My three year old like yelling “go fast!” and “faster” and “look out we’re going to crash” and for the past few days I’ve managed to turn this into multiple lessons. Whether they’re effective or not remains to be seen, but it’s been some interesting conversations.
Today when we didn’t crash into something she thought we were going to crash into she said “we didn’t crash daddy!?” and I said “no, because I was paying attention to driving. I’ve only crashed once in my life and that was because I was not paying enough attention and made a minor error.”
I should point out that Maggie thinks we’re going to crash into things all the time. I believe this time she thought we were going to crash into a stop sign while I was going 12mph.
She asked “you crashed?” “yes I crashed. There was no damage but there could have been. I crashed because I was looking at the wrong thing and made an assumption that the car in front of me that started going kept going” “you crashed?”
“I crashed. I don’t plan on doing it again so I pay attention to the road.” “oh.” “That’s why sometimes when you’re telling me something or you’re in the back seat not happy with something it seems like I’m not paying attention to you. I’m paying attention to the road so we don’t crash and don’t get hurt.” “oh!”
We’d had an incident last night where I basically had to ignore her melting down in the car seat for 14 miles on a very loud and annoying ride back home.
We pull into the daycare, I’m going slower than normal to make a point and she asks why we’re going slowly.
“We don’t want to run over any of your friends do we?” “no, that’s silly daddy.” “you know how bad it hurts when someone steps on your foot?” <nods> “well the car is like five people stepping on your feet.” “Oh no we don’t want to do that.” “That’s why we pay attention so we don’t hurt your friend’s feet, or the rest of them”.
I got her out and into the parking lot.
“Paying attention is something you always do when you’re around cars. It’s not just the cars that have to look out for you. You’re tiny right now and they might not see you. You have to look out for the cars so they don’t squish you.” “I’ll pay attention daddy.”
“Do you see any cars?” “no.” “do they see you?” “no.” “Remember that. It takes two people not paying attention to get your feet hurt by a car. You’re one of these people.”
We got baby out and got inside. I think we’ll have the same types of conversations for the next few months, but it’s been good to have a conversation rather than attempting to preach to a toddler who isn’t particularly interested in getting more rules given to her.