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Help!

Posted by wendyn on 3/18/02 at 17:50 (076766)

16 year old son received Driver's License today.
His mom is a nervous mess.
Said child is so happy I think he may actually just burst.
He is at the gym with my vehicle.
I hope this will get easier!

Re: Help!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/18/02 at 18:08 (076768)

It won't! But in a couple of years he may be away at college, or on his own, and then he won't be driving your car. You'll only wish he was since you know your car is not held together with bubble gum and string.

Seriously, if the province thinks he can drive, he probably can. You've worked hard bringing him up, and he's probably a lot more sensible than you think. So, given firm boundaries, he will be fine.

Carole C

Re: Help wish I could

Tammie on 3/18/02 at 18:32 (076771)

Sorry I would love to give encouraging words but I have two sons driving and well almost seen enough with them . unfortuantly you will loose as much sleep worrying as you did when the were infants! Also those calls when the phone rings and you know they are out, the calls seems like hold your breath and pray it isnt one of your kids! My middle son was the rough one, I recieved a phone call one evening from a police officer, you wont guess what he did.

He got a speeding ticket and begged the officer to lock him up as his mom was going to kill him. The officer started by saying mrs. - Is __ your son, as I said yes, he said well I have to inform you and by then I was shaking,I have your son here and he is being sited for going 45 in a 25. I said ok,he said you have a fine son and he is the most gentleman, but he is afraid to come home is there a problem. I shall never forget that in all my life! I wanted to reach thru the phone and kiss him and strangle him all in one. He came home and threw his licence on floor and said I know you wont let me drive again. I surprised him by saying well did you learn anything? He said yes it isnt worth speeding as I was late anyways. I said well you have to go to court, as he was only 16 and that is a law here. They took away his license and it was his first offence for 30 days, only work priv,he was very scared as they really treat you as a criminal . I mean by that they processed him as tho he comitted much more then a speeding infraction. This has been more then a year agao, and Wendyn, He is a good driver now respects his responsibilities and actually he is a better driver then the brother who is much older. But even when they are 20 you still worry , that is a mothers right you know! If it isnt driving it would be something else! Take a deep breath and just pray that you have given him the tools to take driving seriously! And then in evbening of his late night out you may want to pop a cork to your favorite relaxer and try to relax as I doubt you will be able to sleep till he is home safe and sound! Take care I wish you luck!

Re: Help!

Laurie R on 3/18/02 at 19:02 (076773)

Oh no Wendy , tell him to get a job and buy his own car..LOL I would be a little nervous , so it it so normal what you are feeling . I have been teaching my 14 year old daughter to drive . She does really well. The reason I have done this is , with all that is wrong with me , I want her to know how to drive . I may not get to teach her later. I know it may sound crazy , but I would rather have her know how then now ...

Laurie R

Re: Help!

Suzanne D on 3/18/02 at 21:35 (076789)

I know how you feel, Wendy! I still remember the first time my now almost 21 year old daughter backed out of our driveway alone when she got her license at 16. I just felt like I wanted to run out and get in with her or stop her or something! It all seemed so terribly out of my control.

But it will get better. You will always be concerned, but your heart will not be in your throat each time you see him get behind the wheel!

And you will find that it can be helpful to have someone else in the household who can go pick up his younger brother, get a loaf of bread, etc.

Now remind me of all this when my youngest turns 16 in June! :-)

Re: Help! No Problem

Rick R on 3/19/02 at 08:02 (076817)

Wendy,

Welcome to the club! I read Tammie's response, what a riot! Since it would be insensitive to your plight, I won't tell you about the five cars my eldest daughter has dinged up. It would be particularly irresponsible of me to tell you about the time she piled up her best friends parents brand new Cadillac. And if I did break down and let something slip, I probably shouldn't mention that her friend was hanging out of the sunroof at the time making a complete idiot out of herself; how they escapes unscathed is beyond me. Just be glad you don't live in Illinois, the state is going to turn these two nut balls loose to warp the minds of our children as certified teachers in May.

By the way the eldest was the tame one growing up. The crazy one (now 18)that had us on a first name basis in the emergency room (not an exaggeration)as a wee lass has been a great driver, not so much as a scratch. She did, however; get me involved in a road rage incident buy expressing herself digitally whilst dear old dad was driving.

Just in case I'm getting a bit too smug for your taste don't forget I still have one more, the boy, now 15.5 to survive. This summer will be his turn.

