Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Driver's Ed

If learning to drive is a huge milestone in a young person's life, watching that young person learn to drive has got to loom nearly as large in her parent's life.

Miss B is in Driver's Ed. Three mornings a week she meets her classmates and teacher at 7:00 a.m. in Lansing (12 miles away) for class, and then Tuesdays after school she practices driving with her teacher, who must have nerves of steel.

I and another mom take turns doing the morning delivery of grouchy, semicomatose girls to the class. This morning it was my turn. I tried to make polite conversation, getting a grunt from my daughter and nothing from the other girl, and gave up and just enjoyed the drive along the Mississippi, which is in floodstage at the moment and had a mist twisting over the water. I joined the line of cars dropping off students in the high school horseshoe drive, and noticed something interesting: The other cars had sort of a Chinese firedrill action going on as they pulled up, the student driver leaped from the driver's seat, the parent accompanying him or her jumped out of the other side and ran around to get in the driver's seat and pull out again. My car? Nope. Miss B really doesn't like to drive. She wants to sleep and she (thankfully) realizes she can't do both at once. So we have to force her to practice driving. So far she has excused herself from driving with the following excuses:

  • It's too dark and she can't drive in the dark yet.
  • It's fawning season and she's afraid of hitting a fawn.
  • It's raining a little and she can't drive in the rain yet.
  • We're in the Jeep and she is not familiar with stick shifts yet.
  • (My favorite so far) She wants to do homework in the car on the way. (She promptly fell asleep anyway.)

At least we don't have one of those kids who is trying constantly to weasel the car keys from us.

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