Not a weekend goes by where--after spending some sustained "quality time" with the kids--I'm not surprised by something they do. This last weekend the surprise that stands out in my memory occurred Friday evening, when Claire and I took the kids to the park. Elleda chose to bring the tricycle with extra wide wheels. It's very stable and so she feels confident going quite fast. Gabe wanted his "Razor" (scooter--more on that below), and I took one too so I could keep up. Elleda and Gabe had a couple races, and Elleda kept winning. (It didn't hurt that she kept giving herself a head-start before yelling "Go!") Gabe was getting frustrated, and Elleda noticed. So she let Gabe get a head-start and held herself back and let Gabe win, and called him the champion. I thought that was very generous (and shrewd), especially for a little girl who has a few months to go yet before she's five (and who also doesn't like to lose).
I've seen Elleda be that giving with Gabe before, and I've been a little concerned that she does it only to appease him (and prevent a row). But this time I felt she genuinely wanted to make him feel better, and realized that was more important to her than winning.
Sunday evening we all went "around the loop". Claire pushed Henry in his little "coupe-car", Elleda rode her two-wheeler (with training wheels), I grabbed a scooter (again) and Gabe got started on his bike (with no training wheels). (I think Claire talked them into riding their bikes. Gabe was a little reluctant and asked for his training wheels. We, of course, reminded him that he doesn't need them anymore.) Claire got Gabe started and he went about 10 feet (with me right behind trying to be ready) before stopping so suddenly that I bumped into him a little and couldn't catch him in my surprise. He fell to the side but was fine. But that was enough with his bike. Claire and I tried to talk him back on, but his mind was made up. Claire, Henry and Elleda kept going, and (after trying in vain to get him to jump on his bike and catch up) we went through the back gate and returned his bike to the garage and grabbed a scooter for him. There's no sense forcing Gabe--not that I could anyway--and we have to remember that he is only three. Then we took a short-cut through the neighborhood and caught up with the rest halfway around. We had a pleasant time finishing the loop. Elleda was quite confident on her bike.
Since I haven't posted in a while, I should write something about Henry. He's a happy little guy, who especially loves it when his brother and sister play with him. (They're both very good with him.) He doesn't walk around like he's expecting to fall anymore--he's practiced enough that he can do it without thinking. Now he's starting to run a little bit.
Aside from drippy noses, they've all been quite healthy for a good stretch now. I hope we can keep that going through the summer.