Andrew Rides His Bike At The Park & Other Tales

My daughter and I took Andrew to the park yesterday. There is a very nice park close to where I live. It is huge and there are lots of sidewalks for him to ride his bicycle on.

Tulsa park

My daughter got the bicycle out of the car. He insisted on wearing his backpack. So she got him and his bicycle on the sidewalk and off he went. We were following behind him.

Andrew on his bicycle

My daughter would call out to him not to go so fast. I told her that little boys know one speed, and that is fast.

Andrew on his bicycle

And on he went through the fallen leaves scattered on the sidewalk. He looked very independent with his backpack and his wheels. As though he could ride off into the sunset.

I can’t believe how fast he’s grown. It seems like yesterday that he started crawling. And then walking. And then talking. And I don’t think he’s been quiet since he uttered his first word!

My daughter asked what she was like at Andrew’s age.

Well, she was very different.

Here is a story I had forgotten that I relayed to her in the car:

It was springtime. She was in kindergarten. The teacher was afraid she wasn’t ready for first grade. There was much debate. She was too shy. She was not social enough. They called me up to come have a conference over the matter of whether it would be wise to hold her back a year.

The teacher told me that she wouldn’t answer questions when asked.

I had brought her along, and she huddled against me. I leaned down to her and whispered: “Why won’t you speak up in class? Why won’t you answer the teacher when she calls on you?”

My daughter whispered back: “At the first of the year they told us to be quiet.”

Well, there you go.

She is very concrete, much like me. I told the teacher what she said.

“Look,” I said to the teacher, “She just isn’t very social. You could hold her back until high school and that isn’t going to change her personality.”

So she went on to first grade instead of repeating kindergarten. And she excelled all the way through school. She has a Masters degree now and a wonderful career. And you know what? She’s still quiet.

Anyway, back to Andrew.

Uh-oh, he toppled off his bike.

Andrew at the park

He stood on the grass as though in defeat, his head down.

Children are so delightfully transparent. You don’t have to guess what they’re feeling. He was upset about falling off the bike, though he didn’t get hurt.

He went to a nearby tree and hid his face.

Andrew hiding his face

It wasn’t the end of the world, falling off his bike. But at that moment, it was the end of the world to Andrew. Poor little boy. It kind of broke my heart to watch him.

My daughter told him it was okay. Sometimes you fall off your bike.

Andrew at the playground

The bike incident quickly forgotten, he headed over to the playground equipment.

You have to admire a child’s resilience. That they can move from one thing to another so quickly. Their focus completely changes in a heartbeat.

Andrew at the playground

Soon we left the park and picked up a prescription I needed at the pharmacy. Then we picked up food at Arby’s and went back to my place.

I am pleased with myself every time we are able to spread out at my new table. Why didn’t I think of getting a bigger table before now, I wonder?

Andrew has yet to really see Ivy. He wants to play with her, but she is afraid of him. She hides out and he goes around my apartment calling her name, looking underneath the furniture.

She wouldn’t come out until he was gone.

Ivy is not shy about people. But I guess a four year old boy is another matter.

So on to pet photos:

Ivy sleeping

She looks so sweet and innocent when she’s sleeping. And then when she wakes up, look out world.


Ivy looking out the window

Ivy has her eye on something out on the patio.

Ivy in the bathroom sink

I’ve given up trying to keep her off the vanity and out of the bathroom sink. You have to pick your battles with a cat, I’ve learned. And I grudgingly lost this one.

Yesterday afternoon she was at the patio door staring up. Then suddenly she was jumping two to three feet in the air. She had spotted a bug. A bug cannot escape Ivy, but I think this one was on the other side of the glass.

Her efforts were not lost on Charlie however. He gets pretty excited over these bug killing sprees.

I guess you could say that she is Charlie’s foot soldier. She is constantly on guard for finding insects that stand virtually no chance against the likes of Ivy.



  1. Andrew is probably just a little too busy and loud for Ivy right now; she will get used to him but it will take a little time. How nice to be near such a pretty park. I think Ivy is Charlie’s heroine and they make such a cute little team. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

    Carol and Molly

  2. Sad for Andrew after his topple! He was no doubt feeling so competent and “big” that he was shattered and embarrassed but a good recovery! Your daughter’s comment to him was so positive, encouraging, and true.

  3. I’m so glad you were able to get out this weekend and make some special memories with your family. Andrew is so cute!! You are so right, kids are resilient and change gears so quickly, while we focus on the thing they’ve moved away from! Love the photos, as always! Love and hugs!

  4. I doubt that any teacher will complain about Eli and Orion, my twin grandsons, being too quiet! Maybe they aren’t as loud at school as they are at home, but sometimes I find myself thinking I should take my hearing aids out when I’m with them!

    I’m glad Andrew’s mom’s words seemed to make things better when he fell off his bike. Isn’t it interesting how, as early as four, children have a sense of embarrassment or ineptitude when they don’t do something right? Your daughter was good to not make any sort of big deal about that spill.

    The photo of Ivy with her paws in the sink looks like she might be saying, “Are you going to make me get out of here?” She looks sort of quizzical. And the photo of Charlie looking off to the side could be captioned, “What is she up to now??” The two of them are certainly a lot of entertainment for you and all of us, too! My two cats tend to hide when several small children are here but the one, older one, is quite friendly with my grandsons now and they love her. The other one is skitterish about everything.

