For her birthday yesterday, we gave Louise her first bike (the Mongoose model, Butterfly Summer* edition). We snuck it into her room in the middle of the night and in the morning heard her excited exclamations from down the hall, "I'm so pleased!" (for whatever reason, my daughter sometimes talks like she's in a Victorian novel). We also heard little June repeatedly and excitedly call the bike a "hat", but Louise kindly explained to her that it was not, in fact, a hat.
In the afternoon we went to the park for a debut ride. Louise cruised along happily, dinging the bell the entire time (this was probably just as well - her steering wasn't so great, and it warned people that she was coming). All went well until we were headed back to the car, at which point she began to run out of steam. I gently suggested that if she wanted to conserve her energy she might consider not ringing the bell. This option was flatly rejected.
Eventually all of the bike riding and bell ringing led to complete exhaustion and a total meltdown. Louise made the rest of the trip back to the car on foot, still wearing her big pink helmet, sobbing loudly. The (remarkably heavy) little bike made the rest of the trip to the car slung over my shoulder.
All in all, though, I would consider the whole thing to be a grand success.
* The name Butterfly Summer strikes me as hilarious. Every time I see it I can't help but bust into a goofy faux-jingle, "Butterfly summer, going to last forever. Butterfly summer, I hope you never end..." sung in a wistful and sincere falsetto. Mongoose is kind of funny too. If she comes across any kids riding Cobra bikes, they're going to be in big trouble.