It all started when I asked Ari to get his coat on this morning.
“I don’t like this coat. I wanna wear the blue one!”
After trying to explain single digit wind chill factors to a 28-month-old child, he reluctantly donned his coat. (Truth be told, he probably wanted me to stop talking.)
Then it was time for his hat. He refused to wear the warm, fuzzy one that wraps around his chin. He compromised by putting on his Gerald the Elephant hat from Halloween. (Though he tried to pull it off several times on the car ride.)
Two hours later, it was time for us to go outside again. Fortunately, Ari agreed to wear his coat and his hat.
“How about mittens?” I asked, tempting fate.
“Okay. I want mittens.”
“Really?” I asked. Ari NEVER wears mittens.
“Really,” he replied.
Ari held out his hands and allowed me to slide his mittens over his hands. I was elated, but played it cool by saying “Now your hands will be toasty.”
I was giddy Ari was wearing mittens. I grabbed my phone out of my purse with one hand to take a photo of this monumental moment. However, by the time my finger found the shutter button, one mitten was on the ground. I put the phone into my pocket and knelt to pick up the mitten. That’s when Ari broke away from the grasp of my left hand and took off down the sidewalk.
“Ari!” I yelled.
His pace quickened from a walk to a jog.
“Ari! Stop! Ari! Stop!”
I was doing my best to run down the sidewalk after him, but my long coat, the diaper bag slung over my shoulder, and the view of the salt covering the frozen ground made me weary of sprinting.
Despite my pleas for Ari to stop running, he picked up his pace. As he approached the end of the sidewalk, I could hear his giggles, but couldn’t quite reach him.
“Ari, STOP! That’s the parking lot!”
But Ari continued running and laughing. And that’s when I flung my arm as far in front of me as I could and grabbed the hood of his coat.
“Gotcha!” I said.
He was still laughing as I stopped him from running into oncoming traffic. I paused and looked around. We were only two feet onto the black top, but it was two feet too much for me. There were cars actively looking for spots. Thank G-d I caught up with him before…
“You need to hold my hand,” I told Ari.
He laughed, “I run away!”
“You need to stay with me in the parking lot — always.”
I didn’t have the energy to discuss this with him. I was out of breath, thankful I caught him… and thankful I didn’t shatter my knee or break my hip running over the icy pavement. I held his hand the entire way to the car, scooped him up, secured him in his car seat, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. As soon as I pulled away, Ari tossed his Elephant hat aside.
NOTE TO SELF: Let him be cold. As long as he’s safe, walking around without mittens or a hat isn’t the end of the world.
14 thoughts on “This is what happens when you don’t want to wear your gear!”
Sometimes what kids find funny – running away from mommy – makes our heart stop because we know the potential danger. Glad you got hold of Ari. I agree, being safe is much more important than wearing a hat or mittens.
Fun and games for him, heart attack for you. Glad you were able to catch the runaway before something happened. Yes, kids continue to teach what is important.
They find so many ways to stop our hearts. Glad it all turned out well.
Whew! Yep, let him be cold. I remember Nathan escaping up an escalator about that age, running, running, realizing he could. Just as Ari said, “I run away”, the realization that they can is another step, isn’t it? Poor Mom, racing, racing. Glad all ended okay!
Yikes–scary moment! I still have flashbacks to one similar moment with my son. I’m so glad that both you and Ari are okay.
Glad you were quick enough to keep Ari safe. I remember a similar parking lot battle with my daughter when she was little, but trying to assert some independence. She thought it was funny, too. “No, mommy, I hold my hand,” she declared. The relief of keeping them out of harm’s way does remind us of what’s really important, and what we really need to teach them.
Great slice with internal thoughts, description of Ari, and, of course conversation! Totally took me back to a moment when my 4 year old decided to run across a street and I had to fling the stroller with her sister in it to the grass! My instinct said a baby falling on grass is better than a 4 year old meeting a car! So glad Ari was ok, your heartbeat returned to normal!
They certainly have a mind of their own! I’m glad you caught him… good thing he was wearing his coat!
Oh my, I can so identify with this as I head around town with Jack. We talk all the time about how he has to hold a grownups hand when he crosses the street. As for the mittens and hat, my daughter always matter of factly tells me, “He’ll wear them next time if he gets cold.” Instead I’m always trying to cajole him into warmer clothing.
This brought back memories of my soon to be 13 year old. Almost the identical thing happened but he was running towards a busy road. To him it was a game. To me, a nightmare. What a flood of memories your post brought back to me.
My 6 year old has never liked things on his hands! Since he was a baby this has been a fight. It was so cold here this weekend, and he kept insisting he’d keep his hands in his pockets. I see him outside for recess all the time with bare hands. It’s a sensory thing for him, but that’s not good for a Canadian kid! Glad Ari was caught in time. 🙂
I’m so glad it ended well. I was worried. Toddlers can be so daring and give their mothers anxiety.
I think this raised my blood pressure. I remember those days! My kids are now 26 – 41 and they are still teaching me important stuff:) Bless you.
My two wore shorts to school all winter from 4th grade on … yup, you will need to choose your battles. Glad it had a happy ending.