Flunking Out of Cycling Classes

"Attend cycling classes and ride bicycles outside"

That was one of my summer goals for the girls. I've had dreams of signing the girls up for a myriad of activities but my working hours and the challenge of 2 tots-to-1 adult ratio severely limited my options. With that, I was excited to see that I could actually sign the girls up for Pedalheads Cycling Course.

We bought the bikes, got helmets, TwinDad and I made arrangements to leave work early and we were pumped for the first class. Ah ha! Missed the part where the class actually involves a young instructor getting a bunch of 2-3 year olds to follow instructions while on their bikes. That so did not happen! The girls did everything but follow the instructions. At the end of the day, the instructor(s) were frazzled and so was I. 

Next day, the girls were sorta napping and I decided to "skip" the cycling class. And the day after. And the day after that too. In the end, our one week of cycling classes ended up being one day of twin-parenting experience-to-remember for mama. 

Biker Tot practicing at home

Here's what I learnt from that  

  • 3 is the magic number. A lot of the classes I had looked at had 3 as the minimum age and I thought they were being unfair. Now I get it. I think when it comes to group activities, there's a world of difference between two and a half and three year olds. I'm going to wait until the girls are well beyond 3 years old before even thinking of swimming or dance classes
  • Divide and conquer: I think we would have got more out of the classes if we split the girls up and only one of them attended at a time. The lure of having their perpetual playmate with them was too irresistible. It was easy for the two of them to dream up mischief and dare each other to do things. Next time I sign them up for a class, I'll consider having just one of them in the class at any point in time
  • Practice  makes perfect: I realised I could have prepared the girls for what was going to happen by practicing with them at home and explaining the process in a way they could understand. We practiced wearing the helmets so that they were comfortable with them and knew to keep them on. Shoulda riding under instruction as well. It was a bit naive of me to expect that they would be in a new situation and just know how to fall in line. 

And with those lessons learnt, I crossed another item off the summer list. If you've ever had classes with 2+ year old twins, any nuggets of wisdom to share with me for next time we try this?

The Summer Fun List!
  • Visit the Calgary zoo
  • Find ducks to feed in Calgary
  • Visit Spruce Meadows and look at horses
  • Have weekly after-work/school dates with the girls - Ongoing
  • Go to Calgary Stampede grounds
  • Visit a water-park type place (anywhere the girls can wear swimsuits and have a splash)
  • Go to the top of the Calgary Tower
  • Watch a live show with the girls
  • Have family outdoor photo shoot 
  • Have a barbecue on our patio
  • Go on a family roadtrip and vacation 
  • Visit or have a playdate with someone new
  • Attend cycling classes and ride bicycles outside
  • Go for gym or dance class for tots
  • Eat ALL the veggies we get from our CSA (ok I'm totally dreading this one)

4 comments :

  1. Haha! We haven't tried any formal classes yet. The advice I have received from other multiples mommas? You can put both kids in the same class, but momma/daddy can't be involved in the class. The teacher needs to be a stranger. Sit back and enjoy how well your children listen to anyone but you...lol!

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    1. Yeah, I actually spent half the class hiding behind the church doors on the advice of one of the other parents. That was the point where Ms Sugar barrelled away on her bicycle towards the fairly busy street. FAIL!

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  3. We did swim lessons last summer, when the girls were almost 3 1/2. We were part of a small class -- 4 kids in total. It was not a great experience. ;)

    I don't know how much had to do with the age...the medium (meaning, the pool)...the lack of focused one-on-one instruction...but our girls didn't get much out of it. After the first lesson, I ended up getting in the pool to work with them while the instructor worked with the other kids. It wasn't ideal from a variety of angles in my book.

    I think swimming is certainly a different beast than other "class" set-ups. This year...at 4 1/2...I'm thrilled to report the girls are excelling at swim...with private lessons.

    Outside of swim, we're doing our first foray into classes with tumbling this summer, once a week. The girls love it, and it's been so interesting to watch them interact with other kids, the average age probably being 6. I think it's been great for them to learn to take turns and work with their classmates, not something -- at least in this setting -- I think they would have understood this time last year.

    I'm contemplating signing them up for soccer this fall. Some kids their age have been playing for over a year now, but I am just now feeling that they'd understand the concept of "team".

    How crazy is it to sit back and watch my BABIES, though! It just doesn't seem like they should be old enough for classes and team sports!!! ;)

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