Sometimes kids pick up things a lot faster than you'd think, including speed.
Michelle argued that it was too soon for Ella to learn to ride a bike, but Tim was hearing none of it. He was excited to see Ella try out the TreeHaus Balance Bike for the first time. Sure, there might be a few bumps and bruises along the way. But it's nothing the kid couldn't handle. It's all part of growing up!
Tim remembered back to his first time on a "big boy bike." It was hard enough learning to balance on the thing without having to worry about pedaling too. He fell at least 10 times that day, the metal teeth of those old fashioned pedals taking a bite out of him each time. That was the great thing about this balance bike. Ella could concentrate on developing her coordination skills and balance with the easy, pedal-free push-and-go motion.
"Ok, Peanut. You ready to do this?"
Ella jumped up and down excitedly as Tim clipped the strap of her helmet under her chin. Just as she was about to swing one leg over the seat, Michelle ran out from the house with elbow and knee pads.
"I still think she might be too little for this, Tim," Michelle said while slipping the pads onto her daughter.
"Honey, it'll be fine. It's not like she can go all that fast on it anyway."
Tim lifted Ella and placed her on the seat. He held on to the back while she found her balance, and then showed her how to kick off with her feet. She was a little wobbly at first, but she got the hang of it faster than he had expected.
When he was confident that she could hold herself up, Tim let go. He and Michelle clapped and cheered their encouragement as they watched her zoom forward on her own without any problem. They were smiling and laughing when they realized that she wasn't stopping and wasn't turning back.
"Ella, that's very good. Ok now, turn around like daddy taught you and come on back," yelled Tim after her.
"Tim! She's heading right down that hill! She's not going to know how to stop!" Michelle said nervously.
"Ok, Peanut. Just put your feet on the ground and slow down. Ella. ELLA!" Tim's calls to Ella became increasingly frantic as she started to disappear down the hill, and he started off in a full-sprint after her.
By the time he and Michelle reached the top of the hill, Ella was barreling down at full speed, screaming at the top of her lungs with her arms waving around in the air above her.
"Ella! ELLA put your hands on the handle bars!" yelled Michelle.
But Ella couldn't hear her. She was gaining speed and heading right for the back of a parked pick-up truck.
"Tim! She's going to crash into that truck! Oh my God I can't look." Michelle stopped running and put her hands over her face.
Right at the last moment, Ella grabbed the handle bars and veered off to the right of the truck. She flew off of the bike and rolled a couple times before coming to rest in the grass.
When Tim caught up with her, he scooped her up and prepared to comfort her after the fall. But Ella wasn't crying. She was laughing. Hysterically. Turns out, she had had the time of her life.
Michelle and Tim looked at each other as they headed toward home and silently agreed that any future rides would be in the opposite direction down the street.