I would like to propose a new federal regulation:
Only one parent at a time shall be permitted in the vehicle when a teenager is learning to drive.
Yes, that is correct.
Moms, if you want to jump into the passenger seat while junior grabs the wheel, go right ahead!
Dads, if you want to press on the "imaginary" brake while your princess runs several stop signs, be my guest.
However, if junior is behind the wheel and mom is in the passenger seat, dad is forbidden to be in the back seat, in the trunk, under the hood, or anywhere within a 50 mile radius of the vehicle in question.
We shall call this new legislation "The Weinstein Law".
Two months ago, despite delays brought on by mother nature and her bi-weekly snow storms, my 16-year old daughter Melissa finally obtained her learner's permit. This meant that I could legally teach her how to drive! For our first outing, Melissa got into the car, put on her seat belt, checked the mirrors, and then slowly pulled out of our driveway. In the meantime, I
pulled out my hair, had a heart attack, pumped the imaginary brake with all my might, stayed calm as she made the 1.5 mile journey to the local library. Honestly, despite taking longer than necessary to turn left and enduring the beeping taunts of the impatient driver behind her, she did great!
The following weekend, my husband Bob took her out for her second session of driving lessons, still keeping to the safety of our fairly calm neighborhood roads. Once again, Bob reported, our fledgling teen driver did fantastic!
So, in the great scheme of things, operation "Teach Melissa to Drive" seemed to be right on target.
But not for long.
When Melissa accepted an invitation to a party hosted by a friend who lived less than a mile from our house, it seemed fitting that she should get behind the wheel for the short excursion. Bob and I figured we would drop her off, and then go have dinner and perhaps, see a movie.
Melissa took her honorary spot in the driver's seat, Bob joined her up front, while I was relegated to the depths of the back seat. Although our final destination was practically around the corner, we were unfamiliar with the development and therefore, pulled out our trusty GPS.
THIS WAS OUR FIRST MISTAKE!
THIS WAS OUR FIRST MISTAKE!
As we set off, GPS tried to tell Melissa that she would need to turn in 0.5 miles, 0.4 miles, 0.3 miles, 0.2 miles, 0.1 mile, ...........
At this stage of our journey, I felt it fair to point out the obvious: "Bob she missed the turn!"
Bob: "It's alright, just keep going, just keep going!"
Melissa: "What's the speed limit?"
Bob: "Don't worry about the speed limit just keep going."
GPS: "Turn left in 0.2 miles."
Me: "Bob she needs to turn left! GPS says she needs to turn left! I don't want to miss the turn again!
Melissa: "Do I turn here?"
Bob: "No, don't turn here!"
Me: "Yes, Bob she needs to turn here. Melissa, slow down, put your turn signal on, and make the left here!"
Bob: "Lisa, stop telling her what to do! We can't both tell her how to drive! I am giving the instructions!"
Melissa slowed down, put on her signal, and safely turned into the development.
GPS: "Drive 0.1 mile and make a left."
Bob: "Ok, now make a u-turn."
Me: "Why are you telling her to make a u-turn!? GPS is giving her another way to get to the house! GPS is telling her to turn left! She should follow GPS!"
Bob: "Lisa, stop telling her how to drive! I am giving the instructions!"
Melissa (in a bit of a panic): "What should I do!?"
(Fortunately, we were in a very quiet neighborhood with no other cars in sight.)
Bob: "Ok, drive up closer to the intersection so you can see if any other cars are coming."
Melissa propelled the car 0.0001111 millimeters forward.
Bob: "YOU HAVE TO PULL UP FARTHER THAN THAT!"
Melissa: "STOP YELLING AT ME!"
Bob: "I'M NOT YELLING AT YOU! YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!"
GPS: "Make a left."
Me: "GPS IS TELLING HER TO TURN!"
Bob: "LISA STOP TELLING HER WHAT TO DO!"
Melissa made the turn.
GPS: "Drive 400 feet to destination, on right."
Me: "WE JUST PASSED THE HOUSE!"
Bob: "WE DIDN'T PASS THE HOUSE!"
Melissa: "THE HOUSE IS RIGHT HERE MOM!"
Me: "Oh sorry, I thought we passed the house."
Bob: "STOP TELLING HER WHAT TO DO!"
Melissa: "Sniff! Sob! Waaah!"