So Emma Kelly’s school decided to have a bike parade on Friday. My first thought was how is my poor neighbor who takes EK to school for me on Friday mornings going to fit her bike in the back of her car. My second thought was poor Emma Kelly, who’s outgrown last years bike — not too fun to ride when your knees hit the handlebars. She told me about 2 months ago that she wanted to learn to ride a bike with no training wheels, so I went out and bought her a big girl bike. In fact, it’s so big, she has trouble getting up on it, but it’s sort of like when you buy your kid’s shoes a size too big — you want to make sure they get to use it a long time before you have to go out an buy another one.

As soon as we got that bike home, she wanted to learn to ride it. Apparently some other kid in 4K already rides without training wheels and this is now an ego issue. But when we tried to go down the street, EK held on to my arm instead of the handle bars. And patience is not my virtue. So I told her we’d try again later, aka “I’ll let your daddy teach you how to ride a bike.”

Two months pass. And on Tuesday morning I find out my daughter has to learn to ride her bike by Thursday night for this bike parade on Friday.

So Tuesday afternoon, I take her out to the cul-de-sac and basically tried to teach her how not to fall down. “If the bike starts to tip over, slam your foot down flat on the ground and hold the bike up.” This is a way more complicated maneuver than you can imagine. And since falling was inevitable, the lesson then became “How To Fall Down Without Killing Yourself.” She was such a good sport about it. Grinning when she fell and didn’t hurt herself too badly — popping up with her arms raised in the air like a triumphant Olympic athlete. But I realized we probably needed more safety gear than a helmet and britches covering her knees, so I promised to get her gloves and knee pads and we’d try again on Wednesday.

But Wednesday came and she didn’t want to practice. She wanted to color. I reminded her about the bike parade and she said, “Just get me training wheels so I don’t fall down at school and then we can take them off and I’ll learn to ride it later.” That’s my girl! Procrastination runs in the family.