The day my daughter took my her little brother for a ride in a mini-van
I will never forget the day my daughter figured out how to drive. She was around 3. I went in the house to get something, and left my kids in the car for only a minute or two. Somehow my daughter maneuvered her way into the driver’s seat. (In those days she wasn’t required to sit in a child’s seat.) She also figured out how to turn the key sitting in the ignition of the van.
When I came out of the house, the big van was rolling down the driveway. My daughter looked like she wasn’t a bit surprised that she was powering the car down the driveway. I ran to the open window of the driver’s side. I looked back. My son was in his baby seat looking like it was perfectly normal for his big sister to be driving him down the driveway.
I ran and tried to get to the steering wheel, but I couldn’t get to it. The car was going very slowly. It ran over my foot. I still kept going. We went out the driveway heading for my neighbor’s car parked in their driveway across the street. I ran and ran. Finally I got to the steering wheel and pushed it toward the parked position. We were 1/2 inch from my neighbors car.
It was like being in the movies. I was so relieved! The only consequence was my foot hurting for a couple of weeks.
But this could have been a real tragedy. A car could have been coming down the street, or she could have run into my neighbor’s car. I recently heard of a case where the outcome wasn’t so good. A woman left her key in the ignition and as a result the child had an accident and is now brain damaged. That sad story reminded me of this past incident.
Lesson: don’t ever leave your kid in the car by themselves with the key in the ignition. Not even for one second.
Kids are smarter than you think.