After a few years of on-and-off attempts to ride a bike, Molly is finally doing it!
Molly got a ride-behind bike for her birthday and got a little experience pedaling with me around the neighborhood and even across town. And then she got inspired to try riding on her own. I was a little skeptical this was going to work, but Molly was determined to make it work.
Here are the results of a little trial and error on Alpine Road. Here is footage of literally the first time Molly really rode her bike on her own. 😄
I was so excited, I kept saying stuff like “Molly, I’m so proud of you. This morning you couldn’t ride a bike, and now you can!” or “This is the start of a whole new thing for you!”. And Molly basically told me to calm down. “Dad, every day hundreds or kids learn to ride a bike.” 😂 But you could tell she was proud.
Here’s some footage from a week later once she’s really got it down.
After several years of swimming, Claire has finally graduated from Emler Swim School. She knows all the strokes, and they have nothing left to teach her. Claire can really, really swim now. Mission accomplished.
Elmer has been a major part of our routine over the last few years, ever since she started there back in 2011. Claire has gone to countless classes there. She had a birthday party there. Elmer even became a fun part of our Tuesday routine for a while, back before homework took over all weekdays after school. Since then it was a major part of our Friday nights routines, along with meeting Maddie and Kamile’s family at Jason’s Deli across the street before swimming.
Molly still has time left at Elmer, but it won’t be the same without Claire diving in too. Seriously, though, they taught Claire a lot. That girl can swim.
The other day, Claire suggested that she might not need a kid’s car booster seat any more. At first I thought, “Of course she needs a booster seat! Only really big kids can ride without a booster!” Well, guess what. Claire is a big kid now. We tested out the seat belt on her without a booster, and it was just fine.
Today, Molly took it upon herself to try out Claire’s old bike that has been siting around unused in the back yard. She convinced me to help her clean it up and pump up the tires. Molly got around alright with the training wheels. She may be bypassing her big sister soon, who has so far shown very little interest in biking.
For shoes, Claire has had slip-on’s such as Crocs mot of her life. She has also dabbled in velcro. We recently branched out to real shoelace shoes, some running shoes that she loves. It took her a lot of practice to learn to tie these shoes herself, but she’s officially able to do it on her own as of today. And by the way, the “rabbit through the hole” analogy for tying shoes was officially not helpful to her.
Molly rode the school bus home for the first time today. It was a brave step for a Pre-K kid like Molly to hop onto a gigantic, loud bus full of big kids as old as 12. Molly was barely as tall as the lowest step on the bus. But Molly did it with full confidence, no complaints, and no problems.
This was an accomplishment for Claire too. Being in Pre-K, Molly gets out at 2:00 rather than 2:45. Molly goes to Extend-a-Care for 45 minutes, at which point Claire gets out of class and picks up Molly. Claire actually has to find Molly and her stuff, sign her out, and get her across school in halls clogged with 895 other kids, to the bus before it leaves. This is also challenge because Molly is a bit of a slow walker. The teachers, Extend-a-Care staff, the bus driver were all prepared for this, and they all helped make it safe and easy to get Molly to the bus. The bus driver and Claire have kept careful watch on Molly to make sure she is alright on the bus. I had asked Claire if she wanted me to go through the process with her once or twice, but she immediately declined, saying she could handle it on her own. Way to go, Claire and Molly!
Molly was excited about riding the bus home, which is good because it is quite helpful for everyone. Up to this point, Claire had been riding the bus home by herself. While Molly stayed at Extend-a-Care, Claire did homework with her nanny Sarah. When Claire was doing something independent like reading, then Sarah would run and get Molly, which took about 45 to 60 minutes door-to-door, including some playground time. This was fine since I was upstairs working from home every day. This changed when I took a new job working at the Whole Foods headquarters. Now Sarah would have to take Claire with her to pick up Molly at Extend-a-Care. Before I started my new job, we did some test runs. It became painfully clear that Claire would not have the time she need to finish her homework if she was also pickup up Molly. Claire was up late, sometimes finishing her homework, up early the next morning to catch up, and some nights in tears. Now, with Molly riding the bus home, they can all stay at home and do homework, etc. without having to head back out into the traffic. Everyone seems to love the new arrangement, although it leaves Sarah with the challenge of keeping Molly from distracting Claire during her homework time.