But seriously, if I were capable of passing on anything resembling wisdom, it would be to continue to let him drive himself to places close to home. Be ever so careful with more than one kid in the car and hold off on groups of hellions as long as you can regardless of which one is driving. At one point my parents wouldn't let me go in a group unless I drove. They trusted me (had them fooled) but not everyone else.

This is so specific to the child. Daughter #2's first time driving in the snow she came home with white knuckles and said she was never going to drive in the snow again. Daughter #1's first time driving in the snow, 'T' Boned an SUV and came home saying 'I was going the speed limit the car just wouldn't stop.' But even she got it out of her system in the first year or two or crash testing. By keeping her to around town driving we kept the dammage to a minimum and nobody got hurt and we had a great database on how an Olds 88 performs in various rapid deceleration scenarios.

Aren't you glad I restrained myself?

Best of luck,

Rick

Re: Help!

CatherineL on 3/19/02 at 12:39 (076839)

Oh, Noooooo... Wendy!

I can't imagine... mine are 14.5 and 11.5 and the province just changed the beginner licensing, I think it changed so that they cannot drive without adult supervision until they're about 17... whew, just in time for my first one!!!

My oldest and her friends were complaining for about a year about the new driving restriction and how it 'sucks' that she and her friends didn't squeek by on the old system.

Until... a month ago, one evening a car, driven by a 16 yr old, filled with kids, drove onto the hwy and was struck by a car of 2, sending ALL 8 people to hospital - no fatalities, 2 serous injuries. I explained the reasoning behind the new driving restrictions and how, if they had been in place earlier, this accident would have never happened. She understands why now.

but I don't imagine it will be any fun at 17 either.

Catherine

Re: Help!

John h on 3/19/02 at 20:03 (076902)

Wendy: I taught my daughter to drive when she was 16 in a stick shift old VW bug. About a week after she got her license the car became toast in the high school parking lot but she was ok. Good luck mom.

Re: Thanks

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 21:17 (076920)

Thanks for the support guys!!!!

I don't know Rick - you didn't make me feel better but you sure made me laugh!!!!!

He is out again tonight on very icy snowy roads....I intentionally put him in driver's ed in the winter - and he passed his test in lousy road conditions.

Since we have crappy weather anywhere from September to May - it didn't seem to make sense to have him try to avoid it. But I thought it would be better than this by now. We are expected to have the coldest first day of spring on record here tomorrow.

His driver's ed teacher reassured me that he is one of the best students he has had in a long time, and that he's a very good driver. Gulp.

I would have him get his own car, but a 16 year old here pays a small fortune in insurance if they are primary drivers. We will deal with that when he graduates from school next year. The biggest plus is that we no longer have to crawl out of bed to pick him up from work at 1:00 in the morning.

Re: Canadian Spring

Carole C in NOLA on 3/19/02 at 21:47 (076924)

Wendy, it was 85F (29C) here in New Orleans today. We have our A/C on; no long sleeves any more, either. I am sunburned bright pink from being out at sea last week. I shooed all the song birds in your direction, and every time I breathe out I blow it towards the north.

Spring has got to get there soon! Is all of Canada that cold still? Or do you live up by Hudson Bay? brrrrr I have heard it is warm inside igloos (just joking! I know you don't live in an igloo)

Carole C

Re: Help!

Nancy N on 3/19/02 at 22:10 (076929)

John: I learned to drive stick on an 81 Dodge Omni Miser. Boy, were they not kidding about the Miser part (and that word alone was what drew my dad to it, I'm sure!). So miserly that we had to have a rear-window defogger added on because it didn't come standard.

By the time I was learning to drive this thing it was 7 years old, and my dad had really beat the tar out of it. Reverse was to the left of first gear, and the theory was that you had to push the stick to get it into R. Not on this car. My dad had driven it long enough that he could tell the difference, but I had no frame of reference and, therefore, no clue. In fear of putting the thing into R at a stoplight and accidentally backing into the car behind me, I kept overcompensating and putting it in 3rd--and then stalling out when it was time to go.

