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Do you remember your first bike? Alex got her first bicycle on her half birthday! A "Pink Cupcake", complete with tassles. Boy was she excited!!
The Oop Gets Her First Bicycle
Alex met the neighbor kids, shortly after we moved in. They have three children, all older than Alex (7, 9 and 13 years of age, I think). Two are boys and a the oldest is a girl named Sydney. All ride bicycles.
One day, early this spring, the Oop was out playing next door. She comes running back into our yard and says, "Daddy, them is going on their bicycles. I need mine. Where is it?"
When I tried to explain that she didn't have a bicycle (because she was too small to ride one), she burst into tears. I felt horrible and the poor Oop felt left out, because she didn't have a bicycle (apparently the ability to ride a bike isn't nearly as important as possessing one, when you're three and a half).
"We'll have to get you one for your next birthday," I said, hoping to mollify her distress.
"Yeah," she said, taking big gulps of air and gradually calming down, while I held her close.
I relayed the story to Rachel.
Maybe I should have been more specific about which birthday I meant?
Continue on with "The Oop Gets a Bike" ...
Just before Alex's 4th half-birthday (3½ years old), Rachel announced that she was going to buy the Oop a bicycle. I wasn't hugely opposed, just surprised, because Alex had never mastered the art of pedaling her tricycle and I figured a bicycle was biting off more than she could chew. (I kinda figured we'd get one when she turned 4, on her FULL birthday).
Well, damn the torpedoes, pack up the old ladies, because there was a sale at a local sporting goods store and wouldn't you know, we were in the car, driving to get Alex a new bicycle! Alex, of course, was hugely excited, as was Mom. The only curmudgeon in the car was Dad, but in a house with two girls and one guy, the voting NEVER goes my way!! (Having a neutered male cat, who only meows when he wants food hardly bolsters my position, though I've been known to claim his vote in a futile attempt at gerrymandering.)
The store had a pink bike (with tassels) and a blue bike (without tassels), both on sale for $39. With the exception of the cross-bar height, they were darn near identical and equally shiny. If we're gonna get the Oop a bike, I didn't want to limit her to a gender-specific role and I suggested we get the blue bike.
So we bought the pink bicycle with tassels.
The Oop was excited to sit on it and while Mom was finishing up the purchase, in the store, Dad got a chance to push Alex around, in front of the store. It was a fine sunny day with gentle ocean breezes. A perfect day to get one's first bicycle.
While the Oop managed not to plow into any of the patrons, she did have a difficult time steering the bicycle and didn't get the whole pedaling idea, at all. (She did put pressure on the pedals, but mostly to apply the brake). We almost ran off the curb, knock down all the other new bicycles and hit the cement column that held up the store front. Whew! All this before Mom exited the store!
We put the shiny pink bicycle in the back of the van and headed home. There, the Oop was determined to put on her helmet (which we were made to fetch for her) and she made a great show of strutting around the driveway, yard and patio, with her new bicycle.
It took some discouraging, to keep her from dragging the thing next door, which wouldn't have done her much good, as the kids were all in school.
She was elated with her new bicycle, even though she couldn't steer or pedal it!!
I wonder how long it will be, before the Oop manages to propel it forward, under her own steam?
Regardless, today, the Oop is now the proud owner of a two-wheeled (plus training wheels), pink bicycle, with streaming pink tassels hanging from the handlebars!! What more can a three-year-old want? Life is GOOD!!
Mom and Dad wonder, "Will Alex will ever ride a bicycle across the United States, like we did?" (Rachel and Scott met while on a 3,250-mile charity bicycle ride, supporting the American Lung Association, in 1999). Read about it.