For the Love of Wheels

By Carson Hooks – July 5, 2012

Very soon after their fascination with any and every ball (no matter the sport) came our boys’ obsession with just about anything with wheels.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks have littered our floors ever since. An assortment of characters from the “Cars” movie franchise is high on the list of their favorites. “Thomas” and his fellow engines are a part of this mix as well. But Thomas is almost never found on his railroad tracks—those are just too restrictive. Our boys prefer the racetrack to the train tracks. They can create a racetrack just about anywhere, and their chosen racers have much more freedom to maneuver and to speed than any train on its rails.

The boys’ fascination with propelling wheeled vehicles across the floor began before they themselves could walk and has carried over to their love of propelling any and all wheeled vessels with their feet. Davis and Hudson take turns pushing their baby sister, Ella Marie, in her jogger (we really try to reign in the speed on that one). Davis used to push Hudson when it was Hudson’s jogger. They take turns pushing each other (and each trying to push the other over) in their “Cozy Coupe,” a four-wheeled kid-powered riding toy that looks like a car. Both boys took to their kickboard scooter like a fish to water. And, of course, there are the tricycles and then the bicycles.

Being able to reach the pedals has never been much of an issue. The boys instinctively go into Fred Flintstone mode and then they’re on their way. The energy this requires is the main reason that we have to this point stayed away from the motorized “Power Wheels.” These battery-powered riding toys can reach speeds up to 5 mph. Davis already loves “Power Wheels” and gets his fix any time he visits a friend or cousin who owns one. I know it’s fun, and I coveted one when I was a kid, but for us as parents, for now at least, any riding toy loses whatever luster it may have had if our boys can make it go with just a tap of the accelerator pedal.

Our toddlers are forever bursting at the seams with energy, so a bike or tricycle or scooter is much more useful in getting all that energy out. It may not be “Power Wheels” fun, but it’s still a whole lot of fun for them. For a while longer in their young lives, all vehicles that they propel and supposedly control will require that off-the-charts childhood energy. There will be time later on for the motorized vehicles—bumper cars, four-wheelers, dirt bikes, and golf carts. And then, one day, in a future I try to pretend will never come, they will get behind the wheel of a real-deal automobile.

But thankfully, we’re nowhere near all that yet. The only set of wheels that we have to worry about right now is the pair of training wheels that we’re trying to convince Davis he no longer needs.



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