Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Driver's (dr)Ed

The Little Prince has turned 14, so the kingdom is all in an uproar as we wrestle with the most important of questions:

Who is going to teach him how to drive?

In theory, none of us can officially teach him how to drive, because the state has mandated that only licensed professionals (who have paid the state for their license) can teach driving.

In reality, no one wants their kid to be the one who hops in the driver's ed car and doesn't know where the key goes.

In practicality, this is kind of like cleaning your house before the cleaning service comes. Except in this case the state says it is illegal for you to clean your own house. (Now there's a law I could get behind.)

I'm not saying that parents should be solely responsible for teaching their kids to drive. I know – and regularly rant – about all the morons out there with a driver's license who: A. Shouldn't have a license; B. Shouldn't be allowed to drive; 3. Shouldn't be allowed to teach anyone else how to drive; and D. Should stay out of my way.

And I'm not saying that I'm a perfect driver, because while I'm closer than most, none of us are perfect.

And that's the cause of the civil disturbance in the castle. Each of the licensed drivers in our household has their own set of … disqualifiers.

So I asked The Little Prince who he wanted to teach him to drive.

The Princess answered for him (as is the right of the older sister): “Not Dad, because he yells.”

“I DON'T YELL!” The King yelled from the other room. “I INSTRUCT.”

“LOUDLY,” The Princess added. “It made me nervous.”

I do not speak loudly or sharply. I use my calm, “inside” voice, so as not to unnerve the driver. I've watched the wildlife videos. I know what happens when you startle the animals. Nothing good can come from startling a twitchy teenage driver.

I do, however, press both feet firmly against an imaginary brake pedal as well as stiff-arming the dashboard and/or ceiling to brace for potential impact. Apparently this is not considered reassuring or calming behavior.

“And you run red lights,” The Prince said looking pointedly at me.

In my defense, I really, really thought I saw the light turn green. Imagine my surprise when I pulled into the intersection and noticed no one else was moving. But hey! There was no cross traffic, and we'd been sitting there For. Ev. Er. And the light was going to turn green... eventually.

Speaking of which, it totally does NOT count as running a red light if it was yellow when you entered the intersection. Or when you intended to enter the intersection. Or when you didn't realize there was a stop light there.

So now we've narrowed the potential teacher list down to The Princess. Both she and The Prince (in a rare instance of agreement) think she is the most qualified. I have to admit that despite having just over two years of driving experience herself – or maybe because of it – she probably is the most law-abiding, technically accurate driver in the family.

Which also makes her the most annoying driver.

Like when she comes to a complete stop at a stop sign for the recommended three seconds.

Three. Whole. Seconds.

One Miss-ahhhh-sipp-i.

Two Miss-ahhhh-sipp-i.

Three Miss-ahhain't nobody got time for thi-sipp-i!

So in the end, The Little Prince will probably learn to drive the way he learned to play drums and guitar, and to skateboard: the internet and video games.

He's already aced Grand Theft Auto.

How much different can real driving be?

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