Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Just like that


The first time I attempted to ride a bicycle without training wheels was when I was around 7 or 8 years old. It was outside my house, along a narrow two lane road. I got the push off from a neighbour, and was getting quite confident until I realized that I was fast approaching a parked van and hadn’t the faintest idea how to steer. The resulting meeting of metal had me avoiding going anywhere near bikes, and it wasn’t until I was in Secondary 2 that I finally gathered enough courage to try again. Not a great model to emulate, then.

From the moment we got Matt a bike last September, I had been wondering how he would handle the transition from four wheels to two. We tried removing the training wheels in the first few days, but at that time his legs were not strong enough to pedal quickly enough to maintain his balance. The other big issue of course was confidence. Even with the seat at its lowest, Matt could only have both feet on the ground tip-toeing. And without the assurance of being able to stop at anytime without falling over, he naturally never got round to placing his feet on the pedals. We stuck the trainers back on.

Fast forward to March 2007. Sarah had been hitching rides with Matt and occasionally attempted to use his bicycle, so we decided to get her one as well, only with a smaller frame. Funny thing is, this benefitted Matt most. Last Tuesday I took away the training wheels (much to Sarah’s dismay) and gave him the initial supporting balance. Within a few steps I realized I could let go, and he just carried on. And after getting a few tips on starting off, he was cycling all by himself! The look of utter astonishment on our faces was matched only by the glee on his.

The next couple of days he wanted more (and Sarah wanted her birthday present back), so we put him on his own bike. He carried on, as if he had been doing it for ages. We cycled around the estate, exploring like he never could previously. And on Saturday I took him to Punggol Park, where we covered two rounds of the track, which is plenty for a not-yet-six year old. He was exhausted for sure, but never wanted to stop. He had discovered a sense of freedom unimaginable just a week before. And I saw my little boy grow up yet another notch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Booked for Ballet

I'm terribly excited. For years I've been wanting to do ballet. Things suddenly came together today!

First I get a private message from a mommy on a local mother's forum telling me about a kids' ballet class suitable for Sarah. Quick consultation with S via sms, and I register her together with payment immediately! And this is at a public community club.

Then I get inspired and do a google search on Singapore ballet and it throws up a beginners' class at the Y. Some phone calls and an email from the person in charge (oh yes and a consultation of some members at said mother's forum), and I'm going to mail the form, photo and cheque tomorrow!

All this without having to stir from my seat. OK I had to take a walk to the printer and back but isn't it absolutely marvellous what levels communication technologies have reached today?

I love it!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Shopped out

Phew. We were supposed to have taken leave to chill! But Tuesday we went and got another bicycle, for Sarah. Wednesday I got me a pair of GAP jeans - kids sized at a factory outlet for less than 15% the price of a very similar looking pair of Levis! Haha. Yesterday was the clincher. S and I got a pile of basics at U2, I got a long skirt at Fox, and, we got an HP colour laser printer and Sony laptop at the IT show! Gulp. No more shopping for the rest of this year, I think. These will all have to count towards our birthday and Christmas presents. Just as well - gift giving to each other is such a left-pocket-right-pocket exercise for us, it's becoming nothing more than an excuse to splurge.

The printer's home but we're waiting for the laptop to be delivered today. I can't wait! We'll finally be able to print our own pictures and I can make personalised cards etc. Matt's already asking us to print Gundam pictures for him to colour, and naming us all the games he's expecting S to install. Some of these he played briefly on S's laptop long ago, but for want of space they got uninstalled to make way for other new games. I'd totally forgotten about them myself! Oh boy. Definitely going to password protect the thing.

Thursday, March 01, 2007