bear with me as i plug this product. no, it's not a christmas present. cosmo got this balance bike in june, because that was when he seemed ready for it. i know i have blogged about it before. i am overly impressed with this thing. it was the best $90 we ever spent. it teaches him balance, so he can avoid training wheels when he's ready for a regular bike. it has chunky, inflatable tires, which allow for bumpy sidewalks, gravel, grass, and any other uneven terrain. he rarely falls off of it, because he can easily steady himself with his feet. he has complete control over this vehicle, and can lift the front wheel to go over curbs, or turn around. it makes people do a double take and smile when they see him riding it.
this last point is both a blessing and a curse. at the playground, i feel like the mom of the rich kid, who always gets the latest and the best toy. i always want to tell the other parents who are staring at the bike, that it wasn't THAT expensive. that we don't spoil our child with fancy gifts. that we got it because we thought it would be good for his physical development, his balance, and his confidence. NOT because it's made of wood and sports a sort of euro-hip design. it was a practical gift, NOT a splurge!
on our trip to denver, we were trying to decide whether to bring a stroller or not. we never use a stroller anymore, but thought it might come in handy, moving through airports. cosmo does walk more slowly than we do, and i hate rushing him. i don't mind carrying him, but burdened with a carry-on bag, i can only do it for a short time. it occurred to me that we could bring the SKUUT, and treat it as we would a stroller; just check it at the gate before boarding the plane. we weren't sure if bike-riding would be permitted in the airport, but decided to give it a try.
he hopped on as soon as we got out of the parking shuttle bus, rode it into the airport, through the line to check our bags, all around the food court, through security (well, he had to get off of it and send it through the x-ray machine), down to our gate, and all around terminal b while we waited (and folks, when you miss your first flight, and are put on standby during the holiday season, you do A LOT of waiting). the airport officials were impressed and delighted to see cosmo rolling along, swinging his feet, smiling. we were never hassled about it. we got a gate check tag for it, and left it at the end of the boarding ramp, with the strollers.
i felt like a paid rep for SKUUT (in fact, i feel like that now, as i write this), and like i should have been handing out business cards. dozens of people stopped to ask me where i got it, how long he'd been riding it, and other detailed questions. kids his age stared in envy, and parents wondered how we got it through security. cosmo took notice of the attention, and eventually started showing off. he had the most fun in the denver airport, while we waited for our flight home. he was doing laps around an open area near the seating, and getting lots of exercise instead of being cooped up in a stroller. he had some near misses, but never crashed in to anyone, or anything.
i was happy we decided to bring it. from now on, we won't leave home without it. we brought it on our road trip to texas, and it came in handy at rest stops too. it is so compact and light, and easy to carry, there is no reason not to bring it along. i hate to just go on and on about this bike, but i want to suggest to anyone with a two year old kid in your life, to set aside $15 each month (if you can), for the next six months, and get that kid this bike when s/he turns two and a half (that is the age when most kids can comfortably reach the ground from the lowest seat setting). they can ride it 'til they're five or so. but they probably won't, since they'll be ready for a big kid bike before they turn four.