My dad finally got tired of this and took the car while I was at work one day, leaving me with the automatic (which I thought was a real treat at the time, before it started having trouble and I discovered that stick shift is where it's at). He took one of the empty panels along the dash and installed a little yellow light, which he wired to the reverse lights. For the first time, I actually knew beyond all shadow of doubt when the thing was in reverse and when it wasn't--and I never had any trouble driving that car after that day. I'm sure it didn't take long before I could tell the difference without the light, but it was a life-saver for those few weeks. I drove that car for two or three years and survived it popping out of gear and doing other idiosyncratic (and sometimes scary) things.

I won't bore you with the details of the time I left the lights on while I was at school (it was too miserly for a warning bell for the lights, too) and ended up getting the football coach to pop the clutch for me after school--with half the football team pushing the car through the parking lot :) Never had an accident in that car, though!

Re: Standards

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 22:48 (076931)

We have two vehicles - one is a minivan - the other is my husband's new toy - a 2002 Honda Accord. Thank God it's a standard and said child has not yet learned how to drive one (parent's have been really dragging their heels on this). The idea of him out driving that is enough to push me over the edge.

You can only feel just so cool in a minivan.

Why hubby did not hold on to the much older station wagon we had until 2 months ago is completely beyond me.

Men.

Re: CAROLE! STOP IT!!!

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 22:53 (076932)

NO!!!

There is NO SPRING.

Spring has been cancelled. I am sure.

It is -15F. Really freakin cold. The forecast now is that it will warm UP to freezing by the weekend - and then drop AGAIN.

People, including myself - are EVIL. There is only so long you can be stuck indoors - the kids were stuck inside for recess and lunch again today. To have this come at the supposed end of winter is just a mean trick.

I understand Eastern Canada has had a great winter - they have leaves and green grass.

I still have yet to see that robin.

The worst part is the negative effect on people. They really are just plain miserable right now. I am so down I cannot even stand to be around myself.

The weather man on the news spent the first few minutes just apologizing tonight.

Sigh.

Re: Standards

Nancy N on 3/19/02 at 22:56 (076934)

Ahhh, see, my dad would not let me go to take my test until I learned to drive the stick. I took the test on the automatic, but only after he was convinced that I could get around with the standard if I had to. (The light was installed after I had my license, but not long after.)

My brother got off easy, and got to learn stick on an 88 Accord (this would have been in 1991 or so), which was a dream compared to the Omni (which we nicknamed the Ominous). We always had the third (older) car so that he and I had something to drive that was not in our names.

You're absolutely right about the minivan. There's only so much you can do there. I've never driven one, but I've driven my parents' truck, which is close enough for me. I'm a small-car person by nature, I guess. Though, if you can parallel park a Dakota, I think you can parallel park almost anything (except maybe a school bus).

Re: Standards

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 23:02 (076936)

Driving a mini van is not that bad really - I got used to it fast. I still don't really like parking it though.

We did not want to encourage driving of the new car any more than absolutely necessary. The van is pretty new too - but it's not a 'cool' Honda, and I think he'll be less likely to try to act 'cool' driving mom's mini van.

I attribute husband's need for a new car to some type of mid life crisis. He did not like me pointing out that he is in the middle of his life.

I paced around the house for about the last 30 minutes before the son got home tonight. Maybe I will feel better when the road conditions are better. But then I will have images of him out 'cruisin' around looking at everything other than the road.

Re: Help!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:22 (076967)

The more you tell him you trust him, the more pats on the back you give him for his responsible driving, the more responsible his driving will be!
Having said that....teenage driving rule number one - no pals in the car with him for the first year. Sounds contradictory, doesn't it? But it really is important - in fact, California just enacted that very 'rule' in to law a couple of years ago.

Re: Help!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:28 (076968)

Hi Laurie - this is going to sound odd but, after raising two sons through the driving thing, I've come to believe that the good 16-year-old driver is the experienced 16-year-old driver. John and I often said that we wished we'd had our sons out in empty parking lots learning to handle a car long before their 16th birthdays came around.
We found out too that the driving classes they went to via their high schools didn't have enough depth and, if we had to do it again, we'd send them to private driving programs after the high school programs.
And, with all that........and in spite of our concerns, both kids are alive and well and have never been in auto crashes! We'll talk about traffic citations another time...........:)

Re: CAROLE! STOP IT!!!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:46 (076973)

Hey Wendy - don't be too down, my friend. After all, the rest of us love being around you even in frigid weather! :)

Re: Help!

