I owe Maggie (if not the rest of you) a birthday letter. She’s six! Six years old! One-third of the way to legal adulthood, I tell you what. We followed the algorithmic instructions in the decree from the Lego Marketing Gods for her birthday present:
Six year old girl plus year 2015 plus interest in Legos = LEGO FROZEN CASTLE!
Maggie had other ideas.
Years ago, we bought her a balance bike. The idea was that she’d learn to balance so well that she’d just take off on two wheels when the time came. We had really no idea at the time that the process of using a bicycle would require gross motor planning skills that we’d need to call in specialists to work on. Wheeled toys fell by the wayside. The balance bike has been used sporadically, but as all items in a multi-child home Maggie didn’t really take a huge interest in it (or in our 3-wheeled scooter that I grabbed at the local charity shop figuring “Why not?”) until Moira decided she wanted to use it.
Then it was ON.
I brought them out front to the sidewalk, gave them perimeter boundaries, and set up a chair. Using the handlebars to turn…eh. Not so much. But she does have the basic idea of sitting on a bicycle and lifting her feet, and what happens if you wobble when you should wibble. (You fall, or ride into a tree. Good life lessons for the kindergarten set.)
As it happened, my niece’s third birthday was two weeks after Maggie’s sixth. As dictated by other marketing algorithms of the day, she got a Frozen-themed big girl bike with a purple basket. I showed it to Maggie and hinted that perhaps, with the birthday money she received from generous grandparents, she might like a big-girl bike of her own.
And wouldn’t you know it? She was game. “Yes! I would like one, with stabilizers.” (The UK term for training wheels.) Next we had to find one on Amazon that would ship to APO, and we found ‘er. She’s a beaut.
Yep. Flowers, purple tires, a basket AND doll seat attachment, AND streamers?! Boss.
It hasn’t arrived yet, but she’s been telling everyone how excited she is. “I’m going to practice my skills! I have balancing skills.”
Indeed you do, sweet pea. You’re a big kid now, for sure.