November 9th, 2010

if I were me

Not the Cool Parent After All

I really thought I was okay with my stepdaughter learning to drive. I am pro growing up in the most awesome ways possible--let's hit those important milestones on target, and also when the kid is comfortable! Not too early, not too late! No wishes for arrested development, no holding back a kid who already knows who she is--and no pushing the kid forward beyond her years, either. Open the gates when the kid is ready but make sure that they stay closed until then.

Booyah! That's child-rearing!

Or something!

Today, I went to pick her up from her second driving lesson. I'd been intending she drive us home. But as soon as she crawled into the driver's seat, pulling the seat forward ALL THE WAY and was basically this tiny, fragile-looking creature steering us around death, I was Totally Freaked Out.

We did a few laps around the school lot. The turning radius on my car was unexpected for her. My Malibu handles bigger than the little Neon they learn on. She seemed to have the hang of it, more or less, so I had her drive us to dinner.

Let's just say, I've blocked most of it out. It's not that she did anything exactly wrong, but it wasn't quite right, either. It was sort of like being driven around by a very calm terrier. You know when a terrier is calm, they are TOTALLY FAKING IT.

Or maybe I mean a llama. Like, you know a llama just does NOT have the experience to be driving you around, so why did I get in the car with a llama?

Or maybe I mean a Capuchin monkey. They scrunch up their little faces and LOOK like they're doing important thinking, but any second, they're going to fling poo.

Or maybe I mean a raccoon. When you look at a raccoon, you think, "So human! So like us!" Until it comes and gnaws your face off.

I think you get what I'm saying.

We ate dinner. She decided my freaking out was adorable, which is mighty generous of her. We discussed boys, as happens when we have dinner alone. Let's just say, the boys she knows are all Capuchin monkey-llama-terrier-raccoons, but emotionally so. (Maybe in the car, too. Don't know. Not going to let them drive me anywhere.) So glad I never actually dated a teenaged boy. Well, I did, but he was a sophomore in college by then.

I paid for dinner.

She asked for the keys.

I had to repark in the garage, and the trashcan got a bit smushed, but all was well in the end.

I came in and gave her a huge hug. She has not really stopped laughing at me.