Easy Ryder

by Stefani on 12-October-2008

My littlest, he is three, has yet to actually acknowledge that he’s last in line for anything at all.

He was born ready to prove that he’s as big as everyone else, as tough as everyone else, and by golly he can do what anybody else can do, maybe a little bit better!

John Wayne has got nuthin’ on this kid’s swagger.

So here I am, wanting to savor all the fleeting bits of babyhood that I can – wanting to linger over all the “lasts” that a last child brings, but he’ll have none of it. He’s totally cheating me out of the remaining vestiges of his babyhood.

But then, he’s not one for ruminating, meandering or lollygagging. Oh no. He’s a “fastest way from here to there” kind of guy.

So, it shouldn’t have surprised me that while his big brothers were both five when they wanted their training wheels off their bikes, and while it took them weeks of shaky wheeling, tears, scraped knees and close calls with Daddy running up and down the road by their sides, Ryder took to it like a fish to water.

He demanded on Saturday morning that those trainers come off, and while we held our breath, he just pedaled right off like he’d been at it for ages.

He just. took. off!

Even his big brother’s were slack jawed. They kept trying to help him (which was fantastically sweet), but he’d only tolerate that for about 4.3 seconds before he’d bellow, “LET GO! I CAN DO IT!”

Big Brother Lends a Hand

And he could.

It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen, second only to when he up and decided that he was done with diapers. No “training,” just boom, he’s using the potty.

He’s been riding all weekend, and is now going “off road” in the grass and dirt and calling, “Mama look at my tricks!” while he sticks his legs out or slams on his brake and fishtales.

Proud Ryder

So you see, he CAN use his powers for good when he wants to.

What on many days is just good old fashioned pig headedness is sometimes, at the right times, the kind of true grit that can accomplish great things.

I have a feeling this boy is going give me a lot of reasons to hold my breath, pray, and then cheer wildly, many times over as we travel on down the road.

Look Ma, No Training Wheels!

Diane October 12, 2008 at 7:34 pm

WAHOOOO! Nice biking Ryder!! The pictures to go with are too sweet — look at that grin!

Relyn October 12, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Yeah, Ryder!! I love your confidence!

Yeah, Mama!! I love your wisdom.

Hold your breath (and sometimes, your tongue), pray really hard, cheer like a wild woman, and don’t rush onto the field when they are hurt. That last bit of “wisdom” comes courtesy of my husband under the guise of strict orders when I went to my nephew’s first football game.

Lori October 12, 2008 at 7:39 pm

jack cheated me in the same exact way — he always wanted to do exactly what his big brother was doing, and so he just sped up to catch up. while *i* wanted him to sloooow down. ;^) but he would have none of it — and really, even though they’re three years apart, he’s managed to keep up. :^)

molly October 12, 2008 at 7:59 pm

wow! that is really impressive little ryder.

kristin at prairie daze October 12, 2008 at 8:10 pm

no. way.

Hannah October 12, 2008 at 8:49 pm

My youngest sounds like a female version of your Ryder. Congratulations to him on his impressive bike-riding skills!
I don’t know if you scrapbook, but if you, you should totally print out this blog entry and put it in a book for him … and for you to look back at when you need a reminder some day!

Mary Smith October 12, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Moments of true pride. For him and for you!

Anne October 12, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Cheer mama!

Maria October 12, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Oh you always have such wonderful posts that make me both smile and have tears in my eyes at the same time.

I love that grin!

jodi October 13, 2008 at 12:59 am

love his name, love that grin, love his skill!

Kerrie October 13, 2008 at 1:35 am

Oh my,Ryder is exactly like my 3yr old Flynn, who is also the youngest of three boys. Ryder isn’t by chance a leo?.I get a little sad when I see Flynn’s chubby little hands knowing that this time is so fleeting.I’ve only just found your blog, it’s very refreshing. My eldest just had a native American birthday party, If only I had known about your blog, you have great ideas.

erin October 13, 2008 at 5:06 am

yay ryder! that is awesome.

Mandy October 13, 2008 at 5:42 am

Oh how I feel you. My youngest daughter is the same way. Just go, go , go. This past year I got them NEW bikes for the first time. They had always had yard sale finds or bikes people had given us. My oldest daughter is quite tall for her age and got a 24 inch. Emma thought she needed that size too and proved it by riding it through Walmart. I about had a heart attack. Even her 20 inch gives me a little scare. But that’s my girl!

Aunt LoLo October 13, 2008 at 5:57 am

Oh, you make me so excited to have my first son in a few months! Way to go, Ryder!

Our Green Nest October 13, 2008 at 6:08 am

What a cutie – sounds like he’s a brave one!

Caroline October 13, 2008 at 6:10 am

It sounds like quite a few of us have 3 yr olds that should all go to school together. They would need their own class for over~achiever, I-can-do-it-myselfer’s, think they are already 16 yrs!

Linn October 13, 2008 at 6:12 am

I have a feeling my two boys (two years apart) will be learning the same things at the same times…their personalities are so different! The bike thing for sure…big brother’s going to have to watch out!

Qalballah October 13, 2008 at 6:27 am

Younger brothers have so much to prove don’t they. 😀

sperlygirl October 13, 2008 at 6:48 am

congrats! btw — this mama is curious when the whole non-training potty thing happened? i am awaiting that day – my little guy doesn’t seem to mind a sagging diaper. eeeewwwwww! 🙂

Sarah October 13, 2008 at 7:09 am


Marjorie October 13, 2008 at 8:02 am

Woo-hoo!! That’s unbelievable. Good for him 🙂

And I can totally relate with number three… my Luke will not be left behind. Starting with giving up nursing at 5 months because he needed to see what was going on around him, I knew I was in trouble! And the swagger, oh, I know that swagger.

Molly October 13, 2008 at 9:45 am

Way to go Ryder!

Stephanie, you sure can tell a tale. What a beautifully written piece of family memory you have here.

Tabitha Blue October 13, 2008 at 10:57 am

Wow, he is a quick learner! Good luck. I’m sure it’s exciting and sad.. makes you proud and nervous. Although, I’d be happy right now if my little one just ‘decided’ to use the potty. 🙂

Baba October 13, 2008 at 11:13 am

Here’s the next Easy Rider, lol. Good going!

OMSH October 13, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Can I borrow him to teach Kenny?

YayaOrchid October 13, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Great post, Stefanie! Isn’t it wonderful how each child is completely different even when they’re tiny? It always amazes me!

gonzomama October 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

that is crazy, awesome, scary, and just plain cool! good for him for having that confidence and good for you for letting it happen. i would have been a nervous wreck. Go Ryder!

Sarah October 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Great riding!! I can tell mine are going down in age….oldest learned at 6, 2nd just took his off at 5…of course my 3 yr old won’t even ride a trike- he’ll be getting a 2-wheeler for Christmas this year…and the 1 yr old coming up behind him….youngers do certainly seem to have something to prove!

Em October 13, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Wow… that’s amazing – Taylor Anne (age 6) is just now thinking it might be time to let the training wheels go…

Casey October 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Awesome! But hide the keys to your truck.

Lynn October 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Wow. What a fast learner. I remember learning to ride a bike with 2 wheels. I never had training wheels. My older sisters and I all shared a banana seat bike. My training involved going to the top of the hill behind our house and my neighbor, just a few years older, saying “I’ll hold you!”
And then she let go. That was it.
I was much older than Ryder.

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