Little Miss is currently very interested in the rules of the road. It started with the traffic lights, as most kids seem to be fascinated by them, and has progressed to me explaining all sorts of driving procedures. I am basically Mommy, the human Driver’s Ed book!
She knows that red lights mean stop and green lights mean go, but the yellow ones are a little bit of a problem. If I don’t slow to a stop, she freaks out. The concept of being close enough to go through is completely lost on her. Though she is very proud to explain that sometimes you can turn right on red.
And then there’s the blinking lights. Blinking yellow, slow down. Blinking red, stop, look both ways then go. But why are there no blinking green? I guess green means go no matter what so why blink it?
Now we have moved on to lines. Why are there two yellow ones in the middle? Why are there white ones on the sides? Why are there yellow sideways lines in the middle sometimes?
The thing about all these questions is that, as an adult, you learn things and just accept them and move on. When Little Miss asks me questions about something that is sort of common knowledge, I really have to stop and think about it for a minute. Well, there are two yellow lines in the middle because there is a yellow line that says I can’t cross over it to pass and the people on the other side have a yellow line that tells them the same thing, so two yellow lines.
And then I start thinking about all the things on the road and what they mean. I guess solid yellow lines always mean “Don’t go here!” Like the stripy ones before a turning lane. And do solid lines always mean don’t cross? Like the white ones by the shoulder? And the white dashed lines in the middle are letting me know that I can change lanes, and dashed yellow means you can pass.
Obviously I know all this already, but having to explain it all, at a four-year-old level mind you, has my mind swimming with unnecessary analysis. Even though the constant questions and the unwanted nitpicking of my driving can make me a little crazy, I am happy to answer her questions. I want Little Miss to be inquisitive and I want her to know that she can ask me anything and I won’t just shut her down with “because.” I am teaching her it is ok to ask how things work and that I will do my best to help her understand.
And besides, with all this early training, I’m sure when the time comes, she will pass her driving test on the first try.