3V1150.01 A Tricycle at last: lost observation opportunity (3/17/81)

I wanted to buy one for Peggy’s third birthday but (even on sale) the prices were too high and the quality of the bikes too low for purchase. Today — some eight weeks later — I saw an ad selling a tricycle for 10 dollars. We trekked out to Madison. Peggy tried the tricycle and said, ‘I think we should.’ She did not know how to pedal or how to steer.

The older children were terribly obtrusive, wanting to demonstrate how to pedal, for instance, and also shaping Peggy’s behavior by pushing the bike forward and back thus ‘showing’ Peggy that the pedals had to go around whenever translation occurred. I told the children, especially Miriam, to let Peggy ‘Do it herself.’

Down in the basement, this afternoon, I don’t know what happened. Peggy now drives and steers competently. I can ask Robby and Miriam… but my sense of the situation is we’ve lost a possibly valuable example of physical skills learning through not being sufficiently observant at a critical time.

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