January 28, 2012

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long, long time – but both of our schedules had been too full.  Today, we were both home without much to do (well, I have laundry, but welcome the opportunity to neglect that), so we had made plans to go out for lunch, and then – finally —–

I put Lemon behind the wheel of my car.

And, I can honestly say – it was fun!

We found a big empty parking lot – and it was BIG.  So she had a lot of room to maneuver.

At first, she was very, very afraid.  Even the roll that took place when she lifted her foot off the brake was too much for her, and then she would SLAM on the brake, and my head would roll out the window.

So we worked on “getting familiar with the brake.”  I had her just feel it out – I taught her to be the brake whisperer.  To find where it works, and how to get it to smooth out.

Then, once I knew my head would stay attached, we started working on some gentle gas pedal presses.

Yes, it was this slow.

BUT – she got the hang of it pretty quick once she got over those initial fears.  She liked parking.  She struggled with figuring out which way to turn the wheel while in reverse (as do I – still).   She loved U-turns.

While it wasn’t my initial intent, she did well enough that I offered to let her drive on the street.  Just a quick right turn on, right turn off.  She took me up on it (I didn’t think she would).  There was no real risk in the exercise, but she did get herself initiated at being honked at.  So, that was fun.  🙂

Even that quick blip on the road showed me, though, that while I may think it’s fun in an empty parking lot – teaching her with other cars around will be very, very difficult.  I wasn’t panicky or anxious at all in the parking lot, but with cars honking, and chances of her rolling into the street without looking – the tension went sky high.  I wasn’t yelling or anything, I just saw that maybe – just maybe – I shouldn’t be the one to take her on the road.

She thinks she is going to be a very safe driver.  She loves rules, and thinks they are made to be followed, not bent or stretched.  As in, “Mom, you are going 36 mph, but the speed limit is 30.”  [Insert maternal eye roll.]  And then things like, “well, one thing that just taught me – people who text while driving are INSANE.  Or Stupid.  Or Both.”

Love my girl. 😉





  1. Adorable — and wow. Teaching my daughter to drive seems like a million years away, but I’m guessing the next 11 will go pretty fast. (Friends of ours opted to pay teachers instead of doing it themselves; my memories of my father teaching me to drive are not particularly pleasant, so I’ll probably do the same!)

    • My dad taught me – He was pretty good and wasn’t one to panic. He also taught me on a stick shift, and I remember once I was really struggling to get going from a stop on a hill, and a group of older teenage boys were behind me, honking and swearing, and he got out of the car and told them off. That was kind of fun 🙂

  2. That’s awesome.

    I can promise you, when the time comes for our older girl to start practicing, her father will be taking her out, not me. I will eventually, but he’s going to get her started.

    • I did like going with her, though. It was a very safe place with NOTHING to hit. Now I’m ready to hand it over, but I’m not sure David’s a better candidate. We both need to find a way to NOT freak out, even when it seems like we are going to die and our car is going to be totaled . . .

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