Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stop and go

Well, as long as I'm admitting to utter incompetence . . . this is definitely another one of those "don't do as I do" posts.  As in, don't let your 12-year-old drive your car.

In my defense, it was in a nearly empty parking lot.  We were far (well, at least initially far) from other cars.  And my son had strict instructions to touch the brake pedal and nothing else.  Just creep and stop, that was the plan. A little pre-teen taste of being behind the wheel, for a guy whose heroes include Dale Earnhardt Jr and Lewis Hamilton.

What I didn't reckon with, but should have, is that because of a stroke he'd had in utero, the right side of my son's body just doesn't work as well as the left side.  He compensates so well I often forget . . . but on this particular day, his right foot couldn't tell the difference between the brake and the gas.  Then I remembered.  I remembered with a lot of yelling and "watch out"s.  The 20-foot drive turned into a rather fast-paced 50-yard drive.

Fortunately, all ended safely.  Contents of the car both shaken and stirred, but no cars or people were harmed.  And my son decided that if he's going to take Dale Earnhardt Jr's spot in the future, he'd better get his right foot in shape.

So here's a training contraption I put together with odds and ends.

Pedal to the metal, man!

Now my son can practice stopping and going from the safety of a wooden chair while he watches Nascar.  Vrrooom!  Vroom!  Screech!  

Cheap: Made from scrap material already lying around the home.
Easy: Took me about 15 minutes to assemble.
Desired:  He truly does want to race with Earnhardt Jr. and Lewis Hamilton some day.  And
Safe:  Thank our lucky stars.  Don't let your 12-year-old drive your car.

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