Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Digital Realm Is Definitely Easier than the Physical One

Challenging day. Those stories of dads spending 6 hours Christmas night to put a bike together? I skipped that, we bought her bike for her last June fully assembled. She was really excited, but she'd only rode it twice. The first time, we hoped in the SUV and went to one of the neighborhood parks. Of course, she was more interested in playing on the toys and very scared of the bike. I don't think we got a full loop in.

The next time, we went to another park and we rode from one end to the other and then she wanted to stop and go down the slide a bunch of times. Which was fine and then she really needed to go to the bathroom quickly and we had to have Lori come with the car and pick us up.

I had been thinking that today I'd offer her the chance to ride her bike but before I had the chance to offer, she announced she wanted to ride her bike today. Awesome. I knew it would definitely go easier if she was the one who wanted to do it.

Ha. Loading the bike in the truck, realized the tire was flat. Really?

Argh. Alrighty. Fred Meyer. Tire pump. Nope. Back into the store. Flat-fix and a new tube. Flat fix: failure. Back home. Opened up the stupid socket set wrong. 50+ pieces all over the garage. Training wheels off, brake off, other brake off, tire loosened, chain off. Rim off, tire off, tube out, new tube in, tire on, rim on, brake on, other brake tightened, training wheels back on. The whole time I was thinking about when I used to do computer programming. Build something, try it. If it doesn't work, you look at why, type a little bit, try again and see if it worked that time. Far less time involved and far less room for error. And certainly grease, muck and flat-fix(what is that stuff? is it toxic?)-free.

Off to the park. Fortunately, it had recently rained, so I told her ahead of time that the sand would be too wet to walk on and the big toys would be wet, so we wouldn't stop to play today.

Things were going well. She gained some confidence since she last rode, so we worked on things like looking far enough ahead and keeping the pedals moving consistenly and from a stop "which leg?"

Until we started to approach the pond, then she started to worry that she would ride into the pond, and could we walk the bike? No, but we worked on how to slow the bike without stopping it. However, the minute she started looking at the ducks, she started steering towards the pond, so we had to stop so she could look at them.

We also talked about how learning to ride means learning how to fall off. She did two pretty good falls where she managed to stay up right. She was really gaining a lot of confidence and seeming to have fun. She was getting cold, but the chance to stop and pet a dog that someone was walking was the motivation she needed to start a second lap. Of course, then there was a rather good spill half-way through. And wouldn't you know. Chain off. Fight fight fight but it's not going on.

Alrighty then. Walk the stupid thing the rest of the way around, back to the truck, back home. Tools back out, a bunch of stuff again including some things I hadn't removed before, chain back on, wheel tightened (did I neglect to sufficiently tighten it before?) and then everything back together, good as new and ready for her next ride.

I am encouraged, though, because she was really seeming to enjoy her ride and it was fun to be able to just hang out with her and walk and not fight over playing on the big toys or something. It was annoying that it was probably almost two hours working on the darned bike for less than an hour of her getting to use it.

Afterwards, struggled with replacing an automatic lightswitch for our porch light. The old one had stopped working and so I bought a new one but I was too lazy to turn the power off and trying attach the new lead to the existing wires and screw them together with the wire nut kept causing a different light to turn off. Some scary wiring in that box that is not of my doing. In the end, we have a working front porch light again which is good since we'll be having small group again next week. Now just need to fix the one in the garage. Argh. Is what I get for trying to save the planet and use CFLs.

I feel like I lost too much of this weekend and didn't get done quite a bit of the things I had hoped. Either next weekend or try to fit it in during the week somehow.