At the grand old age of nine and a half… Mr Jamie has finally learned to ride a bike.
I don’t know if you have ever tried to teach a small child to ride a bike?
It is fucking soul destroying.
Now, you may get lucky. You may have a child like Beth, who essentially, aged 3, got up off the sofa, said “I’m going to go out in the garden and learn ride my bike”, went out into the garden by herself, learnt to ride her bike with zero input from me within approximately 20 minutes… and that was that.
Or you may have a Mr Jamie.
Still, clouds and silver linings and all that. As a result of my extensive, EXTENSIVE experience of teaching small children to ride bikes, I now feel fully equipped to write the IKINTST Guide To Teaching Your Child To Ride A Bike. Feel free to pass to anyone you know with this monumental task ahead of them. I’m quite sure it will be an enormous help.
YOU WILL NEED:
#1 A small child
#2 A bicycle
#4 Antiseptic cream
#5 An ongoing supply of replacement clothing
#6 The patience of a saint
Take your small child and place them onto the bicycle.
Explain the rudiments of cycling: pedal; hold the handlebars; don’t fall off.
Encourage your small child to do this.
Realise they are only capable of carrying out a maximum of one of these at any one time without disaster occurring.
Say “fuck” a lot and wonder why you ever fucking started this debacle.
Walk up and down repeatedly while essentially holding them on top of a bike.
Attempt to get them to pedal and hold the handlebars simultaneously.
Realise you may need to take out fucking SHARES in plasters and Savlon.
Convince your child that they are ready to ‘go it alone’ and that the fact they have not a square inch left of ungrazed skin is a sure sign that they must be improving.
Ease them into it by holding the back of the saddle as they pedal just like every set of internet ‘How To’ guides ever has advised you to do.
Realise those internet ‘How To’ guides are absolute fucking bollocks and all rely on your child having at least a vague grasp of spacial awareness and ability to stay upright.
Lose your shit in the middle of the street and shout “What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s just like riding a fucking bike! How fucking hard can it be?!” while your small child howls at you and tells you just how much they hate you, and how Proper Parents would know how to help them ride their bike, and what the fuck is wrong with YOU, did you miss the parenting classes on bike riding skills or something?
Nod and smile politely and Britishly at the neighbours who have gathered to stare at your terribly un-middleclass sweary diatribe outside their houses.
Fake smile and congratulate your child on their prowess in front of them to keep up appearances while surreptitiously hissing threats between clenched teeth.
Spend HALF THEIR FUCKING LIFETIME repeating this process whilst consuming liberal amounts of gin.
Remember that to successfully achieve your task the methodology made it clear you required the patience of a saint.
Wish you possessed one.
Eventually, when you have lost the fucking will to live and are about to cut to the chase and just book them in for driving lessons, watch them suddenly nonchalantly saunter onto their bike, set off and pedal down the road without assistance as though they have been doing it all of their life.
Swear a lot and drink All Of The Gin.