on trying new things

Despite the crud that won’t die, the weather this past weekend was gorgeous, and we maximized it by trying to spend as much time outside as possible. Sure, global warming sucks, but getting to wear shorts and flip-flops to the playground in January is pretty awesome.

We spent Sunday at the park with my cousin and her family, and my mom came along too. It was kind of awesome because it was the first time that I wasn’t hyper-vigilantly following both kids around the whole time. Catie had a blast playing with her cousins, so I didn’t need to entertain her at all, and Lucy has decided that she has no fear of climbing on play structures and going down slides by herself. So I sat on a bench, talked with my family, and watched the kids as they ran around and played their hearts out. It was fantastic.

Both of them were filthy and covered in sand by the time we left – Lucy even managed to get sand and bark in her diaper, which? Don’t even ask me how that’s possible. But they were happy and exhausted and everyone slept really well last night.

Little flirt.
Lucy has no idea what I’m talking about with that whole diaper thing. She’s completely innocent. Just look at that face.

But! Before that! On Saturday, since the weather was nice, my parents and I decided to take the kids out on their new bikes that they got for Christmas.

I didn’t get a picture of Lucy on her “bike” (um, tricycle, but she calls it a bike, so whatever), but here it is on Christmas morning.

Lucy and her new tricycle

She doesn’t know how to pedal, but it has a handle that I can push/steer with, so it works.

As for Catie, some backstory first: Catie is cautious to an extreme. The first time you suggest she try something new (a type of food, an activity, whatever), her initial reaction is always to say no. So she was actually kind of upset that Santa brought her a big-kid bike (it’s a two-wheeler with training wheels on it), because she didn’t want one. When I had floated the idea of a bike to her, she said she was “too scared of bikes.”

Once the bike showed up on Christmas morning, she eventually decided that she was ok riding it back and forth across my parents’ kitchen, but she still insisted that she would never, ever ride it outside.

So, my parents put the bikes in their van and brought it to our neighborhood greenway. Catie took one look at the bike and balked. No way was she going to get on it. We tried to reason with her, and she started to have a tantrum about it.

Finally, I said, “Ok, you know what? If you don’t at least try, I’m taking away your iPad for the rest of the weekend.”

The ultimate threat to a nerdy child: that you’ll take away their gadgets.

So she got on the bike, and she immediately loved it. She rode her bike all the way down the greenway to where it ends (at a park with a lake), and after the girls played there for a while, she rode it all the way back.

OMG y'all, she did it! (If you know how cautious Catie is, you know this was a HUGE deal.)

I’m so proud of her. It used to take her a long time to warm up to new ideas, but she’s really getting a lot better about it.

And to that end – the whole “building self-confidence” thing (which has been a problem at kindergarten, too; she just freezes up when she’s asked to try something new for the first time) – I’ve signed her up for martial arts classes. (Huge thank you to Marty for the pass that’s allowing us to try this out for free!)

Her first class is tomorrow. She has said that she doesn’t want to do it, and that she’s just going to watch the first class. Which… um, no, she isn’t. Sorry, kiddo. I’ll hold the iPad hostage again if I have to.

The other motivation for the martial arts class is because I’ve noticed that Catie has a lot of quirks that look like attention deficit disorder, which is not surprising since it runs in both sides of the family. But rather than leaping ahead to getting her tested and on medication, first I thought I’d work on developing her concentration and focus skills this way. I’d rather give her coping mechanisms than drugs.

Of course, I’m not judging and I’m not anti-medication. If it becomes apparent later on down the road that she needs ADD drugs, I’ll certainly give them to her. I just figure that if there are ways to avoid it (or at least postpone it), I should give them a try.

And I have to say, I already can’t wait to see what she looks like in her karate uniform.

2 thoughts on “on trying new things

  1. I was going to leave a long ass comment but it came down to this: Alex has ADHD so if you ever need a local resource to chat with, I am around.

    We go to Lucy Daniels Center for parenting advice and family therapy and it has been one of the most helpful things ever to get the exact help we need. Not generic advice from books, but actual advice about our specific problems, like what to do when Alex has a tantrum and how to help him cope with his fears of new things. And I’m glad we did pursue a diagnosis, if only to get him 504 accommodations in school.
    Laura Case´s last blog post ..A super deep metaphor for life, well maybe not that deepMy Profile

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