Friday, October 10, 2008


Lilly loves bikes.

Her obsession started when she was just over a year old. She got her tonsils out, and was in such pain that only Elmo Riding a Tricycle (a little song/skit on Sesame Street) would encourage her to eat or drink in the recovery. When she was 15 months old, we discovered she has asthma and needed to start a twice daily nebulizer, which she would sit through only if she watched the same Elmo tricycle episode. Whenever she was sad, we'd sing that song to her about Elmo riding the tricycle, and we inherited a tricycle of her own from her cousins Lyndsey and Julianne. For months, her favorite thing to do was to be pushed around our neighborhood in Charlottesville on that tricycle. She was even seen around the halls of work on it. Favorite thing ever.

So it was no surprise when she learned how to sign "bike" and she loved pointing out bikes and tricycles whenever she saw them. What an exciting thing!

When we moved to NZ, we bought two bikes from our friends who lived here before us, and couldn't wait to get a kids seat put on the back for Lilly. First we had to get through the first 3 months of rain, before it was even bike-riding weather. Then we spent the next month getting the tires put on, then getting someone else to put the tires on *correctly*, then finding a helmet for Lilly's little head, and finally getting a kids seat installed. For the past few weeks we've been showing Lilly the bikes and talking to her about how we're going to ride the bikes, and she was so excited. A little weary of the helmet we showed her, but excited nonetheless.

Jon finally picked up the bikes last night, and our plans were to finally take out Lilly this weekend on the bike. Today when I picked her up from school, I told her "Lilly we're go ride the bikes today!" And she seemed excited, and we got home and I told her "Daddy's coming home in 5 minutes, we're going to ride the bikes together!" And she scampered towards the door, signing "daddy" and saying "bike."

Jon arrived home, and we started taking the bikes out, and our helmets, and showed Lilly everything, and she looked blankly at us. I said "Lilly do you want to ride the bike with mommy?" She shook her head. She said "No. No." So I said, "Lilly watch mommy ride the bike," thinking maybe she just didn't understand what we were actually going to do, since she'd never seen her own mom or dad ride a bike. So, with Jon holding Lilly, I hopped on my bike and rode around the driveway... while Lilly proceeded to burst into tears. No idea what got her so upset, was it the fact that I got on without her, or the fact that I was riding a bike in general? So then we switched and I held Lilly while Jon rode the bike, to show her it wasn't so bad. And by this time, she was hysterical. It was awful. She'd never seen something as horrible as A Parent Riding A Bike.

Not ones to give up, we decided to show her how the kids seat works by having her doggy sit in the kids seat (wearing the helmet of course), while Jon rode around the driveway once again. It made her cry even harder. Then we tried her baby doll. Nothing worked, she was just getting more and more upset.

At one point she stopped crying and let us sit her in the seat, but a half second later she was bawling again and back in my arms. And for the next 10 minutes, each time she looked at the bike, or the helmet, she'd burst into tears again. She did NOT want to ride on a bike with us, and she did NOT want us to ride on one near her. So we decided to put the bikes away - which made her cry even harder, I guess, that we were still touching the bikes.


Lilly hates bikes.


Heather said...

Such a cute post. Hey, it's a girl's prerogative to change her mind! So funny.

Robyn said...

Obviously, bikes are NOT an acceptable mode of transportation for a Princess. Acceptable for a Princess's best friend (Elmo), but NOT for the Princess herself.