Monday, March 30, 2015

Thanks, Atticus

Lately Atticus has been a little impatient with my style of parenting, whatever that may be.  Is there an opposite to helicopter parenting?  Hang on, let's ask google... HAHAHA!  According to the wise old internet, "No Rescue Parenting" resides on the pole opposite Helicopter Parenting, which sounds just about right, as I can't tell you how many times our children have tearfully called out to me for help because they were stuck in a tree and my response has been, "You got yourself up there, you can get yourself down."  If they're pretty far up there or really panicking I will deign to coach them from the ground.  The emotional scarring from all this appears to be nominal as they still seize any chance to monkey up a tree.

Where was I?  Right.  Atticus.

A few weeks ago when enough of the snow had melted to get the bikes back out, Atticus jumped on his and raced off without a wobble in sight.  Bike riding has always come naturally to him.

Adelaide hovered around her bike, she walked it up and down the sidewalk, she did everything but ride it.  When she had finally mustered the courage to mount her trusty steed, she complained about how it was too big and how she was going to fall and how she missed her old, little bike.  And how dare I expect her to ride a big bike when she had only just learned to ride without training wheels late last summer?

I told her to take it up with her dad; she didn't get her height and gangly limbs that necessitated a bigger bike from me.

For a half hour she loitered in front of the house, trying to get me to run alongside her on her bike.  I gave her a firm "NO," as we've both gotten hurt that way in the past.  Atticus, who is evidently softer-hearted than I am, was swayed by her tears, as he incredulously told me that, "Mom, Adelaide needs help!"  I told him that SHE'S FINE, he glared at me and took matters into his own hands.

He stayed with her like this for half a block.

After some coaching from her little brother, Adelaide gained the confidence to ride on her own on the big bike.  It took her several more days to learn to trust the hand brakes; at first she said they were just too difficult for her hands to work and instead steered for a patch of grass to tip sideways onto every time she wanted to stop.  She did not jump off, or catch herself with her feet, she stayed in bike-riding stance, feet on the pedals, hands on the handlebars, and just... just fell all the way to the side.  On purpose.  I swear she looked exactly like those fainting goats, and I never failed to collapse into laughter every time she did it, which did not help my image of Mean Mother.

Atticus has since expanded his purview as back-up Parent from bike riding to Advice Giving.  Yesterday he and Caedmon decided to color.  Atticus chose an Easter-themed coloring sheet to decorate, which Caedmon looked at with derision and declared, "That is a pretty coloring page, and I don't color pretty things; I only color cool things."

Atticus took this opportunity to educate his younger brother:  "Cade, I have lots of girlfriends.  When you have lots of girlfriends, sometimes you have to color pretty things for them.  You don't just get to color cool things anymore."  Caedmon took this as the sage advice that it was, and they continued coloring in harmony, pretty and cool things alike.


  1. That is SO touching, how Atticus is helping out his siblings. I am convinced that such things are miracles.

    What that goat does is how I stop when I am skiing. That is why I haven't gone skiing for 20 years.

  2. Way to go Atticus!

    This post cracked me up--from one mean mom to another

  3. Atticus is going places :-) What a great heart.


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