Nancy N on 3/20/02 at 11:09 (076979)

Judy--

Were you a teacher in a previous life? Seriously--that's one of those little tricks that comes in really handy with kids. I didn't realize it until about a month ago, when I was in NYC with a colleague of mine. We went to the Met museum, and when I checked my bag and coat, I asked her if she would hang onto my wallet for me since I didn't have any pockets.

She looked at me and said 'Are you sure you trust me with this?' I said of course. She said that I was brave, and I said 'Now that I've said I trust you with it, are you going to lose it? I don't think so.' And she immediately said it's the 'You are trustworthy because I trust you' concept that she uses in her teaching. It comes in handy!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

john h on 3/20/02 at 11:38 (076988)

Nancy: of interest the early VW bugs had a heater under the back seat that was fueled by gas. talk about a noxious odor and a danger-- the dodge omni was indeed a luxury car for all time. There was another great car that I bet only Julie will remember and that was the Crossley. I may have spelled it wrong but it was smaller than an omni.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Nancy N on 3/20/02 at 11:52 (076994)

We had two VW bugs when I was very little, in succession. My father really loved those cars--if the most recent ones hadn't been so old and unsafe by the time I was driving, he'd have suggested I get one. He likes the new ones, but we all agree that they're too quiet to be 'real' bugs!

My brother once had a girlfriend who drove an old blue bug. She came over to visit one day, and left a few hours later. About five minutes after she walks out the door, the doorbell rings. She's standing on the porch holding the emergency brake lever in her hand and says to my dad 'Shouldn't this be in my car?'

He fixed it and she was OK after that, but it is a classic story in our house.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Julie on 3/20/02 at 16:09 (077014)

John, I have to disappoint you. I'm sorry. I'm the right age to remember the Crossley, but I don't remember it. I wasn't really into cars in the 50s, apart from the first one I owned - a 1949 Nash that I bought to go camping out west in with my best friend Judy in 1956. We called it the Pregnant Banana. It had front seats that let down so that the interior became a double bed, and we spent ten weeks in our 'mobile home' - through the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and home across the prairies. I still miss that car. Sigh.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 20:02 (077041)

Julie - I have a feeling that that Nash of yours may well have been the same one that sat in our garage, untouched (except for the mice) for a good seven years before I finally said it's gotta go. My husband adores Nash cars. When he sold it, it was to some fella from Iowa who drove all the way here with a trailer to haul the Nash back to Iowa!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

John h on 3/20/02 at 21:32 (077052)

The Nash Rambler! oh my yes!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Julie on 3/21/02 at 03:00 (077066)

Nash Rambler! That's right! And Judy, you've had one too? Wow. That car had personality. It was a friend, even after its suspension went and we had to bounce gently across miles and miles of Kansas and every other state between Kansas and New York. After the Nash Rambler, every other car was just... a car. Until Klaus and I got a VW Beetle (Bug to you) in 1970. I loved that car, too, and we had it for 17 years, but then I wrecked it (at the age of 52 - it's not just 16-year-olds that get into trouble). Not my fault, though. Another story for another time.

Thanks for those websites, john - I'll look at them after I've finished here.

Nash Rambler....ahhh.

Re: Your idea about no friends in the car

Kathy G on 3/21/02 at 08:55 (077087)

It's funny that you had that rule. Our rule was no friends in the car for 6 months. Our children are seven years apart so our son was the first to have to deal with 'that stupid rule'! We always wondered if he really obeyed it since once he was out of the driveway, we really didn't know who he went to pick up! Well, seven years later, when it was our daughter's turn to drive and she started to complain about the rule, he told her it was a good rule and to just live with it!

I don't know if he actually obeyed it and at the ripe old age of 23 realized it was a good idea or if he disobeyed it and had a close call. There are some things you're better off not knowing!

My only words of advice about teenagers driving is encourage to drive as much as possible because practice is the best teacher. Other than that, don't obsess or you'll go crazy - and pray a lot!!

Re: Help!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/18/02 at 18:08 (076768)

It won't! But in a couple of years he may be away at college, or on his own, and then he won't be driving your car. You'll only wish he was since you know your car is not held together with bubble gum and string.

Seriously, if the province thinks he can drive, he probably can. You've worked hard bringing him up, and he's probably a lot more sensible than you think. So, given firm boundaries, he will be fine.

