Dan and I wanted to get Penelope a bicycle for Christmas last year. As she approached two-and-a-half, we thought it was pretty good timing for this "big gift". The hubs did all kinds of research on bicycles and tricycles and stumbled on balance bikes, little bikes without pedals or training wheels, on which kids use their feet to pump like a scooter and and sit balanced like a big-kid bicycle.
Dan was more than disappointed when, on Christmas afternoon, Penny was NOT at all interested in going and riding her new bike for hours on hour in the driveway with Daddy. In fact, she thought it was cool to look at and touch, but anytime we suggested she try to ride it, she declined (because it wasn't her idea) and just wanted to push the baby scooter she'd had since infancy.
About a month later, she expressed an interest in riding her bike, but the power struggle over wearing a helmet was too big for the little bike to be victorious.
So, it sat in our garage for three months.
Just recently, Penny decided she wanted to ride her bike, and also that she was willing to wear a helmet. Hooray! [I'll put this one in the category of glad I didn't give in]. The first few times out there were painfully slow as she walked the thing around the basketball court.
But now, the girl jams on that thing. I cannot keep up with her when I'm walking with a stroller. Anytime I tell her we are going somewhere, the first thing she asks is "Can I ride my bike there?"
I love that she luuuvvvvvvvs her bike. I love how her little whispy hair flaps behind her neck under her helmet. I love how she insists on wearing her "fast shoes" (Saucony tennies) and that those help her to go fast. I love how she says "I'm the leader, you follow!" and likes to be in front. I love how we are learning left and right, the street versus the sidewalk, and how to watch for cars. I love that when I walk somewhere in the neighborhood, she's using her body riding her bike now instead of sitting in a stroller probably eating fruit snacks. I love that her FirstBIKE is light enough for her to carry herself when she's not riding it. I love everything about this whole thing.