Thursday, November 6, 2008
Zeke the Safety Toddler
Long ago, Zeke appointed himself the Seatbelt Police for the Amagasu household. Actually he doesn't call himself the seatbelt police, but that's what he is. If you start the car without your seatbelt on, you can feel the judgement of a safety-aware toddler radiating from the back seat without even looking back to check. And if you are brazen enough to put the car in reverse and move it so much as a foot in your still-seatbelt-free condition, you are immediately and loudly reprimanded.
I've gotten used to this by now, and in fact I always thank Zeke for his vigilance. But I thought it was a seatbelt-specific quirk...I didn't realize he had a broader safety agenda.
Now I know otherwise.
We were out in the car a couple days ago, running some errands, and it had been raining, so the roads were wet. I thought I was being careful, but apparently I took a corner too fast for Zeke's liking, because next thing I know, I hear, "Mommy, if you keep driving that way we are going to slip on those leaves, and that is very dangerous." (This line is delivered in a very serious voice.)
How does he know about the problems wet leaves can cause? Or how centrifugal force combines with speed and reduced friction to create dangerous driving conditions? He's three years old! I do not discuss these things with him. Neither does Shanti. So is he hanging out with physicists in his spare time? Civil engineers? Weathermen?
I thought the whole thing was awfully cute. And I think I'll take his advice. Together we can be better Amagasus. He can help me become a safe driver and with any luck I will help him become a person who doesn't pick his nose in restaurants. Here's to personal growth.