Monday, May 9, 2011

Four on the Floor

It's been quite busy around here lately! A class field trip, Easter, a friend's birthday party, a church carnival, daddy being home for a week, and Boo's birthday. There are so many things I have longed to share, but haven't found the time to get my thoughts out. The birthday was a huge success! It was the first time Boo had a party with his friends. We had a backyard bash, and the day was a gorgeous as could be.

There were only two hitches. First, Boo refuses to believe or admit that he is now four. He insists on staying three. He is not motivated by the idea of being bigger. He wants to stay little and he says he likes being three. While I relish the fact that my little guy isn't in a hurry to grow up, facts are facts. But he keeps insisting he is three. LOL

The second problem involved his birthday present. Last year, he got his first bike, a 12 inch one that he adored, but which was causing him to practically eat his knees this spring! We got him a new 16 inch bike and he knew it was coming. He was so excited to get it, the very instant we gave it to him he insisted on going for a ride. He also received a new helmet and knee and elbow pads. He readily put them on, which surprised me. I had never required it of him in the past, and as a general rule he hates things on his head. But he geared up and we headed out. When Boo goes bike riding, he has a very specific path he takes. Any suggestion that we vary the path is met with extreme resistance. Once I got him to go half a block out of route at which time he had a total meltdown and insisted on going home. Later when he was more able to discuss his emotions he told me that he had been lost because he didn't know where he was. The route he takes is not circular. We go across town and down a certain one way street, and back the same way. On his birthday, we went all the way to the end of the one way street, turned around, and got about a third of the way back when the problem started. Having ridden the bike about 40 minutes, he suddenly realized that both of the training wheels on the bike did not turn at all times. Of course, that is exactly how they are designed to work. As he leans to the right or left, the training wheels support him and keep him from falling. But in Boo's mind, wheels are made to spin. And if a vehicle has four wheels, then all four wheels must spin. He has rejected toy cars in the past if all four wheels did not spin freely. So the fact that the training wheels "didn't work right" rendered the entire bike un-rideable. I reasoned, I bargained, I begged, I cajoled, I threatened, I feigned walking away, nothing worked. My Boo sat motionless and sobbing in despair, refusing to pedal the bike. I reached my breaking point. I turned into Mommy Hyde. I yelled, I was angry, I threatened to take the bike back to the store. I ended up pushing him on the bike all the way back home. You talk about a LONG walk! By the time we arrived home, Boo wailing and me seething, he was begging me to take his bike back to the store. I took him into the house, and eventually was able to calm both of us down enough to comfort him. I told him I would ask Daddy to "fix" his training wheels so they would work right and he said that would be acceptable. I left him with his great grandma and I went out to the garage. It didn't take long before I collapsed into a sobbing heap of bitter desperate tears. I cried to my mom and my husband, told them how horribly I had behaved toward poor Boo. How much I hate myself when I treat him that way. How very hard it is at times to remember that it's not his fault, he can't control it, and he's not just being obstinate. It really does bother him THAT much. I felt like the worst mother in the entire world. My husband and I wept in each other's arms, then he got out his wrenches and lowered the training wheels as low as they would go. Later that afternoon when everyone was more relaxed, Boo agreed to try the bike again. The wheels were low enough that they at least appear to him to be spinning at all times, and he is thrilled with the bike once again. Of course, now my mantra is a constant reminder to look ahead of him instead of staring at the training wheels to make sure they are spinning.

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