Saturday, July 15, 2017
A cranky semi-opinion, semi question for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following semi-opinion, semi-question, is the semi-opinion, semi-question of a cranky old man. Opposing semi-opinion, semi-questions are welcome, but as always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid-head!
On our recent cruise to Alaska, we were seated for dinner with an older couple…yes, even older than I, and they were bragging on their grandchildren. This couple was two Brainiac, “Theoretical Mathematicians” graduating from MIT and Columbia respectively. They were very nice, but had no discernible sense of humor.
I made a comment that all math, even addition and subtraction was theoretical to me. They mulled that over for a while as if it made any sense other than a weak attempt at a laugh. Like I said, no discernible sense of humor.
Still they were nice enough as they bragged about their grandson who was published at age 8 and played first tuba in the school band. The granddaughter was a doctor, who interned at just a few months under Doogie Howser’s TV record.
After an hour of grandchild bragging, I mentioned casually,
“My grandson was riding a two-wheeler at three!” (Three years and 360 days, but technically correct.)
I thought this comment in juxtaposition of their genius grand's was funny. The response,
“Oh, without training wheels; isn’t that dangerous?”
I almost responded, “The guy who invented the A-bomb was doing theoretical mathematics at the age of five…how dangerous is that?” I did not, I do have a filter.
Anyway, walking the boardwalk today, on the Jersey Shore, I saw dozens of kids at least five-years-old riding with training wheels. Future theoretical mathematicians no doubt.
Here is the thing; regardless of what anyone may think, training wheels do not work, have never worked, and will never work. They merely turn a bicycle into a clumsy tricycle to use until a child gets the courage to test centrifugal force. Personally, I think it is best to skip the training wheels and when children are big enough to touch the ground with their feet while sitting; run alongside, give them a push and yell, “Keep peddling Honey!”
Training wheels are for parents, because we are afraid to let children fall. They will still fall someday, but training wheels delay the inevitable and make us feel safer.
Children used to leave the home within a year of graduating High School or College. These days they stay around for much longer. They even stay on their parent’s health plan until they are 26, I guess the new age of unofficial emancipation.
Is this new age good or bad? Does it just make us feel safer but hold back the child?
Are there training wheels to becoming an adult?
At what age should we just give them a push and yell, “Keep peddling Honey!”
The preceding semi-opinion, semi-question was that of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.