Tuesday, March 29, 2011
YOU CAN'T ROLL BACK, JESUS
I have teenage boys. Two of them. I love them to pieces. Truly I do. They are both on their "L's" right now. I don't love that. Not. One. Little. Bit. No siree.
Mr 18 is almost ready to get his licence. His driving is very good, if not a tad fast. The first few times out were scary, or so I thought at the time, but in comparison to Mr 17, not even a "ONE" on the Fear Factor scale.
Mr 17 ... where do I start? Could it go right back to when he was a little boy and not really having terrific hand eye co-ordination when it came to ball sports? Could it be the fact that he has no idea of which way is right or left? Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that he has no idea of direction, as in he still thinks Sydney is "up" from Brisbane?
I've taken Mr 17 out a total of 4 times now. The first time we went to a little estate where there are only 2 houses. Unfortunately there were builders building the 3rd house right where we wanted to practice. It was horrendous. We kangaroo hopped 75 percent of the time and the other 25 percent was spent with me screaming and grabbing the steering wheel as he lurched towards the cement drain surrounds. That lesson lasted 10 minutes before we both melted down.
A month or so later we tried again. One lovely Sunday afternoon we decided to drive around the streets of our suburb in my step daughter's "automatic" to give him the "feel" for steering etc. I was prepared for a relaxing little drive. OMG this so didn't happen. We leave the driveway and within 3 metres we almost take out the side mirror of the neighbours car across the road. I gain composure and put my "shrill" voice back inside and we continue down the road. We live at the top of a hill. It is usually expected that you will use the brake on the way down the hill and apply serious pressure at the bottom. Not my Mr 17. I scream "brakes, use the goddam brakes!!!!!" We kind of stop and head around the corner. Thankfully it was a quiet Sunday afternoon.
May I remind you that I suffer from anxiety. The bad kind. The debilitating kind. It comes on in cars. Yes, that's right. In cars.
This particular "lesson" lasts around an hour and by the end of it he didn't take out any side mirrors, but I can tell you it was a miracle he didn't. I have never closed my eyes and screamed in a car so much ever. It was like being on a roller coaster, except it was flat.
The following day I was feeling a tad demented - I think as a result of the day before - and I agreed to let him drive my manual in the estate we visited on our first attempt. I was demented. Truly. We kangaroo along a bit and he gets the feel for the gears and the clutch and he's not doing too bad. Did I mention that he's not that good at doing two things at once? No? Oh well, there's that. So the gear changing is working a treat, shame about the steering. He totally wipes out my wheel on a cement drain - things break and crack. I possibly say the F Word and he says "it's not my fault". Needless to say the lesson ended right then.
Enter "Mike" the driving instructor. He has been Mr 17's driving companion for past 4 attempts.
This brings me to our little jaunt tonight. "Mum I've had a few lessons now and I'm pretty good. Can I drive to my girlfriend's house?". I may have been feeling a tad demented again, I did have weetbix for dinner, so possibly my brain hadn't had enough protein. I said yes.
His girlfriend lives in our suburb. I'm dressed in my Peter Alexander slip nightie - and not much else. I grab the keys and off we go. I didn't grab anything else, not even shoes. I told you I was a tad demented.
We kind of start off rocky - he swears its because he's trying to show me how good he is and he's nervous. We get to a stop sign on a small hill. Crap. Hill start. He rest assures me it's all good - he learned them today. We have a few false starts - that's ok - hill starts are hard. I don't mind him practicing. That is until a car comes up behind us. All of a sudden it is Game On. "You can't roll back, ok?" I say. He looks at me like I am speaking a foreign language. He tries again. He rolls back. I scream and grab at hand brake. "YOU CAN'T roll back OK?" I think he mutters something like F**k. He tries again. He rolls back. I scream hysterically. "YOU CAN'T ROLL BACK, JESUS". Sometimes in these type of situations I like to call my kids holy names. It helps. I think he says F**k again. This scenario plays out for at least another 5 minutes. Car is still sitting behind us - thankfully inching further and further back.
After the last attempt, Mr 17 says "Um mum I think you better do this." I look at him and say "do you see what I'm wearing?" He laughs. I get out of the car, walk around the back of the car, mouth "I'm sorry" to the driver and hope he's not looking at my nightie and also hoping it's not see through with his headlights shining on me!!! Mr 17 - does not get out - he slides over.
He decides he's had enough driving lessons for one day.
I've had enough for ever.
Picture credit: http://rightamerican.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/liberty-is-not-for-sissies/