I Gave My Toddler the Keys…and She Started the Car

ImageAs moms, we know what it’s like to have our hands full. So, it’s nice when the kids get old enough to help carry lighter items (grocery bag with bread, etc.) to and from the car.

Except when you make the mistake of giving your toddler the keys to the car without realizing she can unlock the car, put the key in the ignition, and start the engine.

Let me explain: one day last week Vivi, Mac, and I were heading out. I took the opportunity to take out the garbage and some recyclables, which made my hands were full, so I asked Vivi if she wanted to hold onto the keys for me (afraid that I would accidentally throw them in the icky garbage can). Now, we live in a basement apartment, so we park on the street of our cul-de-sac. When we walked around the side of the house, I walked up the driveway to the garbage can and Vivi and Mac walked down the driveway towards the car (really, it’s a very safe street and I was hurrying).

I was about half-way down the driveway, lost in my thoughts watching Mac pick up sticks and pine cones, when I heard a car engine start. MY car engine. Diaper bag and all, I ran as fast as I could down the driveway yelling and screaming like a bat out of hell towards the car. It must have been quite a scary sight because I saw Vivi jump from the driver’s seat to the back seat. I’m sure she did that because she KNEW that was the only way to survive this event; she knew she shouldn’t have started the car (there just seems to be something innately wrong about that sentence when applied to a three year old).

I’m pretty sure she was scared for her life. As she should’ve been.

Boy, that got the adrenaline pumping. When I calmed down, I told her how unsafe that was because she could’ve put the car in gear and run into something…or over her brother! I mean, I didn’t even realize she could unlock the door, get the key in the ignition and start the engine; sure seems reasonable to think she could put it gear after all that, right?

Kids are always full of surprises and learning new things, but ohmygosh…I did not expect that.

And that was my toddler bomb. Boom.

~Vanessa

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