I guess it’s true the bigger boys get, the bigger their toys get… or maybe not.
Last spring we got my son the best toy ever– a Power Wheels Dune Racer (with the refund from our recalled crib– score!) The snerds love it. And I love that they’ll drive around the yard, together, happily, for 20 minutes (until the battery’s drained). But it’s low to the ground so I’m not worried about tippage, doesn’t go too fast (top speed is 5 m.p.h), has reverse and they haven’t once got it stuck. This thing is awesome.
Inspired by the success of the Dune Racer, my husband decided to upgrade to a real ATV (“the gas-powered 4-wheeler”, as my son calls it). This, I’m not so sure about. And with good reason.
As my mother-in-law was quick to point out, I actually broke my back (yes, you read correctly, broke my back) in an ATV accident during college. Granted, the quad was a much bigger, heavier machine than what’s buzzing around my backyard, and it was really my then-boyfriend’s fault since he drove up a too-steep slope in a gigantic sand quarry (have I mentioned I grew up on a 3,000-acre cranberry farm?), causing me to topple off the back and roll down the hill… I missed a month of school, wore a brace for much longer, and still whenever a yoga teacher asks about injuries I have to disclose how foolish we [he!] was.
Regardless of fault, I might have sworn I’d never ride an ATV again… and now, worse, here’s my adorable, clumsy, smart, brave 4.5-year old clutching the throttle. Apparently, 15 years isn’t long enough to keep me from having a mini panic attack at the sight of a 4-wheeler. Or, maybe I’d be having a panic attack even if I’d never rode an ATV in my life. But I did ride them, starting when I was 6– and my younger sister just 4 years old– so I know the danger. And the fun.
I’m the one who’s stepping back from the ATV, while my son (and thankfully my husband too) drives away.