Potty training or pedalling?

My little guy, Regan, is turning three. With that milestone, comes some goals.

As parents, we are goal-oriented, aren’t we. I don’t just mean Chenoa and me, but as a culture, we put pressures on our kids. When they should walk, when they should talk, and a bunch of other random stuff that kids don’t care about. For them it will happen when it happens, but we still push.

So, Regan is almost three and I read somewhere that kids should be out of diapers by then. Rhyley was way ahead of Regan in this regard, so we never thought too much about it last time. But, with boys, apparently this is a harder lesson. We started having conversations with him a while ago, trying to convince him this is a good idea. He doesn’t care.

I guess the ability to crap your pants anywhere, anytime, is pretty convenient at that age. With so much going on, who has time for bathroom stops?

As a Dad, I can put my head down, attack the challenge head on, and overcome the will of a two-year-old, or just avoid it and work on something more fun. Guess what approach I took?

Being that I am a bit obsessive about biking, I figure getting him onto his pedal bike before he turns 3 is a bit more glamorous than potty training.

He has been ripping around on his run bike for over a year, so getting him onto a bigger bike with pedal was not hard.

I found some small hills, stuffed his full face helmet on his head, propped him on the saddle. (he can’t touch the ground, so it’s a bit awkward still), and then I shoved him down the hill.

After a couple of attempts he was laughing, and begging for more speed, so we found some longer hills.

Same approach, load him onto the bike and shove him off. He was flying down some fairly long hills and carving turns like he’s been doing this for years. He even figured out the brakes after a few scary moments.

But, at this point it wasn’t any different than a big run bike. He never tried to pedal once. I only had eight weeks left before his birthday and progress was slow. Maybe I set too high of a goal and my adult expectations were exactly that. Does Regan even care if he can pedal?

Well, this is biking, not diapers, so I buckled down. I spent three nights in the rain shoving him down hills at top speed, and showing him how to spin the pedals as I pushed him back up. He was loving it.

Before I knew it, he started pedalling down the hill, and after a few more downhill blasts, he continued peddling on the flats and weaved his way around some trees. It’s going to take a few more days to get him riding confidently, but he is officially riding his bike at two years old.

As I proudly watched him ride past me under his own power, a stench hit me like a brick wall, and we headed home to work on potty training a bit more. Some things you just can’t avoid.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…