Driving with a 15-year-old
Thought I'd take the opportunity to present you with an important Two-Part Post. I can basically kill two birds with one stone here!
First off, I can show you the brand new car I mentioned in Monday's post. Like I said before, it's not new...but it's new to me. And that's what's important! (I am VERY cheap when it comes to vehicles. For some reason, I've never cared about having the newest car. Sure, I love convertibles and would love it if someone dropped a BMW Roadster in my lap, but... when I'm staying at home with the kids and we are budgeting our money as tightly as we can, I appreciate not having a car payment. So, I basically drive a car until it has 100,000 miles on it or it dies...whichever comes first!)
So...I'm VERY excited about my car. It's pretty and shiny and green. It has leather seats. It has this cool display where it shows what song is playing on the radio. It has a sunroof that allows Sydney to investigate the cloud shapes above her. It has electric windows and locks and lights. And it makes me happy!
Now that was the first part of my post...sharing my new car joy!
The second part of this post is my sharing of some important Life Lessons I wish to impart to all of you. If you have a child nearing the early teens, you might want to start thinking about these lessons. Heck, if your child is in kindergarten, you might want to at least copy and paste them into a Word document for further review later on. They are something every parent will deal with sooner or later...whether they want to or not!
Yep, that's McKenna tooling around in my cute new car. She'll be 16 in March, so she is anticipating her driver's test and the driver's license she will soon have. Gary has been pretty good about letting her drive around in his truck (he took her for her permit test when she turned 15), but I had pretty much avoided letting her drive too much (I had the excuse of an older car that wasn't always reliable to use against her!), but now I have no excuse. Suffice it to say that she was excited as I was when I got my new car!
As we drove around town yesterday, I had major flashbacks to when I was 16 and my mother tried with no success to teach me to drive. I argued and yelled at Mom more in that one hour than I probably ever had before or ever have since. We came home from the disastrous lesson and she handed the keys over to my dad. He took over the job and taught me from then on! So...I'm not really sure that it's even a good thing for me--the Mother--trying to teach McKenna to drive. But I'm going to do my best!
(here's McKenna enjoying the sun in her face!)
So...for your enjoyment and education, I present you with
Cheryl's Top Ten Tips for Teaching a Teenager to Drive
10. Do your best to resist screaming "Watch out for that kitten!!!"
9. Allow her to listen to Kanye West at a reasonably loud rate on the radio, recalling how I myself wanted to listen to Def Leppard in the same manner.
8. Be thankful that you're not teaching her to drive a stick shift (yep, not only was my Mom trying to teach me to drive; she was trying to teach me to drive a stick shift. Not a good combination! Especially when you throw in the fact that we lived in a very hilly neighborhood and stopping-and-going on hills took forever!).
7. Don't use the words "wreck," "fiery crash," or "speed trap" too often during your first real lesson.
6. Try not to hound her too many times with the threats of what will happen (i.e.: No cell phone, No Myspace, No BOYS!!) if she ever lets anyone get into her car without having their seat belts buckled.
5, Don't rely on the Passenger Side Brake. Though you may imagine that it's there, it's really not!
4. Do not bring photos of her in a diaper into the car with you and weep inconsolably about how "I can't believe you're not my little girl anymore!"
3, Do not have a panic attack when she backs out the completely wrong direction from a parking space...or accelerates when she should brake...or forgets to release the emergency brake...or drives ten feet at night before she realizes the lights aren't on. Those things WILL happen!
2. Try to relax and enjoy the process.
and if all else fails....
1. Hand the keys over to your husband and tell him it's his job after all!!
(and, oh yeah, a bonus tip! Let her drive through a drive-thru. I think the highlight of McKenna's day yesterday was driving up to Taco Bell, ordering a taco all by herself, and paying the drive-thru dude. And I didn't even yell too loud when she didn't exactly take the corner around to the pick-up window and then almost hit that big concrete pole! Nope, I was a a Good Mom instead!)