Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Driving Miss Crazy

I am like a sit-com mom in the car! Ha ha ha!

I brought Jake to get his drivers permit Monday afternoon, he got 100% on the test. Actually he finished the classes last Wednesday night and John drove through a snow storm to bring him for the test on Christmas Eve only to discover they were closing early and wouldn't let him take the test. It was imparative that he get his permit by Monday so that he can take the test for the license on his birthday. Monday was exactly 6 months away from his 16th birthday. We wouldn't want to do anything in a rush, why plan ahead when you can do things at the last minute?

Being very excited to see this boy drive I then decided to bring him over to Wooddale Church where they have a large parking lot to drive around. He drove at about 10mph around the building several times. I told him he could maybe speed up to 20mph but then I started panicking when he did that. In my defense it was like a skating rink in the parking lot, very icy. Finally I suggested that he could go out on the road so I let him turn right out of the parking lot, right onto the road about ½ a block down and then right back into the parking lot again. Then I had him go around the building again, which was feeling safe to me, while I calmed down from that foray into the real world. After another loop around the church I let him get back on the road and head to our house using all back roads (let the drivers ed instructor introduce the freeway, isn’t that what he gets paid for?) I was only minorly hysterical the entire drive home. I have never been so happy to see our home and garage in my life. That said, he did fairly well. He did struggle with a couple things but they seem to be the things most new drivers struggle with: 1--he kept driving too close to the right side of the road. This time of year it means snow banks. The right lane doesn’t always get fully plowed so it is a little more narrow anyway right now and he is hugging the snow bank. 2--he didn’t seem to understand the need to slow down quite significantly to turn. If we didn’t have a stop sign at a turn he would barely touch the brake before trying to make the turn. Making a left into our neighborhood almost put me over the edge but I think was a good learning experience for him because he saw how crazy the turn was.

When we got home John was completely excited as well and took him out again about an hour later. They went back to wooddale and practiced sliding on ice and whatnot so Jake would know what to do if the car started sliding. Plus more regular driving. Apparently Jake tells me that Dad is much calmer than I am which is funny because John usually doesn’t have a lot of patience when teaching Jake things so I figured he would get frustrated quickly with him. I guess we are both just so excited to have him driving.

Then last night I let him drive again to meet a friend somewhere. He did much better and I tried not to continually give him direction but just wait to see if he already knew what to do. And I tried to tell him far in advance where and when to turn. He was appreciative of both those things. I can see that I will probably start relaxing in a few weeks. He will have to learn the highway soon though since practically everywhere we go in our life requires us to drive on it. I might need medication before we do that!

When we decided we needed the mid-life crisis there were a few things I was dreading doing again, potty training, tantrums, school I think there is a new thing to add to the list. But I am also thrilled and excited to continue driving with Jake and see him learn this skill and gain independence from us as well as become an even bigger help to us. I am sure when Isabelle is 15 I will be excited for her to drive as well. I guess this is just one more of the many reasons I am glad my children are almost 11 years apart. As fun as this is I think I will need to be in recovery for the next 10 years before I will be ready to train another one.


  1. i laughed through this whole post!


    i am still laughing.

    it seems the world has gotten their permit in the past week...dalton next door just got his, and tonight when mady was picked up for her sleepover at a friends house in the n'hood, her sister, who looks all of 10 years old, was behind the wheel! I told the mom they would get pulled over for sure! so since it was just a few houses up and one stop sign turn in the n'hood to their house i decided mady would probably survive the experience and her mom said she was doing great.

    so far dalton is still alive so i guess that is going well also...come to think of it, i think he turned 16 in nov...maybe he got his license, i just realized!


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  3. IT SEEMED SO FAR AWAY! How is it my grand-son is driving?? Very cool Jake!