Childrearing

Toddler Caught Taking Toy Car for Midnight Joyride

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A South Carolina woman must have thought she was hallucinating this week when she saw a toy car go driving down the road after midnight, with an unattended 2-year-old behind the wheel. Luckily she leaped into action and ran after the kid, who was safely picked up by police before anything terrible happened, but I’m just going to nail all my doors shut from now on, because toddlers are slippery little people who just want to feel the wind in their hair and the freedom of the open road.

According to CBS News, the 2-year-old boy left the house wearing a diaper and a pair of jogging pants. He climbed into his battery-powered car and took off, while nobody at home had any idea what was going on.

The little boy was driving down the street in the middle of the night when a lady saw him and caught him and called the police. Police were able to find the kid’s house by tracing the tracks of the car right back to the front door. When the police knocked on the door, the parents opened it and found the police there with their son and the car, and the parents were like, “Oh my god, WTF?!”

Police say they’re investigating the situation with the Department of Social Services to see how it is that a 2-year-old managed to escape the house in the middle of the night like that, but that there was no sign of neglect or ill-treatment and that the parents would probably not face charges.

This sort of thing keeps happening, too! Just the other week a set of small children took their mother’s actual car for a ride to see grandma after their mom fell asleep at home. And before that, a father ducked into the bathroom for a moment, and in the time it took him to finish in there, his 3-year-old had pulled over a ladder to reach the doorknob, escaped the house, and was getting onto the highway in his own battery-powered toy car. That dad wasn’t negligent, but his kid might actually be Batman.

I thought I’d at least have the next 14 years before I had to worry about my kid sneaking out for midnight joyrides, but you just cannot trust a toddler. They grow in such unexpected spurts, you can’t keep ahead of what they can and can’t do. Two days ago my kid couldn’t reach the kitchen counter, and we could pile stuff up there out of her reach with impunity. Today she pulls everything down and it’s like, “Wait, when did you learn to do that?” While I put all the stuff back, somehow she reprogrammed my phone, took three selfies, and caught a Pokemon. Sometimes it seems like parenting is just one long game of catch-up. Or maybe it’s more like a game of chase, and the kid has a head start.