Riding a bike without stabilisers

We had a fairly momentous milestone in our house this weekend! Mothers day 2017 will be remembered in our house as the day Monkey learned to ride his bike. I cannot tell you just how pleased, and relieved I am to be able to write that, as I wasn’t sure when this day would come!IMG_20170326_195924_439

I’ve written before about our boy and my worries for him. He can be very stubborn and he gives up on things. He refuses to try something if he thinks he is going to fail at it, crying and saying “I can’t do it” without even trying. He’s the same at school too apparently. He’s only 4 I know but it’s something we have to work on. His self confidence and believing in himself that he can do things if he just tries.

It’s hard to know how to deal with it sometimes. I try to positively encourage him, but I’m not a perfect person and I get frustrated when he refuses to try. I also find that if I pander to him too much, that he will just play on that and keep crying until I either give in to him or get cross. Every kid is different I know, and I have to find the way that works for him, and it’s often that something that worked before, won’t work again!

Sometimes I find I have to use a bit of a “stick and carrot” approach. I have to give him a reason to try, usually a combination of the promise of something positive and the threat of something negative. On their own neither seem to work for him but a bit of both can just do it sometimes. For example yesterday was all about how proud everyone was going to be of him when he did it. His relatives, his teacher, his friends. It was enough incentive some of the time… But after a while he started to give up, even though he was making such good progress. So then I got cross. I told him that if he didn’t stop crying and didn’t try again, that he wouldn’t see his Granny & Grandad that afternoon. And what do you know, his tears stopped, he said ok, and he tried again.

I don’t like having to be the bad guy as a parent. I hate having to threaten but sometimes I have to as nothing else will work and I guess the end justifies the means. It’s like the thousand times that I ask him nicely to do something, then eventually shout. I don’t want to shout at all but when asking nicely doesn’t get you anywhere, sometimes you have to. It was the same with his recent tears at school in the morning. The more we were nice about it and the more attention we gave him the worse he got. We couldn’t find any reason for the tears other than he wanted to stay with us, which isn’t possible. Once we ignored the tears and ushered him in without acknowledging them (much as it broke my heart not to cuddle him) surprise surprise he stopped crying in the morning. I hate it but the truth is that it works. I guess it’s all about balance.

Anyway, back to the cycling. Once he was trying again, we found it really helped him to have one of us a little way ahead so he could focus on getting to us and concentrate on where he was going. Once he had enough of an incentive his progress sped up, and well, it just clicked. He just got it and then he was off!20170326_145418_0:13.110

It was amazing!

I was then running alongside him and I made up a little theme tune for him “woo oo woo oo Monkey can do it, woo oo woo oo Monkey can do it” which he picked up and as he cycled started singing “woo oo woo oo, I can do it!”

Once he started he didn’t stop and he doesn’t want to get off now! He was so proud to go into school today and tell his teacher and show his friends, and I’m so pleased for him. I hope that we can build on this and remind him of this day. Of how he tried and how he achieved! I hope we can help build his confidence and and give him the courage to try instead of giving up.

Our little cyclist

We have had a huge wonderful event in our house and one I am so excited about. Monkey can ride his bicycle!monkey cycle 1

We bought his bike last year as a 3rd birthday present, but he just couldn’t get it. We knew it would come when he was ready so didn’t force the issue too much… Even though I was looking forward to the day when we could go on a family bike ride.

I persuaded him to try a couple of times earlier this year but “its too hard work” was always the response. Then in March his good friend Felix got a bike for his 4th birthday and basically hasn’t stopped riding it since then and was even off stabilisers after a few weeks. Monkey was suitably impressed and showed a lot of interest in his bike after that. We got him out on his again a few times and he definitely improved though he still said it was hard and tiring. His uncle even helped out but laughed and said he was lazy as he wanted to be pushed all the time haha.Monkey cycling 2

Then I realised his tyres needed pumping up. In fact, *bad parent alert* his back tyre was flat as a pancake! No wonder it was hard work. We pumped his tyres up and he improved almost immediately.After a few more practice runs it clicked and he just suddenly got it. He even figured out how to move his pedals to the right position to start himself off. He is loving getting out on his bike so much and we are so so proud of him.Monkey cycle 3

We have been out on his bike loads this week and Daddy even got his bike out too. LM adores running in front or behind too and finds the whole thing hilarious at the moment. He’s still pretty slow so a little while until no stabilisers I think but he does keep talking about Felix riding without his so who knows. We have sorted helmets now (his head his so big he fits in Daddy’s haha) and pumped up the tyres on my bike and I was quite excited to take both kiddies on a short bike ride on my own. LM wasn’t sure at first but then started enjoying it I think. Difficult to see when she is sat behind me haha.PhotoGrid_1464584563975

Right now I am just looking forward to hubs recovering from his knee op so we can all work towards a nice family bike ride, even if just a short one to start with!

