigh. At least I have the girl child to fall back on 😉

  9. Until you hear… “Mom, he’s soooo cute.”

    Then you go “You are her father just kill him, I’ll visit you in prison.”

    Ah, parenthood it’s both sublime and manic. Wouldn’t trade it for the world myself.

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