My daughter received her learners permit, so anyone in the Andover/Wichita area should stay off the roads if at all possible.
First of all, I can’t believe she is old enough to have her permit. It makes me feel old. Actually, there are a lot of things anymore that make me feel old — but back to the story.
I started off having her drive down dirt roads. She did alright except anytime another car would approach, she would pull to the side of the road and come to a complete stop.
Every time we would complete her dirt road driving lessons, she would pull into our driveway, jump out of the car, and rejoice with a “Yay! I didn’t kill anyone!” (which was exactly what I was thinking).
Once she graduated from nearly deserted country roads, we decided to let her drive around our neighborhood. Biggest problem there: going too far under the 20 MPH speed limit. Really? We were getting lapped by a lady in a walker. Anytime she would creep past a parked car, I would hold my breath as we nearly grazed one after another.
A couple of weeks ago we raised the stakes to real roads … with real cars. I don’t know who was more nervous her or me.
I told her we would have to accelerate to the speed limit of 40 MPH, and once she stopped hyperventilating, she agreed — to this point, she hadn’t gone over 30. So we buckle up for our lives, and off we went.
She pulls out onto the street after only looking one way! Thank God there wasn’t a car coming (Hail Mary #1)! I emphasized the importance of looking both ways and we kept going.
She was doing fine until we came over a hill and saw a car approaching from the other direction. True to her training, she wanted to pull over, but I told her to keep going. I suggested she switch lanes, which she did without even thinking about looking in a mirror (Hail Mary #2). Again, thank goodness there wasn’t a car! Already knowing the answer, I asked her if she used her side mirror, and she said she never has.
WHAT? She said she didn’t think she would ever need it. Ugh! If we make it back home, we will have to review that one.
We happen to be en route to my chiropractor. When we were nearing the entrance, so I told her to start slowing down. She wasn’t. I told her again — still nothing. My next request was less of a suggestion and more of a barbaric, guttural BRAKE NOW, so she slams on the brakes and turns without using her blinker (Hail Marys #3, #4, and #5).
The person who had been following us then offered my daughter some sign language — I figure she properly earned that first “bird”.
By the time we turned in, she and I were both sweating, she couldn’t hardly remove her white-knuckled hands, and both of our hearts were beating way, way too fast.
By then my sore neck really need adjusting after our whiplash-inducing stop.
After my appointment, my daughter asked if I wanted her to drive home. “Oh God No!” was what I was thinking, but what I said was: “No dear. I think that’s probably enough learning for today. I think your dad wants to take you out next.” (Although he doesn’t know that yet.)
Since this experience, her driving has improved … thank goodness — she even drove in the dark the other night.
But we’ve unlocked Pandora’s Box, and she is wanting to drive all of the time, but every time I look across the console at her sitting in the driver’s seat, my whole body automatically tenses up. I guess it’s that look of excitement in her eyes that finally convinces me.
I guess it’s time to get on the road again.
Here’s a sneak peek at my current project. I got this set of 5 chairs at a yard sale this summer for $25.
They were a hideous shade of yellow with some nasty teal seats, after removing eight bajillion staples I removed the awful teal material to find an even more disgusting mustard fabric.
I am chalk painting them ivory. I’m also going to distress them, and I have a pretty burlap colored fabric with french script across it for the seats. I have painted three of them and I’m starting on the distressing today. I will keep you updated once I’ve finished.
Stay safe on the roads out there today, you never know who’s behind the wheel.