The Joy of a Child

My four year old has been through the mill since he was born. Chronic eczema as a baby, glue ear requiring grommets at 2 and he’s so long sighted he’s off the chart. As a consequence he’s never been confident riding his bike even with stabiliser wheels.

(Un)fortunately we’ve booked a family holiday at Center Parcs where a bike is an essential not a luxury. So what to do? A friend offered us a “tag along” (a single, rear wheel contraption which links to the back of an adult bike) but when we got it home, we discovered that he couldn’t touch the ground which made him even more nervous than before.

So I hit Google. And discovered something called a Trailgator which turns an ordinary bike into a tag-along.

This thing is brilliant. So much so that said son is now seriously keen to go for bike rides. Loud cries of “faster Daddy, faster” accompanied by peels of laughter.

Seeing and hearing him be so happy makes me almost cry. Fantastic!

Learning a Hard Lesson Young

My 7 year old learnt a hard lesson today in the school playground.

Recently 2 events have occurred which lead up to this hurt:

  1. He was given an XBox for Christmas. This is something which I personally hate with a vengeance – kids are meant to use their imagination to play in my opinion as there is plenty of time for them to become coach potatoes in their adult lives
  2. He discovered, and got heavily into, collectable sports cards

These 2 things have definitely had an effect on his social skills. He pores over the collectable cards and has got into the habit of taking them to school where he becomes mobbed as he gives away his duplicates. I think he thinks that this will make him popular but doesn’t realise, not surprisingly aged just 7, that he is actually being taken advantage of. And when he isn’t doing that he is desperate to be on the XBox.

Today we said “no cards”. He was a bit sheepish in the playground but was encouraged by his mother to go and play with some friends. He was belittled which made him very sad as he is a sensitive soul. I suspect that his recent behaviour at school has isolated him from his friends who are not so enamoured of these cards.

He needs to reconnect with them. We need to help him do so without embarrassing him or making him feel even worse than he clearly does now.

This is a hard lesson learnt young.