Thursday, February 12, 2009

My kids said something nice about me to their friends? No way...

It seems I have a talent and a niche where I actually display patience with children.

If you know me, you know that I pretty much have no patience for anything any time any where any how. Not for the atm machine that can't keep up with my key punches; not for the self checkout lane that doesn't process my info fast enough when I swipe my bonus card and my credit card and am 5 steps ahead; not for my sunday school kids who squirm and are disruptive; not for the gum chewing checkout person who pretends I do not exist; not for the slow person in the left lane; not for my secretary who types slower that I do (which isn't fair b/c I type ridiculously fast); not for the puppy who still pees in the house....

But when it comes to teaching kids to drive, well, I have incredible patience. Huh? Yeah I was just so excited about this phase of their lives. And I know it's so important that they get as much experience as they can before they get turned loose out there on their own. So everywhere we went since July 28, 2008, they drove. Highways. Beltways, Backroads, night time, hail storms, downpours, snow. And I [usually] quietly and patiently sat in the front and calmly gave them instruction, trying to anticipate their needs.

"Up ahead the intersection will have a right turn only lane, so stay center."

"You need to turn left eventually up here so when you can, make a move to get over to the left lane" (nearly every road around here is 6 lanes - 3 each direction. No I'm not kidding).

They said the "Heads up" and the "calm manner" was really helpful. Oh once or twice I shouted, "STOP!" or "NO" but usually when an accident was imminent. I was more likely to say, "Gee I was gripping the car door rather tightly on that last stop. Think you could slow down a little earlier next time?" See I had confidence that these smart, responsible kids would do it right ultimately, if a little nerve wrackingly. I high-fived them when they nailed a parking spot first (or second or third) time or backed into a tough space or made a smart decision and did not attempt to "make" the yellow light...

So my kids have bragged to their friends what a cool, teacher mom I am. And now their friends want me to teach them to drive.

Go figure.

It's nice to know that sometimes, we connect with our kids. Of course, it helps if it's something they really really really want....

9 comments:

joe said...

I am not surprised at your patience with teaching the kids, despite what you say about your lack of patience, good job!

ChiTown Girl said...

Stud Muffin will be driving very soon, and I'm already afraid that I won't be very patient with him. I will try to draw on your strength and patience, and maybe a couple of valium?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I live my life in warp speed too. But two of my three children are slow as molasses in January about everything. So I had to learn patience, and patience is good to have, I suppose. But teaching them to drive? Required a lot of eye closing, antiperspirant, and prayer.

Carol P. said...

OK, it runs in the family I think. Comes with knowing how everyone else really should drive! I'm just sayin'

Glad to hear you're bringing up a couple more decent, think-ahead, know the right thing to do, (and eventually will tell everyone else on the road, at least in their heads) drivers.

Who clearly are also effusively well-spoken when it comes to talking about their mom. Which, comes to think of it, also runs in the family!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so cool. I am also the patient one..husband? not so much.

Somehow I was not getting your updates...I am way behind and mad too.

J.G. said...

Yow, you are brave. After spending several years in New Driver Purgatory where the main car squabble involved who got to ride in the "death seat" (front passenger seat), I can say it and mean it: Good job!

Jennifer said...

Do you want to teach me too?? Yes, I don't know how to drive. Never had a car to drive or someone to teach me. My dad doesn't have the patience and my mom hates to drive. I'll learn someday.

Props to you and your side -passanger tone and skills. Although it may be completely different if you decide to teach a friend or two. A whole new set of rules come into play.

DF said...

Your kids say nice things about you totheir friends all the time, you just do not hear about it. They say these things because you are a great mom to them. They see the reationships their friends have with their parents and know that their do not have the relationship that you/your kids own!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You're a better woman than I in this department.

You know what chaps my hide? Moms that think buckling kids into car seats and stowing a stroller is an excuse to take 15 minutes to get into the car? WTF? Four kids and a double stroller and I never took more than about 2:30.