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Proud of my Monkey

I only wrote an update on what Monkey is up to at the moment last week, but then he went and did two things that made me so darn proud to be his Mummy that I just have to share them.

Standing up for himself

We went on a playdate to one of our fave soft play places last week with good friends. Monkey and his friend were having a lovely time going up the steps and down the slide while us Mums were having a natter and playing with LM. Then to my right I suddenly saw an altercation.

A little boy, younger than Monkey but walking and talking (so difficult to gauge age) hit Monkey. I’m not sure why but Monkey was half climbing the step and had turned back and the little boy was standing on the floor and had hit him. Instead of hitting back, Monkey loudly and clearly said “Stop it!” to the other little boy (I hung back, it is always good to see if things can be sorted between themselves). Unfortunately the other boy then spat in Monkey’s direction and actually slapped him in the face.

Of course I intervened and started to say “Excuse me, that is not nice” but the boy’s daddy ran over and told him off and made him apologise. The point though? My lovely Monkey didn’t hit back, didn’t retaliate, but he did stand up for himself, using words, not violence.

That made me HUGELY proud of him. So proud it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. His skin is like mine and turns red very easily so he had a bright red cheek for a while and the thought of him being hurt by another child also makes me quite protective!

I was also proud as he didn’t let it bother him. He didn’t get upset by it or stop playing. In the not too distant past an altercation like this would have really rattled Monkey. He would have been scared of the other child and of all other children for a while. This time last year he was terribly afraid of other children after being knocked over. So the fact that he was absolutely fine afterwards is just another sign of how grown up my little Monkey is getting. Definitely a proud mummy moment!

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Naming his drawings

Slightly less dramatic but another proud moment was when Monkey was doing some painting at the weekend. He actually started to tell me what he was drawing. In the past when i have asked him what he is drawing or painting he has sort of looked blankly while he splodged paint around and said “I don’t know.”

This time though I didn’t even ask but he proudly announced that one painting was a plane, “Dusty Crophopper” from the film Planes to be precise, and that the blue splodges were footprints.

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Then, my favourite, he painted a rocket ship with fire coming out of it!

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His imagination is really growing lately and he is coming on leaps and bounds all the time and may be a daft one but again I was just so so proud of him for drawing actual things and telling me what they were.

Oh yes and here he is really proud of his “rainbow finger” too.

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I love being his Mummy :)

My word of the week this week is, proud.

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Learning to Count – 25 months

Monkey's wall stickers

Monkey’s wall stickers

Monkey loves numbers. Loves them. He’s been fascinated by them since he was tiny really. He has some ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ themed wall stickers in his bedroom, which include the numbers 1-5 which are positioned above his bed, and he has found those numbers fascinating since he was very small. He also loves clocks and watches and many times has nearly pulled a relative’s arm off (well maybe not quite off but given it a good tug) to see the numbers on their watch.

 

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Monkey’s Speech at 25 months

Monkey is a late talker. I know all kids vary and do things in their own time, but this is one of those areas where Monkey has definitely lagged behind slightly. One of my friends’ little boys started talking at around 10 months, and most of the other toddlers we know started pretty early too.

But, judging by other toddlers at the music class Monkey goes too, and his tumble tots class, I have seen that it really is not that unusual for a toddler to not speak much until they are around the age of 2. Because it is something I once worried about (and therefore talked about a lot) I also know of lots of adults who didn’t speak until they were nearly 3 – and it never meant anything detrimental about their development.

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Moving up a class at Tumbletots

With Monkey turning 2 a few weeks ago, it is now time for him to move up to the 2-3 age group at Tumble Tots! We have loved going to Tumble Tots ever since he started walking, at around 11 months and I have to admit I was a little nervous about making the transition.

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