    Rainy here yesterday and today. Cold and damp. The weather I dislike the most. I still have a couple of gardening tasks I’d like to get done before the snow flies so I hope we get a couple days of sun this upcoming week. Hope you and the fur babies have a good week. Take care.

  5. Andrew is a cutie Brenda and I love his expressions you captured on camera! They grow up so fast! My 5 grands even though they’re older, they always hug me…when seeing me.
    I will be a Mimi again at the end of March…but I only see my son and daughter in law every other yr at Christmas. It’s 13 to 14 hrs of driving one way! My son also has a Master’s degree in electrical and mechanical engineering.

  6. It’s so fun to watch children grow, both physically and emotionally. And let’s hear it for the introverts – we really need to toot our own horn more. But then again, that’s why we are introverts.

    I’m also glad you have such a beautiful park nearby. I’m not too wild about the town I live in, but they do have wonderful parks; that helps to like it a bit better!

  7. Andrew is a darling little boy. I know you enjoy your time with him and your daughter. I hope I know the joy of being a grandma someday.

  8. Brenda !! I forgot to tell you I got a survey call yesterday and it was about my opinion of Walmart. About every 2 mos I get a phone call for a survey but I usually decline. This one I decided to partake in due to your credit card experience. The survey was on the CEO’s pay ( asked if I had heard of some reporting on it which I had not) and how often do I shop there ( once a month was my answer), would I recommend it ( no), so they didn’t get anything favorable from me.

  9. Andrew is adorable!
    My daughters were quiet in elementary school. At conferences, when teachers would whine, “She’s SO quiet!” I was tempted to say, “I’m so sorry she’s making your job so much harder. I am going straight to the principal to request that she be exchanged for (insert name of naughtiest boy in school) to make things easier for you!!! Still wish I’d actually said that, though. The girls blossomed into junior high students who were outgoing and popular. All three have college degrees. What is the matter with teachers who can’t respect a quiet child?
    I thought of Ivy when I saw a “Bug Catcher Wand” in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog yesterday. $69.99. “There!” I thought. “Brenda has recovered 75% of Ivy’s adoption fee, and “postage” was free!” Well done, you two! 🙂

  10. You are right — Andrew’s face and body language are so expressive. He seems to throw himself wholeheartedly into whatever he’s doing! Do you think that he may have been so deflated after his tumble from the bike because he had wanted to impress his grandmother?

  11. Amazing photos where you captured Andrews expressions so well. He is growing up so fast. It’s nice your daughter wants to hear stories of her growing up as it so many times relates to how we parent. I think she and Andrew have a pretty swell relationship cause she gives of her weekends to him when so many working parents are off doing their own things. So good to see you all spend some moments together. Ivy probably wonders what’s this busy little boy doing in my home???? Cracks me up she goes and hides.

  12. How nice that you had such a pleasant day. And, keep the pet photos and stories coming. Such a treat!

  13. Your little grandson is very cute. We have a 6 year old grandson and a 12 year old granddaughter. What a blessing that you live close to them. We only see our grandchildren two times a year. They live in Utah and we live in Ohio. If plane tickets were not so expensive we would fly to see them once a month. Both my son and daughter have a Masters Degree. So I know how proud you are of your daughter that she has a upper graduate degree. Those don’t come easy.

    And what a blessing Ivy has been to you and Charlie.

  14. I’m glad you had a fun time outdoors with your daughter and grandson. It’s great that you could share the story with your daughter about her experience in kindergarten, and how she took things so literally, as you do. It shows that you understood your daughter and accepted her. I’m glad she was able to move on in school, and be herself. Speaking of being herself, yes, Ivy is a true cat and is going to be herself, whatever that is! We’ve had cats that loved the bathroom, but our current cat, Calvin, has very little interest in that room — which seems so strange, because when we brought him home for the first time, he ran and jumped in the bathtub to hide. But after that initial time in the bathtub, he has never attempted to get back in it. Yet Ivy seems to find the tub to be a fun place to play. They are all so different!

  15. Andrew is such a beautiful boy. How wonderful to have him so close. My grandkids live in Argentina so we only see them twice a year at the moment.

    Love seeing your beautiful photos and your sweet pup and cat.

    Have a wonderful day!

  16. Sweet Andrew! Scout is like him in that she gets upset with herself but quickly moves on to something else. Kids are amazing. Annie runs from Scout but if she sits quietly for a little bit then Annie will come out and get petted. Scout gets so excited and I have to remind her to move slowly which is near impossible for a 3 or 4 yr old! I wish Ivy was here today, there is a little fly that is driving me crazy. Annie just looks at it, not insect killer here. Hugs!

  17. Your photos of Andrew are so sweet and he is a cutie.

    I can just visualize Ivy jumping for bugs and Charlie cheering her on! I love hearing that he is “participating” in the antics! What a wonderful addition Ivy has been to your family.

  18. How nice that you live close enough to spend time with your grandson. And how fun to watch him learning.

    Our Andrew is a 6 hour drive away. Fortunately each time he sees us, even though a month might have passed, he knows us.

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