My 6-Year-Old Needs a Crash Helmet & It’s Your Fault

It’s been years since I sat in a little corner of the government center in Monticello filling out my questions on the DMV’s written test, but I can still remember the question I got wrong. I now know that you steer not into a skid but in the direction that you really want to go.

I may not remember where I put my keys 5 minutes ago (hence the long blue lanyard hanging off them to help me spot them from across the room), but I’m clear on that.

It’s that clarity that leaves me almost sure there was no section on the test that required I prove I could drive on the country roads that crisscross Sullivan County. I’m positive there was no marker to assess whether I’d know to pull to the side when a big truck came my way on a one-lane road, whether I’d be careful enough to heed the deer.

Now far be it for me to guess what the State of New York has up its sleeve (oh, ho, I was born in the morning, but not this morning folks), but I’d say it’s a fair guess mine was the typical test given to the folks we call licensed drivers?

The people who take to the roads of Sullivan County every day?

You’ll understand why I’ve considered investing in a tank.

It might not look pretty, probably would eat right through my paycheck with the gas, but 6-year-olds chafe when you ask them to wear a crash helmet everywhere you go.

And that option’s looking better and better these days.

Call me a neurotic mom, but there’s nothing like stopping on a freshly oiled and graveled road with a soft shoulder while a pickup truck comes barreling at you at 55 miles per hour because the driver has no common sense to make you wonder if that booster seat can really protect your kid.

There’s nothing like stopping in the turnout provided on a one-lane road specifically to let cars pass . . . only to have the car behind you drive AROUND you and into oncoming traffic.

There’s nothing like slowing for deer in the road, only to hear a horn behind you, and the driver screaming “come on,” as if you’d dialed up the four-legged critter in advance and asked her to hoof it onto the blacktop at the specific moment you were coming through with said SUV trying to get a taste of your bumper.

On second thought, I don’t need a tank. I need to start a petition to get the State of New York to add a new section to the new driver’s guide that’s a teenager’s Bible. We’ll call it Country Roads 101.
Who’s with me?

Image via Dragonleek/Flickr


  1. Try having Jersey plates…they just assume you have no clue as to where you are going. There has been many a time where I thought I was surely going for a "dip" on the river road.

Speak Your Mind