Saturday, March 30, 2013

Riker the Biker

While enjoying a rare quiet moment reading a book in the house alone this morning while Brian was outside with the kids, I was startled to hear "Jenn, come outside!" I jumped up and ran out in my pajamas to see Riker riding a bicycle all by himself!

This was only the second time he had tried riding a bike on his own and we couldn't believe how quickly he took to it. The first time he tried was on a bike with very small wheels making it nearly impossible to maintain enough momentum to stay upright. The bike he's riding in the video belongs to the little girl just down the street and you can see Xanthe in the video above shouting "Mummy, look at Riker!" On a bike with larger wheels and proper gearing, it only took one push and off he went.

I'm confident that the major reason he took to riding so easily is not because of a genetic inheritance from his father, but because he learned the preliminary skills on a balance bike. Riker occasionally rode a little bike with training wheels to practice the pedaling aspect of riding, but as he never became reliant on them, he never had to unlearn dependence on them for balance. Instead, what he's been working on all along is his own inherent sense of balance. This video of him on his balance bike was taken three months ago after he'd been using it for only a few weeks.

Another major factor in learning to ride was that all the other kids on the street ride their bikes nearly every evening after dinner and Riker was highly motivated to keep up with the bigger kids. We think that Ari will probably ride even earlier because he's already super keen to keep up with his brother.  While he's too small to get on it yet, he pushes his balance bike around with impressive strength and dexterity. Once he grows a few more inches, look out.

One month shy of three and a half and riding a bicycle. Well done Riker, I'm so proud of you! And you're finally earning your nickname!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Weston Park Miniature Railway

Yesterday we visited the Weston Park Miniature Railway. As Riker adores all things trains at the moment, we had to go check it out even though we'd heard it wasn't the best attraction around.

Waiting for the train to depart.

Enjoying a beautiful autumn day with my favorite co-passenger!

Meandering through the trees - we even spotted kangaroos in the distance.

I just love fun outings with this awesome little guy!

Back at the station. "It's blue like Thomas but with no face."

Inside the cafe I had to laugh at this sign warning patrons about Rail Enthusiasts Disease which is "highly infectious to males of all ages." It certainly does seem that way at times!

Ari and Riker have a popsicle at the cafe and Riker plays with his most favorite toy, a motorized TrackMaster Diesel 10.

Riker was content to go around only once but we all enjoyed our outing to the Weston Park Miniature Railway.  The trains at the Kingston Miniature Railway are nicer and it's fun to look at the big engines as you ride the rails there.  But we appreciated the cafe on site at Weston Park along with comfortable and shady places to sit while waiting for the train to return. And the terrific playground just across the road (and the Yarralumla Nursery Cafe for lunch) makes for a lovely way to spend a morning.

Pretend Puddles

It was rainy here for a few days in a row last week and since Riker couldn't go outside to play in the rain at school because he didn't have the appropriate gear, I set out with Ari on Friday to remedy that.

When he got home from school and saw his new gear for the first time, he declared the boots "his most favorite thing ever." Of course, once I acquired his raincoat and gumboots, it promptly stopped raining. He liked them so much though, that he wanted to go outside and pretend to jump in muddy puddles! So we did just that.

All week we've been singing our puddle song and while we wait for the rain to come again, we'll just keep on singing:
Let's put on our gumboots, our raincoats and our hats.
And jump in all the puddles with a splish, splosh, splash!