She did get that coveted bike for Christmas, and despite my hurt that I wasn’t the one to get it for her, I was grateful to her grandparents for doing it. She got a bike with training wheels, and it lacked the “princess” theme that I can’t tolerate a whole lot of. She also got a helmet and elbow and knee pads.
The few days she was at her dads were spent riding the bike around the house. She apparently was on it all the time. He deemed it too cold to be outside riding in, but by the time I got home it was in the 40’s so I thought we could be outside. Plus, my old small house is not conducive to bike riding.
We took the bike out and she rode it around our driveway for a bit. But of course this isn’t really enough! So I promised to walk behind her while she rode. That kid rode all over our neighborhood with the happiest look on her face! She rode until we were both tired, she rode until our hands were too numb to feel, she rode until she shivered. And then we went in. The next day, directly after school, we had to repeat the process.
I started out immediately teaching her the things she needs to know while riding around the neighborhood. First I taught her how to use her brakes, because no one had done so yet. Then I taught her how to break at the streets, get off the bike, look both ways, and push the bike across. Now she does it on her own with my supervision only. Teach her the correct way FIRST and then I don’t have to fix bad habits. It is the rule of motorcycle riding and I figure it applies to bike riding and kids too.
I suspect that her bike riding will be good for my health. I don’t seem to have much choice but to take a walk in the evenings now. I DO hope that she will be willing to ride to school sometimes with me walking, in the spring. That would be good for both of us!