Monday, July 30, 2007
Natalie finally got her permit last week and Saturday was the day I would take her out for a little spin. We spent 2 hours in the car which, by the way, was the longest 2 hours of my entire life. Lets face it, nobody feels as safe driving in a car than when you are behind the wheel yourself. I don't let my wife drive me, nor her mother. That is suicide. I would prefer dental surgery than a trip to Dierbergs with either of the two of them. I drive straight through to Florida each year, twice, not trusting anyone to take the wheel. It is too dangerous. For me.
I find that the key to teaching a kid to drive can be found in the following points:
1) Use the loud open "fist slap upon the dashboard" technique. Seems to really keep the awareness high.
2) Cussing. You get a free pass while the car is in drive, let it fly. Repeatedly.
3) Use a four wheel drive vehicle, for spontaneity.
4) Do not tell on your kid if there were issues (to your spouse). She will never take her out driving if she truly knows how nerve wracking it is.
5) No alcohol or other anti-anxiety consumption can take place prior to, or during the driving experience. You will need to be "on" and able to give directions to the body tow truck driver, if need be.
6) Be prepared to suffer, especially the cliche of other drivers seeing that you have a student driver with you and, while at the stoplight, you try and give the appearance that you are calm, they will know that you are weeping.
7) Prepare a list of reasons why the session must be cut short.
8) Check seat belt often.
9) Put insurance and license information in a folder and have visible for easy access, any other medical records, living will etc. should likely be current.
10) Make your destiny a restaurant of your choice. You have earned it.
I suppose we bonded a bit while out there on the streets. If you think about it, driving is 100 percent accountability. My kid needs a little accountability and this seems to be doing the trick. Life is so short, and the time I have with my daughter is limited as it is. If the terror of teaching her to drive is as good as it gets. I guess I am down with that. We fared decently well for the first trip.