Let me start this post by saying we love our children, we really do.
But, if I’m brutally honest, neither our 15 year-old girl nor our 12 year-old boy has been overly blessed with any sort of sporting prowess. And whilst we would love for them to benefit mentally and physically from cycling, as we do, we’re starting to realise that our love of cycling is only contagious in the infectious disease sort of way.
Honestly, we’re about to give up our bid to encourage our teenagers’ healthy lifestyles as it’s ruining our own. Just getting them out of the house is a trial. It’s funny how much homework magically transpires when we suggest going for a ride.
And then, while on the ride, there’s the moaning about the sore bum, the stopping every 10 minutes for a drink, the screaming when a fly hits a face, the slowing every time a car approaches, and the refusal to actually change gears even when it’s in their best interest (because, you know, they know best!). Even balance seems to be a skill that eludes our children.
I swear my son spends more time walking his bike than he does riding it. ‘What’s the point of that?’, I ask him. His reply: ‘well at least I’m getting some exercise!’ Yes, there’s an answer for everything too. At my wit’s end I yell, ‘For the love of God, get on your bike boy!’ Slowly, as he does everything at his own pace, he climbs back on and spins away in his little ring, going nowhere fast.
I should have cottoned on that we may be on a hiding to nothing, when, at the dinner table one evening, our daughter tells us she took multiple attempts to pass her school’s cycling proficiency certificate and our son proudly affirms that he ran into the instructor! When we asked the boy what the upshot was of injuring the very person deciding his roadworthiness, he said simply: ‘we both pretended nothing happened.’
So there you go. Taking a leaf out of that instructor’s book, my husband and I have decided to pretend that it doesn’t matter if our own children can’t cycle. We’re sure there are plenty of non-balancing, non-outdoor, non-aerobic, and non-sweat inducing types of sports our children are good at.
Besides, the cost of our increased blood pressure and anger management classes simply doesn’t warrant the effort. From now on, cycling is our domain; perhaps the only one remaining not infiltrated by kids. Hey ho, at least there’s an upside to being a bad parent.