I can watch Maya sleep for hours… that’s of course a rarity because of all the stuff that needs to be done around the house when you have 2 young children. But of the little time life allows me to lay down and marvel at this little sleeping baby, I appreciate it that much more. I can see why parents always have a camera near by, so they can preserve these moments. Which brings me to the book When My Baby Dreams. Beautifully creative, Adele Enersen captures these moments and creates a cute little story of baby’s dreams. Recommended bedtime reading.
For 10 minutes Bella was lost at an art museum this past weekend.
- Minute 1 – My wife comes to me after a dragon dance performance and asks me if I’ve seen Bella. I look at her and shrug, thinking… “wasn’t she with you?” My wife, looking irritated with my answer, walks back into the courtyard where the dragon dance performance just ended.
- Minute 2 – I casually start looking through the crowd thinking, Bella’s somewhere in this crowd. There was a huge crowd that day at the art museum because of the Chinese new year festivities.
- Minute 3 – I can’t find her in the crowd that is filing out of the courtyard. Not really worried at this point, confident that it’s only a matter of time before she comes running out.
- Minute 4 – My brother comes out of the courtyard and asks me if I’ve seen A (5 years old). I tell him no, and last I saw A, he was with Bella watching the dragon dance performance. You see, our brother-in-law (actually my brother’s wife’s brother) had taken the two kids to watch the dragon dance and we can’t find any of them. At least the kids are with an adult, right?
Let me first just say… Bella can now ride a bike! Yes, I’m a proud parent of a bike rider. And it took only a couple years for her to get it, but she can now ride a 2 wheel bike without training wheels. Well, let me correct that, it really only took two 30 minute sessions over the course of two days for her to learn to ride, but she’s had the bike for over a couple years. Like most ‘learning how to ride a bike’ stories starts off, the dad (me in this case) is reminded of those fun summer days when biking to the neighborhood store for some strawberry ICEE, feels the need to give his daughter the same feeling of freedom and fun. In my case, it was the sight of a group of neighborhood kids racing through the park with ice cream in hand. That’s when I decided to get Bella a bike.
We got it second hand from a weekend flee market, she hopped on the bike and was instantly sold. We brought it home, cleaned it, pumped it’s tires and put on a pair of training wheels. She rode it around for a couple weeks straight. But no matter what I said, she never wanted to take the training wheels off. It had become her safety net. I was resigned to the fact that at 5, she would need a while to get used to the idea of riding with no training wheels. If I looked at it from her point of view, it made no sense to change things now, if having training wheels meant she didn’t have to worry about falling.
So last week, a friend of mine asks me about Bella and if she’s learned to ride training wheel free. I said, she still needs her training wheels. He then told me about how his daughter, who is Bella’s age, learned to ride a bike in about an hour. He pointed me to a video on youtube. I watched it, everything made sense, here are the steps to teaching your child to ride a bike:
- Take the training wheels off.
- Take the pedals off, essentially turning it into a balance bike.
- Lower the seat, so your child can stand over the bike easily.
- Find a flat riding surface.
- Let your child start by trying to glide with her feet just off the ground.
- Keep it fun, play games. We made it a game to try and balance for 3 seconds, then 5 , then 10.
- Practice turning.
- Once They are comfortable balancing on the bike, put the pedals back on. And repeat the balance games.
- That’s it, grab your video camera because you will want to document the moment they begin to pedal themselves to a lifetime of bike riding fun.
Now Bella wants to go riding everywhere. She woke me up at 5am on a Saturday morning to go riding. I dragged myself out of my warm bed… I couldn’t say no, that kind of enthusiasm is want I was hoping instill in her. But does it have to be so early? Seriously, 5am?
Here’s the video if you still want to teach your child to ride a bike. 🙂
“BELLA!!! We need to go!” Usually screamed from the front door to the bathroom or Bella’s room, where she’s taking her sweet time getting dressed. We are a minute away from being tardy for school, yet I’m the only one feeling this sense of urgency. I don’t understand it. My wife is the same way, with only 5 minutes left to get ready before we are late for an outing, she’s getting ready at the same/normal speed she would if she had an hour left.
Why am I frantically throwing my clothes on, and gathering all our things, while the girls are on cruise control. If I could find a way to hit the fast forward button I would. I’ve thought about setting all the clocks forward by 15 minutes, but my wife would only go to work, see the correct time and recalibrate in her head the real time – then we’re back to square one.
I’ve tried starting the “getting ready” time earlier to make sure they have ample time to do what they need to do. But no matter when I start getting ready, we still end up being late. What I started to do, to keep myself from going berserk is to just kill the “on time” goal. I am resigned to the fact that we will be late for everything. And that works for now.
So a friend of mine sent me this link via Instant Messenger to this video on YouTube. He said that this artist was featured in a dance on So You Think You Can Dance, the TV show. So being a fan of the show, I followed the link to the cover of Bruno Mar’s Grenade by BoyceAvenue. It is a great cover to an already good song. As I clicked on more of their videos, I built a playlist from all their covers. From Boys II Men, to Katy Perry… they cover really good songs and do it with acoustic flare.
So what does this have to do with bedtime? Well, everytime I had my playlist playing on my tv, Maya would stop what she was doing and watch the music video. She especially likes Grenade. So the other night, my wife was not feeling that great and couldn’t deal with Maya being fussy at bedtime. So I was “tasked” to try and put Maya to bed. I had the tv on with Grenade playing and before I knew it, Maya was falling asleep. I sang along with the song and rocked her a bit, but I’m sure YouTube, and more specifically BoyceAvenue helped me out big time at bedtime. Check them out.
Partying with kids at home being baby sat by my sister-in-law is a test of trust and self-control. High school reunions are almost always a drinking party. Put 100 adults together in a room that once partied together at high school dances and none supervised house parties, and you get basically the same thing… just 20 years older and no one will get arrested if found drinking by the police. It was as if we never left high school.
With all this catching up and poping (the dance) I felt guilty about having such a good time. I wasn’t worried about Bella and Maya, in fact I barely thought about them the whole night until someone asked about my family. I brought out the picture of them and raved about my two girls. How Bella loves to carry Maya and how Maya laughs at all Bella’s funny faces. After that, I got back on the dance floor with my wife and partied the night away. Of course we checked our phone for any missed calls or text messages, none. Awesome! I’d like to take credit for the night going so well, but all of the credit should go to my wife. She made sure that her sister had all the info and tools she would need to baby sit Maya.
- Milk bottles and bottle warmer
- Maya’s favorite toys
- One of her shirts. So Maya could smell my wife’s scent
- Gave her a run down of Maya’s likes and dislikes
- Showed her where the changing table was, all the diapers, extra clothes and various play mats.
When we finally made it back home, the two girls were asleep and found out the night went pretty smoothly. Preparation and trust helped make a night out without the girls enjoyable and an “actual” night out.
Mobile devices are so advanced these days, that they’ve enabled a limitless amount of creativity. This is a fun and imaginative piece of art, and when you throw in the fact that it was shot with the video capabilities of a mobile phone… it boggles the mind. Enjoy!