grandparents have bought my son his first bike - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > grandparents have bought my son his first bike
Monday's Avatar Monday 10:06 AM 06-09-2012

I might get a lot of replies saying I am ungrateful and/or selfish for this post but I really feel bad about this already..


Basically I have told my parents 'No thankyou' when they've offered to get DS a bike.  I've had a look at the one they want to get him and its lovely - a little wooden pedal-less bike with a trailer that he would love- but I feel compelled to say 'no thankyou'.  Part of me feels that ds LOVES walking, throwing the ball for the dog, splashing in puddles, having running races with leaves and I want him to develop in this way and enjoy it as long as possible and get in to the habit of walking so maybe a bike/trike when he's 3 or 4. 


Also I want to be the one to choose and give him his first bike (is this selfish?)  Now I have just been told by DH's mother that she saw a bike and couldn't resist getting it for him.  So next time he goes to visit (they live half an hour a way so wont be long before he does) he will be presented with his first bike.


I feel bad for feeling so upset about this,it has really got to me though.  When she told me I nearly choked and just kind of froze and was polite.I know she didn't mean to offend me.


Am I being completely unreasonable and selfish??? She loves buying DS things, DS would love a bike.  Why does it make me feel so upset??

Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 10:56 AM 06-09-2012
Not unreasonable. I think big things like first bikes, first backpack for school, first pair of shoes, first haircut (yeah, I know a grandma who has repeatedly cut my friend's kids hair after being told to stop), first anything that is a big step should be the parents desicion. If I were in your shoes, I would say this to my MIL:

"Thank you for getting DS a bike, but we arent ready for him to take that step just yet. I would appreciate it if you would store it in your garage until later this summer when we are ready for him to ride it."

Leave out the part about how you wanted to be the one to do it. My MIL is notorious for similar behavior (she mainly buys the same thing I buy for every birthday/christmas only for at "her house" and its plastic and way more showy and fun than what I my kid got a museum membership this year from me)
Katielady's Avatar Katielady 11:08 AM 06-09-2012

I agree with Adalinesmama on all counts. It's reasonable for you to be upset for the reasons she mentioned, and I think her plan is a good one. It's not about being ungracious about a gift, it's about her overstepping her bounds.

One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 11:29 AM 06-09-2012
I think it is understandable to be upset because you wanted to buy his first bike. Maybe it can be something they keep at their house and he can use it there. My dd had a trike by two and loved it but if it isn't something for your family then don't bring it home.

In the curriculum I use for toddlers we do look to see if they can propel themselves on a wheeled vehicle with their feet and most can before they are anywhere close to two. I have never seen this cause harm developmentally. The curriculum tends to follow developmental milestones so I don't think it would be damaging to accept the bike graciously if you can bring yourself to do so.
Monday's Avatar Monday 01:34 PM 06-09-2012

Thanks! I'm relieved someone understands! Thats a really good plan, to ask her to store it for a later date.  I'll try and break it to her gently tomorrow. 

Monday's Avatar Monday 01:43 PM 06-09-2012

one-girl, i think i will accept it, I couldn't NOT accept it anyway it would cause too much tension, just not at this time and i really am grateful.  I dont really know a lot about developmental milestones and not worried it will harm him, just that I want him to be able to and enjoy free play before anything else, he's only been walking steadily for a couple of months.  there will be plenty of time for bikes after the age of 3 or 4, and that can be combined in to our family activities.  At the moment I just feel really strongly that toddling and running, stopping to notice a ladybird or cobweb, stomping in a puddle, playing with the dog and things like that continue for a while longer. 

