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?
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye
Posted by Robin Kaye at 3:16 AM