Growing up, I always wanted to have a Power Wheels. Unfortunately for my 8-year old self, my parents never gave in to the craze. At the time, I thought it was likely because Power Wheels were super expensive, and having twins and a younger child was probably draining their bank accounts at lightening speed. However, now that I am an educated adult and a parent myself, I know the real reason behind their choice.
It really is quite simple; toddlers shouldn’t drive. Period.
Riley turned three this month. Hurray! We are all hoping and praying that the terrible-twos are behind us and that we can avoid the “threenager” stage all together.
That being said, she received a gift worthy of a sweet sixteen on her birthday this year. All it was missing, was a big red bow, and the need for a valid driver’s license.
Ta-da! A bright pink car, courtesy of her loving aunt Brittany and boyfriend, Leo. (Thanks again, guys!). She of course was thrilled and immediately wanted to take it for a spin. Chaos ensued as she nearly plowed down all of her party guests and took out part of our deck.
Now, after a week of practicing, and successfully evading some near death experiences, I’ve concluded that there are some very real reasons why toddlers should not drive.
- Their attention span is non-existent
Me: “Riley, you need to watch where you are going. Keep the wheel straight.”
R: “Ok, momma.”
…One second later… I look over to see Riley’s vehicle drifting off the road, as she lets out a squeal…
R: “ Look, momma, a birdie. There is a birdie over there!
M: <<running toward her>> “ Riley, turn! turn!….” <<sigh>>
Eyes on the road child! It is the only rule that matters!
- The chance of them abandoning their vehicle is very high
I took Riley and Bode out for a stroll over the weekend. I was pushing Bode in his stroller and Riley was cruising in her new ride with the top-down and hair blowing in the wind. We were about halfway up the street when she came to a dead stop, unbuckled her seatbelt (safety first!), and bolted.
She had seen her friends on a neighbor’s dirt pile and needed to be with them as soon as humanly possible. Clearly, there was no time to drive her vehicle to the side of the road. So, there it sat, like a jumbo-sized paperweight blocking all thru traffic until I managed to move it to the grass.
Always, always, park your car, kid.
- Prepare for bodily injuries
It’s no joke. I’ve had to use my body as a human shield to protect Bode from becoming a victim of a Power Wheels hit and run. Riley is still learning which direction is forward and which one is reverse. It’s not pretty. I’m probably going to lose a limb at some point. And if not that, one of our vehicles will likely have a nice new decal of pink paint down the side before the summer is over.
- A multi-stroller vehicle pile up is a real possibility
On the open road, one must be prepared for everything. I’ve warned Riley that a stroller, push cars, kids on bikes and scooters, and stray animals can come out of nowhere. Be alert at all times.
- Younger siblings will be jealous
Relax, Bode. Let’s focus on walking first. Driving will come.