Going on a Picnic

lolo Today’s student was six-year old, Lolo.  She was such a character.  Lots of smiles and creativity.  For the first time, I started a lesson in the rain.  She didn’t notice the sprinkles at all.  She had a great, new bike with fat tires (I’ve never seen that on a small kid’s frame–pretty neat). 

Lolo was much further along in balance than she realized.  She just was so nervous.  But even so, every time we went up and down the block (and we did many, many times), she would dream up where we were going.  To the fair, to a picnic, to space.  At one point, we were even in a race.

But when she got even closer to riding solo, she was going faster and would ask me to stop running.  Which is funny, because I was only going as fast as her.  So I had to show her how “slow” I was actually running and even raced her on foot to show her how much faster she can run than I was (and not fall down). 

As usual, I learned a new tactic.  She would only feel comfortable when I’d be in contact with her shoulder.  Even a pinky would suffice.  I’d tell her I’m not really helping her at all with one pinky, but it was her security blanket.  So I had to invent a game of “nearby, on.”  A cycle of hand’s off and hand’s on (where “hand’s off” meant my hand was nearby, close to her back).  That way, she could expect what was going to happen.  Eventually, this worked.  I made the “nearby” cycle much longer than the “on” cycle and eventually even said “on” when I was only nearby.  She didn’t even notice–she was riding on her own.

The sprinkles didn’t ruin this picnic.  It was a long lesson, but well worth it.  Lolo learned to ride!


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