Why is Grandma in a Pedal Car?

It’s not every day I get to see my beloved grandmother acting outrageous. That was my thought when I stumbled on this picture of my grandmother from 1969. It was so out of the prim and proper image I hold in my mind of her. She always looked so classy in her dresses, makeup, and jewelry.

My grandparents often babysat us in their apartment in the Bronx. Since my brother and I were quite young, we needed reminders to behave. Their cylindrical sofa pillows looked so much like bats, it was hard not to bash my brother in the head with one, while ducking from his attempts to bash my head.

“Act like a young lady,” were words she said to me often. My brother was told to “be a gentleman.” Or she questioned me, “Is that how a young lady behaves?” I just shrugged. I didn’t know any young ladies.

Grandma had ways of tricking us into helping her clean. Telling us the fluffy lint on the carpet were pennies and challenging us to a game to see who could get the most pennies off the apartment floor. No prizes. Just the treasured cheering from Grandma.

Grandma in toy pedal car
Grandma in our pedal car, 1969.

Before this scene in the picture, my brother and I had been arguing about whose turn it was to drive our new pedal car. My dad calmly told us to stop fighting. When that didn’t work, he told us that it was Grandma’s turn.

And Grandma walked right over and stepped into our pedal car.

You can see me looking on in disbelief. I had told her she wouldn’t fit.

And since now everyone had gotten a turn, Dad took the car and put it away for the day.

Outsmarted by Grandma once again.

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