Jack thinks he can drive. That’s not a joke or me being cute. When I initiate, what I assume, is going to be an adorable back and forth by saying: “Do you wanna drive home?” He responds in the affirmative, demands the keys and then is genuinely disappointed and kind of shocked when the adult (that’s me, for those unsure) takes the keys away as they approach the vehicle. At first, I started doing this because it was a quick and easy way to get Jack back to the car from, say, a far more exciting park trip. The allure of the keys provided enough distraction to wipe away whatever lingering activities awaited in the grassy fields. I realized there was impending excitement in his eyes, but never expected a full-on dashing of hopes once he realized it was all a ruse. That he is not actually allowed to drive the car.
I’ll tell you why I love this. It’s another example of how Jack views the world and it’s vastly different and far more refreshing from what my default view of the world is. In a manner of speaking, Jack does not see things as tasks to be accomplished. Instead he sees things in terms of adventure and exploration. He knows that the car is something to be driven. He has seen others do it before with relative ease. “Why not I?” must at some point enter his mind. Perhaps I’m even putting too much thought into it in that series of conclusions. Perhaps it simply IS.
“Do you want to drive home?”
Jack is, unlike me and most of adult humanity, endlessly willing to tackle the things he’s never done before so long as those things conform to his VERY childlike understanding of fun, adventure and excitement. He sees none of those in exploring the bold new frontiers of spinach or brussell sprouts. Yet, somehow he can find the thrill of chomping through broccoli, but I think that’s because they look like trees and he can FEE-FI-FO-FUM his way through the roughage. He doesn’t seem to grasp mapping the uncharted terrain of endlessly putting some new form of pants on. However, he leaps to new heights and distances constantly. Which shows blatant disregard for the laws of physics I live in some level of fear of. Whereas as I am, at some level, conscious of the possibility of falling down the stairs, this does not occur to Jack until it has happened. Then it goes away again, compartmentalized for future use.
So, we made a deal. If I am going to take advantage of the “life-hack” (God, I hate that term) that comes with offering my son the car to drive, then when we get home we are going to drive a little bit. He’ll sit on my lap and we’ll cruise up and down the driveway. He’ll turn and we’ll talk about the future that will one day come when he can actually reach those pedals that dad is pushing on. He’ll confuse left and right, then he won’t and then he will again. He will pull into the parking spot and park the car. Jack will drive home. It’s only fair, right?