My little bug Emily, driving her brothers race car.

True to my word I’m keeping up with the blog. Well, this is my second post this year (aside from the weekly podcast show), so I’m keeping up better than I was I guess. I’m actually writing this from a coffee shop which is something I never thought I would do. Only uppity-ups “blog” from coffee shops, right? Well, consider me an Upptiy. Actually, the reason that I’m here is that I think I may suffer from seasonal affective disorder, though that diagnosis is simply a guess. My office is a great place to record podcasts from, but truth be told it’s just a sterile white-walled place with a couple of desks and no windows. It’s not my favorite place to be, especially now that it’s cracked above 32 degrees here in Central Iowa. I decided to head over to Burgie’s to write this post where the coffee is fresh, the chairs are comfy, and the windows are plentiful. My view of the Lowe’s parking lot across the way is sunny and I’m now instantly in a better mood. Enough rambling.

This past weekend I was able to take my kids out and play with the little Jeff Gordon electric race car that we bought my son for Christmas. We bought the car used in case you’re wondering whether or not I’m a Jeff Gordon fan (I really have no opinion on Gordon, though I am a NASCAR fan). I really was only interested in a car that had a gas pedal as I wanted my son to learn that gas means go. The Gordon car fit the bill and the price was right! Unfortunately it’s too big to really drive inside, and since it was so cold outside that Polar Bears were sending Al Gore hate mail we haven’t had much of a chance to take Gordon’s #24 for a spin. To date both kids have really wanted to drive it, and like any proud dad that loves cars I was looking forward to seeing if they both instantly had what it takes to drive in the big leagues.

I piled both kids in the truck, put the car in back, and then headed for the big parking lot of the Catholic church across the street. My daughter Emily is 4 and drove the wheels off of it. I started off by walking about 20 feet out and having her drive to me. Once she had that mastered I had her go out to light poles, do a 180, and then come back to me. She got very adept very quickly and was excellent….up until she stopped paying attention to the driving. If she saw me she’d instantly stare at me and forget where the car was going (see the video for proof). At one point she started to admire her freshly painted fingernails and stopped watching where the car was headed, but overall I feel that we now have enough experience to go for a professional racing career. And it only took 10 minutes of driving to prove it. I may be a litte biased.

I was really excited to see how my 2 year old son would do behind the wheel, but true to form he took a path I did not expect. He wanted nothing to do with driving the little car. He was not even slightly interested. The only thing he wanted to do was get back in the truck and go for a ride. I could not really figure it out at first, but I then realized that since he gets to ride shotgun in the truck that he can see me well and also see where we’re going. I remember riding with my dad as a kid and thinking it was the greatest, so I guess we’ll just plan to teach him to drive another day when the distractions are less.

A lot of people still consider NASCAR as a Southern “Redneck” sport, but I could care less as to whether it is or not. My kids think that race cars are cool, and that’s good enough for me. They love the Disney movie Cars. I’ve always liked the fact that modern day stock cars are really the epitome of 1960’s muscle cars (full chassis, V8, 4-Speed, rear wheel drive) and I’d love to see my kids racing in NASCAR one day if that was something that interested them. Actually, I’d love to be racing some day as well, but that’s a different blog post.

-Robert Kibbe

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