"We Paid Someone To Teach Our Daughter How To Ride A Bike" - Mommish article

Not a fan of the article, but it’s been my experience that having someone besides their parents teaching them something can result in more attention-paying and less whining.

A local Stride Rite store actually has free shoe tying lessons. I hear they’re wonderful, though my six year old is pretty set on figuring it out himself, so that’s what we’re doing.

With respect to bike riding, I think writing an article about it is stupid. It seems like any other type of lesson you might have someone teach your kid (though I want to teach my son myself or have his dad do it), so acting like you’re somehow flouting a childhood rite of passage assumes a certain amount of insecurity on the author’s behalf.

I had someone else teach my son how to swim, not because I was too lazy or didn’t want to, but because he clings to me in a way he doesn’t with other people. He just needed someone who wasn’t me to teach him. It would’ve been my husband, but he absolutely hates swimming. He can do it, but he loathes it.

I think what is making you bristle a bit about the article is the faint whiff of, “If you didn’t want to do the things that parents do, why did you have kids?”

I’ll vote for someone who wants to appear provocative, but comes across (at least to me) as shallow instead. The first time though the blog, something didn’t seem right to me as well, although I’m not sure how I would have felt had I just stumbled on it.

So, I looked at an earlier blog, I’m Leaving My 10-Week-Old To Go On Vacation, and you can see her schtick. “I’ve got money so I’m not going to be a ‘good mommy’ and isn’t that shocking?”

I read this, and I see someone who fundamentally does not understand the psychology of babies. Is that bad? Not really. Too much, society has expected parents, and specifically mothers, to be experts on something which they knew nothing about. But, for chrissake, this infant is two. That’s two months. Not two years. You do not “teach” two-month-old infants independence. Everyone on both sides of the cry-it-out or not wars acknowledges that babies under four months old do not have the ability to sooth themselves.

So, I’m a parent, but I’m going to be selfish and I’ll tell the world because it’s provocative. I’ll be the Howard Cosell of mothers so that people will read me.

I donno. Maybe there’s more. Maybe she does write about times she actually shows concern for her kids’ sake rather than just write about “me, me, me.”

From the blog originally linked, it was things like this:

No analysis. No introspection. To answer the question, fuck yes, there is a world of difference between not having the basic ability to do something an not have the ability or desire to teach. And that is why the blog is poorly written. Were she to have spent a moment comparing the two, or discussing her fears and why the failure of her to control her own emotions challenges her as a parent, then it would be worthwhile.

This is why she’ll always be pushing it as a writer. Not simply because it’s all about her, but because she overlooked the motherload, the gem which would have be interesting and which all parents could have related and thought about. The delightful irony is that she missed a chance to pull in more readers than she’ll ever get with her tired schtick.

What is learning how to ride a bike? Yes, there are some skills involved, but the major thing is learning to face your fear. How do you keep cool and not worry about falling while you develop balance. I cry for the missed opportunity. For her realization of one of the greatest challenges of being a parent, which is to model a fundamental life skill, which you don’t possess. None of us are perfect. No one here has all the answers. But where the truly great rise above the crowds are when they look inside, see their weakness and resolve to help their flesh and blood learn to cope with something which they cannot. That is truly humbling.

No one cares in the long run about riding a bike. But the world would be better off if a few more people could learn to deal with their private demons and face fears. And as I type this, something else hits me. It’s not that there was a private instructor for the kid. It was that the father hired the coach and this mother is crowing that money took care of a problem.

I’d feel different is the blog were about her realizing that she was inadequate (as we all are in many areas) and how she faced that. How she found a coach. How she asked her fiance to help her daughter. Something. Anything. Be a parent, for chrissake, I want to scream at the pixels. Don’t just show up smug when someone else solves your problems.

Isnt it just a long ad?

Yes, as TokyoPlayer points out, it’s her shtick. She writes intentionally provocative articles in order to get page views. She’s also bragged about having a night nurse and being afraid of her baby boy’s wang.

And no, nothing wrong with paying for bike riding lessons (or a night nurse, or anything else she pays for) but when you look at all these articles, she comes off as someone who’s way too cool for parenting. It’s the image she’s cultivating and when you look at how many more comments she gets compared with other Mommyish blogs, I guess it’s working. She’s like the Cat Marnell of the mommy blog world.

My father did taught me how to ride a bike when he thought I should dispense with the training wheels.

Eh, I don’t see much to get worked up over in this.
I’ve noticed that this society really enjoys telling moms that, no matter WHAT they do, they are a shitty mom - SAHMs who criticize working moms and vice versa, breast feeding moms who act like giving your kid a bottle is, literally, the same as poisoning your kid, etc.
…Yet oddly you don’t see nearly as much criticism of dads. Isn’t it interesting that almost every reply here is focused on criticism of the mom/author? Why isn’t anyone blaming the father of the kid, who after all is the one who hired the bike instructor?
Because our society expects moms to do the “real parenting”, and we’re satisfied that the dad has done enough as long as dad sends the child support check on time?

You don’t “see it” because it’s a mommy blog with 90% + percent female discussion. Teaching kids to rid a bike is sort of a guy thing. It’s expected that a dad (if available) will usually be teaching the kids bike riding.

If a man told other guys he hired someone to teach his kids to ride a bike he would not be well regarded on any level. He would be thought of and discussed as some effete weirdo who is shirking his dad responsibilities.

But she actually links to a company, as she did in the second link as well. To me its like taking an article about losing 30kg’s in 5 days seriously. The person is a caricature designed to sell a product, so assessing them as a personality is a waste of time.


Yup. Looking at other blogs, it looks like she’s doing product placements.

I was running out of edit time.

She’s going for numbers so being deliberately provocative is the way she gets it.

If she were posting, then you would just advice to not feed the trolls.

Some kids just can’t seem to get into bike riding.

Some parents would sell their kids into slavery, she just sells her words, so she’s not all bad.

I was almost eleven when I learned to ride my bike, but that’s because up until then, I hadn’t had anywhere I could ride it. So there was no place for me to learn. (I had a bike, but I could only use it with training wheels on a small, really cracked up cement patio)

But once we moved, I went out with my new friends, and I think it took me about a few hours, if that. After that, we were out riding our bikes right after school until dinner time, and after that until it got dark. (Damn, I miss riding my bike like that. It’s just not the same when you’re an adult.)
I could see if it were a relative, but hiring someone? That’s just kind of…weird. And that there’s actually a school for this?

There were presumably female posters on a pregnancy and baby board my wife was on that found breast feeding sexual and incesty, they didn’t have blogs with ads either. Some people are just weird, or strangely immature and neurotic.

No, but most people don’t go out of their way to put it out there in the weirdest most negative light. I think she knows how she sounds and instead of stifling a stupid/strange thought as most people would, she turns it into an entire article.

Yeah, but if you stop and think about it, a nanny is one person who’s a constant presense in your life, sort of a second parent. That can be a good thing. This woman makes it sound like she’s hiring a bunch of different people to teach her kid things.

This woman is crazy, and is either a terrible mother or is pretending to be one just for shock value.

She does her kids homework for her, she insists on taking her absolutely everywhere, she refers to her as her best friend.

If she’s not just making all that stuff up to ‘sell’ her stories, that kid is going to be a mess in the future. Yikes.

No. She’s making it up. I think she does it to attract google searches.

Not exactly. To get links and traffic from outraged bloggers and forum posters.