THE MIRACLE OCCURRED!!
Back to the cool mothering lesson I learned. I tried something different with her today. Usually I run behind her on the sidewalk and try to keep her from steering into the grass every two seconds and hopping off, then starting over, etc. Today we ventured into new territory--an entire empty development loop just north of our house. Half a mile of newly paved road in a loop with nary a car or a house , surrounded by pasture and flanked by a pretty red stucco barn. (Yeah, that part's kind of weird, but the sun was shining, so hey.) I started her in the dead middle of the road. The first few attempts were a little rough, but exciting because she finally had room to ride into the S curve and correct her balance on the push off. She SSSd all over the street, sometimes doing circles. BUT SHE STAYED ON. By the time we got to the back side of the loop, she was going in a straight line, and was officially riding her bike, stopping and starting with no problems. All this time 'staying between the lines' was holding her back! She needed enough room to balance out and correct herself for her to learn how to do it. I think sometimes I impose too many restrictions as a mother. My kids need a little room to learn.