Saturday, July 18, 2009

Driver's Ed

Well, I still haven't had time to pick up the needles. There have just been too many other projects going on that require my attention. It's not easy. Summer is the time for birthdays in our house, so there has been cake baking, parties, outings and ofcourse the ongoing experience known here as Driver's Ed.

The latter has been quite enlightening. It's our first time. We're complete novices, so as usual DD1 has been the guinea pig. We've experienced the usual 'foreigner-in-a-foreign-land' unspoken rules. You know, all those things that you're just supposed to just know. The main unspoken truth was that as soon as your child gets their permit you can put them behind the wheel.

No one mentioned that at the DOL. No one mentioned that at the parent's evening. Even the insurance company (whom we had to pester to know whether they would accept our foreign driving experience as part of the 5yrs that the parent has to have been driving) didn't mention it. We were supposed to just know. Consequently DD1 arrived at class having had a quick lesson in a car park from yours truly the night before and was required to drive around town on her first day! Scary! Once I'd got over the shock that my child had survived to tell the tale, all I could think was, "Thank goodness it's an automatic."

Thankfully she has succeeded and 4 weeks later has passed Driver's Ed.
Her father and I are now also fully trained in the art of teaching teenagers to drive. We no longer grip the passenger seat as she takes a corner too hard or involuntarily lean in towards her, eyes round with fear, as she passes a line of parked cars. Our feet have stopped trying to brake as she tailgates the car in front and our hands no longer sit in our laps clenched into sweaty balls. Indeed you could say that we are now graduates of "Passenger's Ed"!!

The arguments were also few and far between. For once our authority and superior experience were accepted without question. The realisation that passing meant 'sucking up to the olds in a big way' led to relative peace and harmony inside the vehicle. In fact, we now have 5 more months of potential behaviour modification powers before she takes her test. This should be good for some SERIOUS help at home. Success is, after all, still dependent on enough practice and that in turn is determined by us.

Ah, what it is to have power!


Rudee said...

It's great when they finally get the license and you can send them on errands. That's when my son got his nickname. Slaveboy. He is still my slave. Sort of.

Good thing you didn't have wool in your hands when your fists were clenched and sweaty. You'd have made felt.

Winifred said...

Oh my goodness, that takes me back. It is good when they pass but the worry of them on the roads! They have such confidence when they're teenagers don't they.

I didn't learn until I was 39 so I was a terrible worrier. My daughter didn't learn until she was in her twenties so she was a lot more cautious than her brother who at 17 thought he was Nigel Mansell!

Jane said...

Winifred - Laughed at the Nigel Mansell reference. DD1 is an avid viewer of Top Gear and it has been interesting to watch the reality of driving set in. The experience would be fine 'if it wasn't for all the other people on the roads!'

Rudee - yes, I'm nervous about when the day comes to let her fly solo.

Maureen said...

"We no longer grip the passenger seat as she takes a corner too hard or involuntarily lean in towards her, eyes round with fear, as she passes a line of parked cars."
That put a smile on my face....we survived our oldest getting his license a few years back and are now in the midst of our 19 year old and 16 year old daughters going through the 'training' stage. Gray hairs are mulitplying!! ;)

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