Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Yes, Please Take Me out For Ice Cream

I just came back from teaching Peter how the fill the car with gas. On the way to the gas station he said, "how am I going to pull up next to the pump?" Very carefully. I didn't tell him that I once drove away with the nozzle still in my car- ripping it off of the pump (Dave's Marathon, Elkhart, Indiana c. 1989). Peter asked a lot of questions about paying for gas which causes me some concern. Maybe he was just interested and not planning a drive off.

In Ohio you have to have the kids drive with you for 50 hours (in addition to 24 hours of driving school and 10 hours with an instructor). The 50 hours for 2 kids at the same time is a lot of driving- it's like I need a sabbatical fron work to have the time to teach them to drive. A few weeks ago when we started, they were pretty tentative and I feared for pedestrians and parked cars. I told them they had to drive to the school for the back to school orientation and they flipped out because they would have to park the car in the parking lot at the high school- No way are we driving, they hollered. We'll have to park! I assured them that whenever you drive a car, you eventually have to park it- or crash it into a ditch. The former being the preference They also both still have the tendency to hug the side of the road like they're working for the postal service. I'm surprised we still have the mirror. But, they're getting better and I no longer curl my toes or bash my foot onto the floor trying to make the car stop at every stop light- only occasionally. I do scream and assume the crash position and pray out loud, when the situation warrants it, like when I think we might be going airborne over a bump. Did you know this place used to be a swamp? That means that all of the roads are lined with giant, super deep ditches that eat cars. How fun do you think it is to stare down into one of those things when your kid is pretending to deliver mail that he doesn't have? That's right, you'd scream too. As a matter of fact, you can scream right now on my behalf if you want.

I let Andrew drive through McDonald's to get his caramel frappe thing that he likes and he drove up onto the curb in the drive through. Instead of backing up and before I could talk him off the curb, he floored the gas and the car lurched and tires squealed and we rocketed into the line without killing anyone. After I realized that I was still alive enough to pay for his frappe, I've never laughed so hard in my life. Tonight I let Peter drive us through for ice cream (I figured after the gas experience we deserved a treat). He had a hard time figuring out what window to roll down and hit the windshield wipers a few times. He said that the driving is getting easier, but it's all the gadgets that are a problem.

Anyway, we're all still alive and now I have someone to drive me to the grocery store and get my gas for a 100 or so hours. And to get me ice cream. So I don't starve when we land in the ditch.

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