So many kids, I don't know what to do.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Driving Me Crazy

A while back I wrote a post comparing myself to Abraham Lincoln.  What?  You don't see a comparison?
He aged rapidly due to the stress of trying to keep the nation unified and out of war.
 I am aging rapid because my 15 year old is learning to drive.

All my life I have been ridiculed about my driving.  (The truth is my passengers just lack a certain sense of adventure.) It is ironic to me that now I seem to be solely responsible for preparing my son for wide world of vehicular transportation.

He is improving. At least I no longer feel the need to roll down the window and shout warnings to other innocent folks on the road.  I quit pressing 911 and anticipating the split second before our fiery demise to hit send.

Here are his main three problems.
1.Sloth like reflexes - As Ty is learning to drive I often think back to his toddler hood.  Especially those times when we would go for a checkup.  The doctor would whack Ty in the knee cap with that hammer thingy and nothing would happen.  Apparently the boy has no reflexes to speak of.  Reflexes come in handy when attempting the "Left Turn of Death" in the Houston area.  I have tried to teach him to inch out in anticipation of actually turning in the leftular direction.  I prepare him in advance by saying, "As soon as that red car passes you need to go."  Nothing happens.  By the time Ty actually moseys out into traffic we are in jeopardy of being T-boned by the next car - which was five minutes down the road at the start of this adventure.

2. No sense of direction - (Yes.  There is a slight possibility this is hereditary.) Again I am reminded of his little boy self.  At the age of ten I was finally willing to let Ty leave the cul-de-sac to play with some kids on the next street.  He said, "Could you walk me over there?  I don't know the way."  After we turned that ONE corner I told him to be back in thirty minutes. He replied, "Can you come get me?  I don't know how to get home."
So I spend as much time giving directions as I do tutoring the driving - "Ok.  You will want to slow down, turn on your indicator.....Good.  Well Ty!  Turn here....don't you recognize OUR HOUSE!!  I swear the only place he can find on his own is McDonald's.  Even with the directions there have been plenty of mishaps.  It is not unusual to tell him to turn left and then find myself turning right from the left hand lane.  The last couple of times this happened I didn't say anything wondering what Ty would do.  He didn't notice we were going in the complete opposite direction of our destination. 

3. Break/Gas/Park Confusion - Among the scariest of his might be his parking.  He gets into the garage or spot fine, but after that it is a guessing game. One more than one occasion he has exited the vehicle without putting the car into park.  This is very disconcerting to passengers, but I think we have all learned our lesson.  We do not exit the vehicle until Ty does.  Also on more than one occasion while attempting to park he has hit the gas instead of the brake.  As lovely as I think the Armada would be in my bedroom I would really appreciate keeping that garage wall intact.

As soon as we conquer all those problems I plan to work on a new set of lessons.

**Choosing the road instead of the ditch.
**What to do if another car is actually near yours.
**A fresh brownie is not a reason to pass on a two lane road.

Wish me luck!

PS - Dear Mom and Dad,
I am sorry for every time I nearly ran over the curb.  Also I am sorry I didn't understand that "right on red" implied stopping to check for oncoming traffic.  I love you and I am glad you survived my driving lessons.

How about you?  Any driver instructor tips?  Anything you need to apologize to YOUR parents for?


  1. LOL I've been so freaked out from being a passenger in my son's car in the early days of teaching him to drive that I'm not sure when I should start with my daughter. Been putting it off for months. I just need to catch my breath back before I give up the driver's seat again.

  2. My parents were ingenious with teaching me to drive. They didn't, really. My friend and I switched parents for the beginning because someone else's parents don't freak out nearly as much your own.

    And I feel for your son with the directions thing. It is the reason I wasn't allowed to drive anywhere by myself UNLESS MY BABY SISTER WAS IN THE CAR until I was almost 18. My sister was really good at first person shooter video games and can map a labyrinth in the dark. To this day she never gets lost. I still get a little lost going to work every day.

  3. I once made the gas/brake mistake at work! I worked at a fast food place, had parked to get my paycheck, and hit the gas and hit the drinking fountain on the outside of the building, breaking the water main and water went everywhere! That was awesome.

  4. Lalalalalalala! I can't hear you. No, I refuse to believe my kid is creeping ever closer to his driving days. Oh God. No. I can't handle it.

    I will, however, pass on this piece of advice. Always, always, always check your rear view mirror when backing out of the driveway. Because if you don't, there's a small chance you might accidentally back into your father who has just arrived home from the dealership in his brand new vehicle and can't find the horn to alert you.

  5. I feel your pain. Parking is too scary sometimes...and Emily wants to do too many other things (eating, messing with the radio) while driving!
    Good luck!
    And hey...if you want to answer this weeks questions, link up tomorrow(or any day this week)... I'd love to hear about your tan friend!

  6. The above issue could lead passengers in his car to prayer.

  7. A nun taught me to drive. We weren't allowed on the freeway. She made us play"the light game" where if there was a red light we had to slow down so that by the time we got to the light it was red again. Other drivers LOVED that game. Then, at my last lesson I got the brake and gas pedal mixed up. She said I must be getting confused because my mom drove a stick. Nope. I didn't drive it. But, she decided to end my lessons and pass me before I got more confused. But, I turned out to be a great driver no matter what my husband says, so have faith! :)

  8. Those sloth like reflexes sound all too familiar from my second one. Ironically, he's the best driver in the family now.

  9. My hubby actually taught me to drive when we met!! I was horrible...and that is not humility talking! Needless to say, the world will be much safer if he is the one to pass his ability onto our 3 children. He was actually a Driver Instructor once upon a time.
    The irony is, I have been in countless accidents....all of which I was the passenger. And some have been pretty bad...flips and everything. But I have never even gotten a ticket (okay, that may have something to do with the Mister too.)

  10. You are such a good mom! My mom wouldn't get anywhere near the car when we were learning to drive!

  11. Looking back I feel so bad for parents! Teaching someone to drive is SO stressful! They are saints! I think I will have a heart attack when I have to teach someone. Ha.

  12. I do not envy the driver's ed years. I had a hard enough time teaching Thing 1 to ride a bike without losing all my hair.
    Maybe that's why my parents made me get a job and buy my own stinkin car before I could learn to drive...and then it was all in driver's ed at school.

  13. You have no idea how hard I am laughing right now! My son is 15, too...and Aaron just got his permit! I'm right there with you, Sista! I was in the back seat (hubby in the front) when he was backing out of a parking spot for the first time. He said "Jeez, Mom! Don't look so freaked out! You're freaking ME OUT!" I didn't know I WAS looking so freaked out! I had my eyes closed!

  14. I hate driving in Houston. Austin is just as bad. Houston every one is going to fast and is rage filled. Austin seems to be people going too slow or just randomly changing lanes with no blinkers. etc. Damn hippies.


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