Friday, January 11, 2013

SS tries her scooter.

The one thing SS wanted for Christmas was a bike. It would have been far less expensive as a big gift than the Mini Cooper, except for one problem. No matter how many bikes and configurations we have tried, SS is unable to pedal. She still can't pedal her firetruck that P bought for her with so much excitement years before SS came home. SS can't pedal the tricycle Abuela and Abuelo gave her two Christmas ago. SS has been evaluated more than once, and there is no point in subjecting her to physical therapy; there is really nothing wrong with her.  It could simply be the remnants of SS's first sixteen months of life, or just a neurological issue. Just like although JJ is extremely coordinated in most areas, the boy can't drive a stick. It is likely that it would never happen.

So we could not give SS the one thing she really wanted. Most of SS's peers have bikes, by five to six years old most kids have at least their first bike. JJ received his first bike at three, and was riding without wheels by four years old. Oh well, maybe SS will drive a stick. That is how SS ended up with her Mini Cooper, we felt really awful about her inability to pedal a bike.

When SS opened Aunt C's gift I was horrified, immediately thinking broken bones. What I did not realize at the time was how popular those scooters are. I recall almost every kid on my caseload asking for one for Christmas more than seven years ago. I had no idea they were still so popular, but it turns out they are. SS's friend K, his three year old sister, and his one year old sister received scooters for Christmas. Aunt C unknowingly relieved some of our guilt about the bike. However, SS had to wait for a helmet and elbow/knee pads. The helmet was not a problem, but the pads were a witch to find, The smallest we found are still big, but we knew we could not hold SS back any longer. She was darn ready to try her scooter. At least we have really good medical coverage. This afternoon I took SS to the park, because our house is on an incline, it was not safe for SS to try her bike out front.

Helmet, pads, and cool sunglasses, SS is ready to roll.

Uh oh, one small problem. SS has never attempted using a scooter. Don't judge us, she has played laser tag. has lounged in the beaches of Puerto Rico and Maui, and drives a Mini Cooper. :)

That is when I had a DUH moment.  Last summer I bought SS a balance bike at Costco. Last time I saw them (in Northern California) they were $90, and I could not justify the expense. Then I found just one left for $20 here, although not the same brand. I did not care, we wanted to help SS with her balance issues. I tried to find SS's helmet while P assembled the bike. By the time I gave up and decided to go and buy one, it was clear that SS was freaked out by the possibility of falling. The bike has been on our backyard, unused, since that first attempt. We just forgot it was there. I asked SS if she wanted to try her balance bike, and she agreed.

It does not have pedals but it is still a bike.

Maybe it was the protective gear, or maybe the time elapsed, but SS not only tried the bike, but did  a really good job and did not fall once. OK, hard to fall when SS was so close to the ground. P is going to raise the seat to make it more comfortable.

After using the bike for a while, SS decided to give the scooter another try.

There were missteps.

But SS kept trying.

While looking for reassurance.

Our little girl managed to glide a few times, and we are sure that she will get the hang of it soon. It would have been easier to wait for P. But I'm glad I took SS out on my own, because I like doing things with her that are out of my comfort zone. I hope she gets many opportunites to be with P out of his comfort zone as well. Because what we want SS to take from her time with us is that it is important to try, especially when it is not something you are accustomed to doing.

Thank you Aunt C for giving SS such a cool gift.

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