We decided to rent a tandem bike to ride through Vancouver's Stanley Park. At the bike rental place, we were both charmed by the idea of a tandem bike, which seemed like a good idea until the French Canadian girl at the cash register snickered (or was she merely being French Canadian?).
We quickly discovered the basic, challenging principle of a tandem bike: all the instinctual balance that it takes to keep one person on a bike, when multiplied by two people and meant to work together, is much harder than just riding a bike. To quote Pie on another subject, it's like trying to drive a standard transmission with one person operating the gears and another person operating the gas and the clutch. Extreme cooperation. Jason conceded the front to me after 100 meters, his having ridden a bike about 19 years ago and me having ridden one on Monday.
At first, we kept saying to each other with every wobble, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Extreme cooperation is hard, but we got the hang of it. For instance, we agreed TOGETHER, that it was a good idea to get off the bike and walk it up a one-kilometer, steep-ass hill. Other good decisions ensued. And some laughing. And way less falling down than I do when riding on my own.
I think parenting is like that. Lu is our little bike: wobbly, unsure, second-guessing, we work together to propel her forward.