Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WARNING!

By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye




I have three teenagers and two of them are driving, so if you live in the state of Maryland, you might want to make sure you stay far away from any Blue Priuses.

Yes, child number one received his driver’s license on Friday and child number two is driving me and everyone else crazy since she received her learner’s permit.

Having mobile teens is good and bad. My son is now able to drive to school so I don’t have to pick him up after his JROTC duties. It’s also handy when I need a few things from the grocery store while I’m in the midst of cooking a meal.

On the down side, he thinks that since he’s able to drive, my car should be available to him at all times. He received his first lesson on that today when I said “No.” Of course I had to repeat it two more times just to make sure he got it into his head. And that was before he explained that I should allow him to drive the Sequoia to school since he’d get teased for driving a prissy Prius. That statement was met with a “Hell No!” after which I explained that if he was too embarrassed to drive the Prius, he was more than welcome to drive any other car he wanted—he’d just have to buy it first. Needless to say, he kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love you, Mom,” which is what he always says when he’s headed to the doghouse. Smart boy.

I don’t know about you, but I still have nightmares about driving with my parents. I’ll never forget the first time my father took me out to teach me to drive a stick shift. We lived on The Main Line of Philadelphia—think rolling hills—and Dad decided I should drive to Sears with him. Now my father, God love him, has never been the calm and retiring type—he’s the exact opposite. He spent the entire drive screaming at me and teaching me interesting combinations of curse words. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, I was about to lose my lunch. I never wanted to be that parent so I had my husband, the calmest man I’ve ever known, teach the kids to drive—problem solved, right? Wrong.

My son knows me well enough to never drive with me. I’m not a good passenger on my best day. He’s like his dad—he's missing the loudmouth Italian gene and doesn’t tolerate screaming well. I think he’s secretly relieved he’ll never have to drive me anywhere while I’m conscious. My daughter, however, is a legend in her own mind. Twinkle Toes, never lacking in confidence, thinks she’s the best driver the lord ever put on four wheels and has never been fazed by my loudmouth Italian tendencies. The other day she begged me to let her drive home from the Starbucks. I figured, what the hell. We were only a mile away from the house, the car wouldn’t go above 30 miles per hour, and if I screamed at her, she really wouldn’t care. I did okay until we hit the driveway. Our driveway has a big hump in the middle and the Prius bottoms out on if you try to straddle it, so you have to drive with one tire on the hump, and the other very close to the grass, which then runs up a very steep hill. Twinkle Toes wasn’t sure of how far over she needed to be and the next thing I know, we’re off roading, which would have been fine in the Sequoia or the Jeep, but the Prius? I'm talking we're were at a 40-degree angle! I was screaming, which didn't faze her, but then neither did the fact we were off-roading. She looked over at me and gave me the teenage eye roll. if I didn't have my hand wrapped around the Oh-Shit-I'm-gonna-die handle, I would have smacked her.

She's fine, I, unfortunately, have yet to recover.

So who taught you how to drive? And are you brave enough and calm enough to teach your own kids? Any helpful hints?

12 comments:

Ellie said...

My dad taught me to drive in our '82 Honda Accord. It was a stick shift and I was 14. The first time I let the clutch out, we lurched forward so hard my dad nearly ended up in the backseat. Somehow, he managed to survive teaching four kids how to drive. The man deserves a medal.

Cheryl said...

My dad taught me on a stick shift too. We had to turn off their side road onto the main road. I stalled it with cars coming at me and my dad (laid-back guy that he is) just calmly said something like "better get it restarted and get moving". Never raised his voice, didn't look at all concerned. And now that I have two teenagers getting ready to drive, I wonder how in the world he could have been so calm. I taught my ex-husband to drive but after he almost put my 5-speed through his parents garage, we got him a used car with an automatic transmission! :-)

krisgils33 said...

My dad taught me way before the invention of driver's ed (actually they did have it, but it wasn't mandatory). My daughter is only 9, so we're not even close yet, but I am not looking forward to that day! I'm not far from you in Alex, VA, so I'll be sure to be on the lookout for Blue Priuses!!

TerriOsburn said...

My dad tried teaching me the stick shift on an abandoned back road. Good thing since his yelling flustered me so much I stopped and turned the truck off while sitting in the middle of the road. Perpendicular.

Mom took over from there. She's way calmer, but I dread teaching my daughter. I had the tendency to turn the wheel in whatever direction I was looking. So if I looked left, I veered left.

I'm sure my child will do the same thing as she's less than conscientious on the best of days. I'm thankful I have four years to go before this blessed event AND that the summer she turns 16, she'll be on a farm in a county in AR that doesn't even have a traffic light. Plenty of backroads for her father (grandfather more likely) to teach her how to drive.

Brandy said...