One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 02:48 PM 06-09-2012
I want to clarify what I meant by graciously accept it if you can, I mean beyond just initially picking it up from their home . If you will resent it at all tell them he isn't ready for one and you want to be the one to gey the first bike because you have been planning to since his birth. I accepted a TV from my dd's grandparents when she was little and though I was gracious and took it at the time I completely resented it. I rarely used it and sold it at a garage sale, they happened to come by that day and they have been a lot more distant since then. The distance was awesome at first because we needed it but they are still distant and it isn't so great now. We are still warm with each other when we see each other but it isn't the same and my dd pays for that. I think if I had said no and given a good reason at first we wouldn't have had so much resentment towards each other, they would have been irritated and moved past it quickly as they did when I put my foot down about some other items before that. Gracious may be a wrong word, but with something this big I wouldn't take it if it is a big thing to you because every time you see it you Will most likely resent it.
newmamalizzy's Avatar newmamalizzy 04:37 PM 06-09-2012

I have to say, I think you ARE being kind of unreasonable - but that's okay, too!!  There's not a heck of a lot of reason involved in child-rearing.  The emotions are so intense, and you are totally entitled to them!  I have this sort of issue all the time, particularly over issues of "girly" things being given to my daughter, and her liking them.  The person on the other side of the equation is very unlikely to understand, so I agree that you need to find a happy medium that is as gracious as you can muster. 

ThreeTwoFive's Avatar ThreeTwoFive 08:44 PM 06-09-2012

Are you sure it's the right height for him?  It sounds like you're describing a wooden balance bike.  I have one that I'm just about to give my DS.  He's 2.75 and crazy tall for his age.  You might be able to put it off because of the height issue.

katt's Avatar katt 12:20 AM 06-10-2012

I think, especially after you already told your parents no, that you can tell his parents no.  Maybe not in so many terms, but i know that if i found out my DD had accepted a bike from her IL's after she already told me No, i'd feel a bit disappointed.  


No, it is not unreasonable to expect the parents to provide the FIRSTS.  I think they should have asked first.  Our solution to lots of the toys from my IL's is to leave them there so he'll have something to play with at Gramma's.  


Re: balance bikes.  My son had one and he LOVED it.  he got it on his 2nd birthday, but had been walking for over a year.  It took a long time to find a helmet to fit his toddler head, and helmets are big here.  no helmet no wheels.  While the wooden balance bikes are SO cool, they are much bigger then some of the metal ones you can find.  


Okay, so, no, i don't think you are being unreasonable.  They should have asked first.  

cloudbutterfly's Avatar cloudbutterfly 01:11 AM 06-10-2012

Ditto on the height issue.  The balance bike we got for my tall 2.5 year old barely works for him...WITH the lowering kit that's supposed to make it useable at 18+ months.  He's only been on it a couple of times because it's not comfortable for him yet.

wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 05:57 PM 06-10-2012

The wooden balance bike my 35 inch tall 2 year old son tried out was way too tall on the lowest setting (not helped by the cloth diaper crotch), so we went with a Strider and that's worked really well (the seat adjust super low).  He tried it for the first time today...


and within 20 feet of our house, jumped off to play with a ladybug ;)  

P.J.'s Avatar P.J. 06:01 AM 06-11-2012
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

 Maybe it can be something they keep at their house and he can use it there.


My thought exactly.

McGucks's Avatar McGucks 09:32 AM 06-11-2012

I would feel the same way, OP.


One tricky way around this is for you to go ahead and get him his first bike prior to the visit.  He won't tell!


Our son is 26 months old and we got him a balance bike.  He likes it some, but it's not a major attraction for him at this time.  We got him a Wee Ride online.  It is metal, has hand brakes (a friend who swears by balance bikes recommended brakes, though it seems it'll be a long way off before he'll need them), and is affordable.

luckiest's Avatar luckiest 03:31 PM 06-11-2012

I'd also ask if it can be a toy for their house.  If it were me, I'd say you already had one you've been eyeing for him, but that it would be perfect to have for when you visit. 

Monday's Avatar Monday 03:29 PM 06-12-2012

Thanks everyone so much for your replies, it's all really helpful. DH and I have talked and we are basically going to say that we had planned to buy DS his first bike (this bit is important as well so that they think before buying him another First before asking us and the whole situation being repeated), that he isn't tall enough yet and we just dont really want him having a bike yet and that when he does have it that they keep it at theirs. 

Tags: Strider Prebike Balance Running Bike