Over the last few weeks, two of our boys had been studying the state driving manual so they could take the driving knowledge test and get their driver’s learning permit. Early last week, they succeeded! Nicky passed his test on the first try 🙂 I was proud of him. Josh was successful too! The youngest, Cole, will take his knowledge test in about 3 months too.
So, these boys say, “Take me driving.” “Let me drive.” “Is it my turn?” on a daily basis now. I, of course, am the chosen teacher 🙂 After all, I have taught many other teenagers to drive, why not our boys? Nick’s time is consumed with work and much travel. If the boys waited on him, they’d be 19 years old before they are ready to drive.
First off, let me tell ya, there is a HUGE difference between boy and girl new drivers! In the past, I had only taught girls. There were a great many of them, but still – they were all girls. Now, I’m faced with boys. Girls tend to be more nervous and think everything you are saying to them is being critical of their personal skills and emotions. Boys, on the other hand, laugh and say, “yeah, I meant to do that.”
If I survive this endeavor, it’ll go down in the adventure book as HUGE! Seriously, I just bought 2 car magnets (image above) to put on the car on these trips from now on. If you want one, they aren’t very costly. Click here
Here is a small commentary as we are having our first lesson in a large parking lot with no other cars present:
“Okay XXX, switch sides with me so you’re ready to drive,” I said as I get out of the car and get into the passenger side. “But…Mom? How do I get in?,” I hear coming from the driver’s side.
“Honey, you have to move the seat as far back as it will go, then down. Last you’ll want to shift the steering wheel up so you’ll fit in,” I answer. “Oh”, he replies. I remind him, “you are much much taller than I am so you’ll probably always have to move the seat.”
We practiced driving in a straight line, accelerating, braking, turning the wheel, and attempted to park. The wheel turning was scary! Then I remembered that everyone has to learn how to let the car correct itself. So, I tried to have more patience with that. But, when the combination of wheel turning, heavy foot on accelerator and dizzying circles turned into dizzying parking lot doughnut laying rubber I exclaimed, “Brake. BRAKE. BRAKE! You’re turn is over. Good job today though.”
Nerves frazzled, the next child got behind the wheel. This one has a bit of practice under his belt already so we worked on reverse driving (backing up). Somehow, we managed after a bit, to be going backwards in circles, doing parking lot doughnuts laying rubber! I exclaimed, “Brake. BRAKE. BRAKE! You’re turn is over. Good job today though.”
Combined, they only curbed the car 6 times and I resisted the urge to medicate myself pretty well! At the end of the day my husband asks, “how was driving with the boys today?” I tell him his turn is coming!
Commentary on the next day, second lesson in a large parking lot with no cars present:
We are in position. I’m in the front passenger seat and child XXX is behind the wheel. The engine racing, screams for me to end the lesson before it has begun! “Uhm…dear…You’re in Park. Perhaps the car will respond better in Drive?”, I offer advice. He answers, “No worries Mom, I got this.” We zoom through the parking lot and come to an abrupt stop about 3 inches shy of a curb. Through hard laughter I hear, “I so meant to do that.” I am NOT amused. “One more stunt like that and your turn is over for the day.” I reply through smiling clinched teeth. “Okay okay, I got this.” He drives in circles around the parking lot making left and right turns, accelerating and braking. Not so bad this time. My nerves are a bit more easily frazzled on this trip though. We worked on judging distance too. My poor tires…were curbed 8 times on this day 😦
“Okay curb kid, your turn is over,” I announce, “Come on kiddo #2. Your turn!” XXX begins to work on the same things as the first kiddo did. Hard brake after hard brake gravitationally forced my spleen into my backbone so many times, his turn didn’t get to be as long. Kiddo 3 speaks up, “Can I drive?”
…I know I joke about it, but I may need actually need something to calm my nerves after all this! Now I understand why the state says the kids need to hold their permits for 6 months before they can apply for a graduated driver’s license!!