Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Learning To Ride A Bike

Late Sunday afternoon, I decided to teach Cava how to ride a bike. While Danelle and I missed many of Cava's firsts growing up, this would not be one of them.

So I got Benjamin's old bicycle out of the garage, put the training wheels back on, and took Cava over to a nearby parking lot that was empty.

Before we could even start, Cava had to get himself prepared by doing push-ups. Have to work those muscles!

He struggled with the pedaling and for awhile I would push him along while he tried to get the hang of pushing the pedals forward to go and not hitting them back to stop. Despite having a difficult time, Cava was not one to quit - unless, of course, there was a plane flying overhead. Then he stopped, pointed to the sky, and declared, "самолет!"  ("Simalote!" or "Plane!").  It was a heavy traffic day for the flight pattern over this parking lot and still he got excited by each plane he saw.

Once the plane was gone from sight, Cava picked right up where he was before. It's funny, but just like Benjamin, Cava would climb down off the bike to brush away any stick or small pebble that was on the parking lot (as if that was what was keeping him from succeeding). Other times, he would get off the bike and check the brakes, the tires, or even the seat (I was constantly either lowering it or raising it to Cava's specifications). Yet no matter how hard he found this task, Cava would not give up. 

Danelle also worked with him on his technique - at first.

Then he would wave her off and tell her, "No. Mama. No." He wanted to do this by himself.

We must have been out there for well over an hour before Cava pedaled. Not far, but he did it. And he was so proud of himself. Danelle and I were proud of him too, so we gave him high fives and told him what a great job he'd done. Another thing we did was to ask him, "Don't you think you've done a great job?" This is something his therapist suggested we do to help bolster Cava's low self-esteem.

I'm sure there will be many, many more bicycling days to come!

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