Apparently, Santa got it right this year. String Bean has been asking for a new bike for a while, and not just any bike, but a princess one, purple, if at all possible. When she woke up on Christmas Day, and sleepily dragged herself out into my mom’s living room, and there it was, in all of its perfect purple splendor, with a matching purple princess helmet, she just wanted to snuggle with me and avoid looking at it until Peanut woke up, too. At first we were worried that she’d changed her mind sometime in the past week and no longer wanted it, but once Peanut joined her in the living room, where Peanut found not only the scooter she’d been ogling in one of the toy catalogs that had come in the mail, but a hula hoop, which she’s been asking for nonstop for several months (how she even knows what a hula hoop is, I’ve never figured out), then the excitement finally hit. The girls donned their princess helmets, jumped on the bike and scooter, and took off. Well, not really, because we were inside, and my mom’s house is on six unpaved acres at the end of a long dirt road, and there wasn’t anywhere flat or paved around. So, they made do with doing a tight circuit around the kitchen.
Later, we took them out to a nice long, paved bike path that cuts through some beautiful woods, and has no cars or non-walking, non-biking traffic of any kind. Peanut decided that what she wanted was to stand on the scooter with both feet, while me, hubby, and my mother took turns pulling her along. But once String Bean hit the pavement, she was booking right along. She figured out the brakes, steering, and how to climb a hill within minutes. In the end, we had to quit, not because String Bean was tired from her long bike ride, but because we were all tired from dragging Peanut and the princess scooter around behind her.
After naps (and she took her first long nap in a long time that afternoon, another great benefit of the biking outing), String Bean immediately hopped onto her bike and started doing laps around the kitchen again. She then figured out that if she pedaled hard enough, she could ride on the carpet, so she started doing laps around the dining room table. When bed time rolled around, and I told String Bean it was time to head into her room for her nightly story, she looked at me and said, “Instead of a story tonight, I think I’d rather ride my bike around the kitchen some more.” So, with all of the many wonderful gifts from grandparents and aunts and friends that the girls have been enjoying, it’s nice to know that Santa was still able to bring the biggest winner of all.