Training wheels off for Benjamin

The walking distance between our condominium and Benjamin’s school is about 700 meters. Because it is so close to school, the school bus does not serve our area. We could let him take the bus if we walk about 1 and half blocks south to the school bus stop, but we didn’t. Instead, I send him to school everyday. I really enjoy that time in the morning with him. It is a great feeling, lots of fun, and good exercise for me. Had we lived a little farther from school, we may have let him take the school bus.

When he started first grade last September, he rode his bike a lot, while I followed. I can only wish that I could ride with him, because our place is too small to store an adult bike. His bike had training wheels on then. It is a small bike. The wheels are around 35 centimeters in diameter. So I cannot ride on it.

He really liked that bike before first grade. We had a lot of fun with it. However, he gradually lost interest in riding to school. I guess he may thought it is a little embarrassing with the training wheels. For whatever reason, I didn’t take the training wheels off for him and let him practice riding then. In hindsight, I think that is a good decision.

So we started walking to school. Sometimes that can be a struggle, because he walks slow and I don’t want to be late. (Tip to me: get ready early. My better half probably would say “Dah” when she reads this.) Once in a while he would ask me to drive him. I didn’t like the idea but offered to do it once a week, when it rains or snows.

Then winter came. When it snowed, I would pull the sled while he sits on it to school. That was a lot of fun. A lot of times he would lie on the sled and ask me to pull it as fast as I could. That was pretty thrilling to him. When there was not enough snow or ice on the road, we would walk. I like the feeling of walking on snow and hearing the crushing sound of it under my feet. Benjamin likes to stomp his boots on ice to crack them.

I had seen foldable Razor scooters before so I want to get one for him. Benjamin likes it too because a popular cartoon character called Jimmy Neutron has a scooter. I couldn’t remember when, but we finally got him one. That is a great mode of transportation for a couple of months. I was impressed that he learned to use it pretty fast. The ice skating lessons must have helped him in achieving good body coordination.

About 2 weeks ago, the school organized a ride-to-school event. He was excited about it and asked me to take off the training wheels so he can practice. I was worried that it may take him a while to learn to ride without them. To my surprise, he got it right away without my help at all. Now he is riding to school everyday.

This is a picture of him practicing in front of the library. It was drizzling that afternoon.

Biking in front of the library

So it has come full circle for us. We started first grade riding bike, we will probably end first grade riding bike. The only thing is that the bike is getting smaller. It is time to get a new one soon. Hopefully it will be big enough for me to ride back home in the morning, instead of carrying it.

I will probably write about Chinese first grade and American first grade when I have time. There are differences and similarities. Now that is a surprise.

Lastly, here is a shot of him playing at Scoville Park again:

Playing at Scoville Park


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