James has been doing so well riding his bike, I guess we got a little over-confident. Last Thursday, Tim took James for a ride in the driveway, which is gravel and has a pretty steep hill. He does a great job using the brakes, except when he goes downhill. It’s like the neurons get over-stimulated and he can’t focus enough to remember how to slow down. Otherwise, James has very quickly caught on to leaning into turns, using the brakes, recovering when he loses his balance, etc. hence the false sense of security.
As Tim and James trooped out of the house, one of the voices in my head was shouting, “Don’t let him go down the hill, it’s his first time on gravel, and he could fall, and get hurt. He’s our only child! He’s just a baby!” The other calmer voice said, “Tim is a grown man and will keep your son safe, you are smothering your child, leave them be woman.” I headed downstairs for my date with the treadmill, and had just finished warming up, when I though heard Tim and James troop back in. James’s bike ride was brief, how odd!? I was watching a movie on a portable DVD player with the headphones on, with the volume cranked, and didn’t hear the crying right away.
Turns out that James had indeed decided that going down the hill would be big fun, and bit it big time instead. Not wanting to rush upstairs and trash Tim’s efforts at comforting our very distraught child, I calmly asked if Tim needed assistance. The answer was shockingly negative. I gave it a few minutes, and when I heard Tim telling James to take a deep breath, that he’d get the ice, I decided I’d had enough.
I found James in the kitchen, sitting on his treasured Pooh Bear blanket, holding an ice pack very gingerly to his face. He looked like a super-model who had just realized that the plastic surgeon went a little crazy with the collagen injections. He was shocked, scared, and sporting a pair of very pouty (think duck-like) lips. I scooped him up and held his shivering body while he told me what happened. Haltingly, he said “bike on gravel an…. went wery fast…..(sniffle)….an fell…..(sniff)…an rocks in mouf….(sniff, sniffle)…..an hurd my mouf…an…an…SOB! ” Which explains the huge split inside his upper lip, and the chipped tooth.
Zero parenting points for us.