My dad took me out once. And only once. He lost it and so my mother took over driver's ed duties. She was okay about it, until the first time she had me drive from an exit ramp onto the highway. I learned the term "goose it!" that day, though had never before heard it and since it was screamed in my ear at the time I hope to never hear it again.
I have a teenage Daughter who so far has refused to learn to drive. She'll be seventeen in April and is fine with me driving her everywhere, even her job. She says she see's how bad the other other drivers are now, why would she want to be the one at the wheel? *g*

catslady said...

My parents didn't like to drive and refused to let us. I was 28 and had a screaming husband teach me. I don't care for driving - any wonder? Both my girls learned at 18 - my husband took them on the highways and I did the local and parallel parking with them. It took the oldest twice to master the parking but they both drive everywhere and anywhere which is what I wanted for them. Just wait until you get that phone call...the first time a boyfriend was driving for a fender bender but the airbagas went off (expensive) and then later her husband totaled the car we gave her (now divorced). The most she has done is gotten two flat tires and ruined the rims (from potholes and going too fast). Second daughter (boyfriend driving again) got hit by a 16 yr. old who ran a red light, speeeding and talking on her cell phone while trying to get home before curview - she just got her learner's license a week before - car was totalled but they were okay. Then she slid on ice once. You never stop worrying I guess.

catslady said...

My parents didn't like to drive and refused to let us. I was 28 and had a screaming husband teach me. I don't care for driving - any wonder? Both my girls learned at 18 - my husband took them on the highways and I did the local and parallel parking with them. It took the oldest twice to master the parking but they both drive everywhere and anywhere which is what I wanted for them. Just wait until you get that phone call...the first time a boyfriend was driving for a fender bender but the airbagas went off (expensive) and then later her husband totaled the car we gave her (now divorced). The most she has done is gotten two flat tires and ruined the rims (from potholes and going too fast). Second daughter (boyfriend driving again) got hit by a 16 yr. old who ran a red light, speeeding and talking on her cell phone while trying to get home before curview - she just got her learner's license a week before - car was totalled but they were okay. Then she slid on ice once. You never stop worrying I guess.

Robin Kaye said...

Ellie - I agree, your dad does deserve a medal. Me on the other hand--not so much. LOL

Cheryl - Too funny. I hope he did better with the automatic.

Krisgils33- Yeah, I'd definitely be on the lookout if I were you. They don't have drivers ed here in our high schools, we had to send the kids to a drivers school which I think is ridiculous but there you have it.

Terri - Country back roads are definitely the way to go. I wouldn't recommend a hilly suburb of Philadelphia...

Brandy - With three teenagers I found it impossible to drive them all --There were so many times I had to be in two places at once, it was awful though I'm not sure this is much better. They worry me sick.

Catslady - I can't imagine not driving. I think I got my license at 17 which was old in PA. My son showed no interest at 16, he's 18 1/2 and just now got his license. If I would chauffeur him, he'd probably still not have it. Twinkle Toes, on the other hand, I'm sure will be taking her test the day she turns 16 1/2.

Virginia said...

My sister taught me to drive. No I am not brave enough to teach my son how to drive maybe thats why he is 22 and still doesn't have his liciense. He scares me to death and I hold on to the door handle for dear life when I ride with him. His dad road with him one time when he first got his permit and they come home with my car wrecked. The boy hasn't wanted to drive much since.

Tonya Kappes said...

I don't ride with my teenager either!! My DH has to when we have to. EECK!!! I cat claw the dashboard. My dad taught me to drive in the grass in the EL CAMINO STICK SHIFT! He said, "you need to learn to drive a stick shift b/c you never know when you are going to be in an emergency situation and a stick shift is the only thing you have to drive."

Sandy said...

I had driver's ed in school. My teacher taught me to drive a stick, and I wrecked after just a few times. lol

My husband is like your dad and you, Robin. I had to teach my youngest daughter to drive a stick. Her dad went out with her once and his cursing upset her so stop bad she stopped in the middle of the street and got out. Fortunately, they were in our housing addition. Grin.

Lisa G said...

I learned to drive in an interesting manner. When I was 15 one of my mothers men friends, Dave, took it upon himself to teach me. (My dad had died years before). Dave liked to drink beer and ride around looking at the country side. It was just something he had grown up doing. On Saturday mornings he would come over and get me, we would fill up the giant 60's something Delta 88 Buick, buy him a six pack, and he would drive out of the Dallas city proper. Then we would switch places out in the country somewhere and I would drive all day. We would visit friends, once we went to Oklahoma and back on all country roads. Mother never realized how much driving I was doing. I asked once what if I got stopped, and he told me, "Oh, I'll just tell them I'm teaching you to drive. It'll be okay." I was so young and dumb I thought that would work! Later, after Dave had drifted out of my mothers life I learned Dave didn't even have a license, he'd lost it with DWIs.
God protects the young and foolish...:)