Bicycling with baby · Garden · Toddlerhood

Ari is Almost Two! Also, a Bicycling Misadventure (Coaster Brake FAIL!)

Just since my last post, it feels like Ari’s been doing so many new things. I have to get them down here! Not that every toddler isn’t doing new things all the time, but I don’t want to forget his.

First, perhaps a regression in our parenting – feeding him with his frog puppet! He’s making a weird face here, but it WORKED.


Earlier that day, he had surprised me by pointing at Andrew’s treat jar across the room and saying, slowly and carefully, “Give…a…treat…for…Andrew!”

Also that day, when we were headed to the store and I was rambling to him about whether to walk or take the car, he said, in his sweet, musical tone, “How ’bout…bike? How ’bout…take a bike?” I told him that Daddy had his bike seat and he must have understood because he stopped asking.

The next morning, I was leaving for work at 6:30, and he was sitting up in bed with A., calling for me, so I went in to say goodbye (maybe I shouldn’t have, because then he sobbed for a while after I left) and when I told him I was going to work his face crumpled and he flapped his arms up and down, trying to figure out what to do, and finally slammed his hand down next to him and shrieked, “Mommy! On the bed!”

During the day while I was gone, A. was impressed when he was gesturing at something he wanted on the table and A. couldn’t figure out what, until he said, “this this this this…two!” and A. realized he wanted the two candles.

He also demanded (requested? ha) the “ABC song” but when A. started to sing it, he said, “No! ABC song on the speaker!”

That night, he was still up when I got home, so I got him ready for bed and let him choose his pajamas. He picked out – and refused to let go of – his multicolored striped pants, his red Thing 1 t-shirt, and his footed pajamas, so I put them all on him just for a few minutes, then took off the outer layer because it was about 90 degrees.

He also started calling A. and me by our first names…it’s pretty hilarious the way he says them.


Look at his grown-up little face!


I was off during the weekend and we had some lovely family days, with friends over for backyard barbecuing and kiddie water play, too (we had some 90-degree days!). One day, he pulled his elephant and bear off the shelf, carried them to the couch, and said, “Get the camera!” (Or “take a picture,” I can’t remember…but I think it was “camera”.) I obligingly took some pictures but he really just wanted to hold the camera and take his own.

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Ari’s pictures:

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Over those same few days, a couple of memories: pretending to wash his hair and saying, “wash my hair!” and a lot of refusing help with things, saying “by myself!” or “Ari do d’it!”

Powering up with granola and yogurt, his favorite:

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On Sunday morning, we biked downtown and took the MAX to the Children’s Museum and the Zoo.

We stopped at the carts on the way for a quick breakfast:

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He wouldn’t touch the giant alligator (the one set up for brushing his teeth) at the Children’s Museum, but he played the piano outside:

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At the zoo, we saw the new elephant habitat – it’s still under construction and it’s too bad their water area wasn’t ready yet for the hot days. But it’s going to be a lot better than the old one!

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(I was using a scarf for sun protection.)


On our way home, as we were coming off the Hawthorne Bridge heading east, A. and Ari made the light on a yellow and I was behind them and had to stop. I shouted to A. to keep going because Ari had fallen asleep and was flopped over in his seat and I wanted him to get to bed, but they pulled over a couple of blocks ahead to wait. I was on my fun turquoise bike with the coaster brakes. I love riding it when we do our family rides because it’s so light, with no gears or hand brakes. A. takes all of our stuff on his cargo bike so I don’t even have to carry anything. Well, the light turned green and I fumbled a bit getting the pedals positioned and then pushed down hard to get across the street, and my chain slipped off! It took me the rest of the way across the street and about 20 feet into the next block to realize that that chain was also my braking mechanism and I had no way of slowing down, and I was headed downhill on a big, busy street, with a few more major intersections before the road would start uphill again, and nothing safe I could veer off the road into to slow down – and my speed was only going to pick up every second I stayed on the bike. I was in a flowy skirt and flip flops and worried about ending up in a tangled heap on the pavement, but I brought my left foot around in front of me and plunged off, pushing the bike away from me – and landed on my feet! I landed in shocked relief, realizing that I had a bleeding cut on my heel from the gears or something, but was otherwise completely unhurt! Wow, the prospect of falling is so terrifying now that I’m old! Actually I guess I’m not that old yet, and I’ve never been inclined to risk falling off of things. Anyway, another reason to be more careful if I consider biking while pregnant again, and I’m SO GLAD I never attached Ari’s little front-mounted bike seat to that bike! I remember researching the safety of coaster brakes when I thought about doing that and ultimately I just got too lazy, but man…what on earth would I have done? Let’s not think about that! I’m definitely going to have hand brakes put on that bike before I ride it again.

Oh yeah, so the rest of the story is that I shakily brushed myself off and picked up the bike and a nice guy parked on a giant motorcycle behind me kept asking if I was okay or if I needed anything, and complimented my “nice save,” and then A. made it back to me, asking if I’d been hit. It was a good thing he hadn’t kept going home like I’d wanted him to, because he had my phone, wallet, and transit pass with him! I would have had a long walk home… (Or maybe a motorcycle ride, hehe 🙂 ) I ended up catching the bus home, which meant I learned how to put my bike on the front of it so now I’m not afraid of taking a bus trip with my bike in the future!

Okay, moving on to the rest of the day…

We’ve been harvesting garden produce recently. Lots of swiss chard, which A. sautés for me for pasta, and lettuce and blueberries, plus a few strawberries and raspberries, and a potato.

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Eating outside with friends, with some laundry drying on the clothesline – we just set that up, and wow, it only took a couple of hours to dry on that hot day!

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Salad with homegrown lettuce and blueberries:

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Then I had a day home with Ari. He polished off the yogurt. I heard him calling for “more” and didn’t get there fast enough, so I found him helping himself:

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One night recently, I decided that when he cried at night I’d go sleep in his room instead of bringing him to our bed, because I want him to get used to staying in his bed all night. Apparently that’s not what he wanted, because as soon as he saw the pillow and blanket in my arms when I walked in (at 3am or whenever it was), he stopped what I’d thought was a pitiful, half-asleep, scared-in-the-middle-of-the-night cry, and said very clearly, “No. Big bed!” Hmmm.

I’ve also had some more stubborn “crawl there” responses when I give him the fake “choice” of walking or being carried to wherever it is I want him to go.

He’s playing with dolls more and more. One day he crammed as many as he could into his arms, walked out of his room, and said, “Look at all the animals!” At night, he put some away in their baskets, and laid some down on his bed, saying good night to each one, and while laying down his Elmer doll, “Time to go to sleep!”

I sure love this kid!

2 thoughts on “Ari is Almost Two! Also, a Bicycling Misadventure (Coaster Brake FAIL!)

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