Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When It's OK To Let Small Children Take the Wheel

When did you first learn to drive? Farming and Ranching can be lonely work with lots of hours spent behind the wheel of a pickup or a tractor.

I know my dad and Grandad loved to take us with them to feed!  That or Mom threw us at them when they left to get at least one kid out of the house!  We all have fond memories of times spent with Dad in the feed truck, looking for birds nests or rabbit burrows on the ground or admiring hawks gliding overhead.

Kids in our family were driving something or other from the time they could see over the steering wheel..  When we would feed cattle, my dad or grandad would put the pickup in first gear and they would throw out the hay bales or pour out sacks of feed from the bed of the pickup while I (or another small child) would steer.

The trick is to make sure the pickup has plenty of room on a fairly straight pathway with no gullies, cliffs or washouts in the path of the driver for a ways. 

It's really not that scary.  There is plenty of room in the pasture and in old pickups used for feeding, the steering wheel has enough play so that the child feels like they are steering crazily when in fact, they are not doing much at all.

The speed is slow enough in first gear, that the adult can easily keep up by walking ( or perhaps taking a little jog!) to jump in and rescue the driver from eminent danger!

By the time we were old enough to reach the gas pedal, we weren't too bad of drivers.

As long as we were in the pasture.

Far, far from the fences.

It was really fun to 'put the pedal to the metal' and watch Dad sprint to catch up.  Well, it was really fun once, at least.


Andi said...

You know that's why so many city folks can't drive! They learned way too late in life! Start'em early!

This way we get all of our wrecks out of the way on country roads!

At least, some of us do...

Anonymous said...

Jasee told me she could drive! Little did I know!

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