Band Parents

Band Parents

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Driving Miss Maggie

The local Morning new show asks a “stumper” question and invited viewers to call or email their answers. Last week they asked “What is it that most people said men are most qualified for?” The answer was teaching their kids to drive.
Not at my house right now. My husband gets nervous at the thought of riding in the car with our son. I am hoping it’s because he’s under a lot of stress right now. He doesn’t do stress well. He’s studying for a certification exam, he’s been traveling for business extensively and mostly he’s taken on a new project management role at work and knows his client is a difficult one.
Not to say that Hubby/Dad hasn’t tried. The day our son got his temps, Dad came home and made the boy jump in the minivan and drive around the neighborhood. He’d only had about 30 minutes on the road and those were in my smaller car. Ok, so he got distracted when he recognized our neighbor as he was making a turn and forgot to turn. That’s why Dad was there, to correct him. But then again, he is very detail-oriented and tried to correct everything at once.
So I have been having the teenager drive whenever I can. Home after we drop the last boy off from carpool after band practice. Then on a Saturday I was able to map out a route on 2 lane roads to the school where his cousins were playing football. He gets better each time.
Then a few Sunday’s Dad tells the teen,” ok in a bit I am going to have you drive me to the store so I can make a return. “ When the teen is out of earshot he tells me “I am nervous as hell about him driving. All I can think of is if he gets into a wreck, how much will this cost us?”
Me: “This is why we have insurance”.
This feels foreign to me, my hubby not wanting to teach our son a coming-of-age skill. It does not seem typical. But then again He also told me he could not believe how our teen just read the book twice and passed his test. He confided that when it was coming up to time for him to be able to learn to drive, he studied his Mom/s actions in the car. He observed how she took turns, when she accelerated in the turn, how she handled this situation and that situation. He mentally practiced. Ah yes, he did complete his engineering degree about 5 years ago. He has the right mind. His Mom says he was such a perfectionist that he mastered riding a bike by going off on his own and practicing without anybody watching until he had it mastered. He did not want anyone watching him try and fail. The older teen is not like this. He is happy go lucky. (The younger boy is more like his dad).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Small successes Driving..


I have been neglecting my poor blog. I think because I spend more time with Facebook. However, yesterday was a milestone day. I took my firstborn to get his driver's learner's permit or his temps. But as I am scanning blogs, I decided that this was a good time to join in Small successes:

1. I was smart enough to take my son to a local park/forest preserve for his first time behind the wheel. It has roads with speed bumps, stop sins and road lines. We came across the occasional car going the other way. He was able to get a feel for how hard to press on the gas and the brake and how far to turn the steering wheel. He has driven the lawn tractor and his Grandpa's large boats, so being in command of a vehicle with a steering wheel was not new to him.

2. I think I did a really good job of not saying much, biting my tongue and given short, easy to follow instructions. I tried to praise him. Mostly I tried to let him get a feel for how the car operates.

3. I actually feel good about taking him out again. He's not ready for a populated road yet. He still needs to work on figuring out where to stop when coming up to a stop sign. He needs to get a feel as to how close he needs to hug the curb without driving off (did that once or twice).