Carole C

Re: Help wish I could

Tammie on 3/18/02 at 18:32 (076771)

Sorry I would love to give encouraging words but I have two sons driving and well almost seen enough with them . unfortuantly you will loose as much sleep worrying as you did when the were infants! Also those calls when the phone rings and you know they are out, the calls seems like hold your breath and pray it isnt one of your kids! My middle son was the rough one, I recieved a phone call one evening from a police officer, you wont guess what he did.

He got a speeding ticket and begged the officer to lock him up as his mom was going to kill him. The officer started by saying mrs. - Is __ your son, as I said yes, he said well I have to inform you and by then I was shaking,I have your son here and he is being sited for going 45 in a 25. I said ok,he said you have a fine son and he is the most gentleman, but he is afraid to come home is there a problem. I shall never forget that in all my life! I wanted to reach thru the phone and kiss him and strangle him all in one. He came home and threw his licence on floor and said I know you wont let me drive again. I surprised him by saying well did you learn anything? He said yes it isnt worth speeding as I was late anyways. I said well you have to go to court, as he was only 16 and that is a law here. They took away his license and it was his first offence for 30 days, only work priv,he was very scared as they really treat you as a criminal . I mean by that they processed him as tho he comitted much more then a speeding infraction. This has been more then a year agao, and Wendyn, He is a good driver now respects his responsibilities and actually he is a better driver then the brother who is much older. But even when they are 20 you still worry , that is a mothers right you know! If it isnt driving it would be something else! Take a deep breath and just pray that you have given him the tools to take driving seriously! And then in evbening of his late night out you may want to pop a cork to your favorite relaxer and try to relax as I doubt you will be able to sleep till he is home safe and sound! Take care I wish you luck!

Re: Help!

Laurie R on 3/18/02 at 19:02 (076773)

Oh no Wendy , tell him to get a job and buy his own car..LOL I would be a little nervous , so it it so normal what you are feeling . I have been teaching my 14 year old daughter to drive . She does really well. The reason I have done this is , with all that is wrong with me , I want her to know how to drive . I may not get to teach her later. I know it may sound crazy , but I would rather have her know how then now ...

Laurie R

Re: Help!

Suzanne D on 3/18/02 at 21:35 (076789)

I know how you feel, Wendy! I still remember the first time my now almost 21 year old daughter backed out of our driveway alone when she got her license at 16. I just felt like I wanted to run out and get in with her or stop her or something! It all seemed so terribly out of my control.

But it will get better. You will always be concerned, but your heart will not be in your throat each time you see him get behind the wheel!

And you will find that it can be helpful to have someone else in the household who can go pick up his younger brother, get a loaf of bread, etc.

Now remind me of all this when my youngest turns 16 in June! :-)

Re: Help! No Problem

Rick R on 3/19/02 at 08:02 (076817)

Wendy,

Welcome to the club! I read Tammie's response, what a riot! Since it would be insensitive to your plight, I won't tell you about the five cars my eldest daughter has dinged up. It would be particularly irresponsible of me to tell you about the time she piled up her best friends parents brand new Cadillac. And if I did break down and let something slip, I probably shouldn't mention that her friend was hanging out of the sunroof at the time making a complete idiot out of herself; how they escapes unscathed is beyond me. Just be glad you don't live in Illinois, the state is going to turn these two nut balls loose to warp the minds of our children as certified teachers in May.

By the way the eldest was the tame one growing up. The crazy one (now 18)that had us on a first name basis in the emergency room (not an exaggeration)as a wee lass has been a great driver, not so much as a scratch. She did, however; get me involved in a road rage incident buy expressing herself digitally whilst dear old dad was driving.

Just in case I'm getting a bit too smug for your taste don't forget I still have one more, the boy, now 15.5 to survive. This summer will be his turn.

But seriously, if I were capable of passing on anything resembling wisdom, it would be to continue to let him drive himself to places close to home. Be ever so careful with more than one kid in the car and hold off on groups of hellions as long as you can regardless of which one is driving. At one point my parents wouldn't let me go in a group unless I drove. They trusted me (had them fooled) but not everyone else.

This is so specific to the child. Daughter #2's first time driving in the snow she came home with white knuckles and said she was never going to drive in the snow again. Daughter #1's first time driving in the snow, 'T' Boned an SUV and came home saying 'I was going the speed limit the car just wouldn't stop.' But even she got it out of her system in the first year or two or crash testing. By keeping her to around town driving we kept the dammage to a minimum and nobody got hurt and we had a great database on how an Olds 88 performs in various rapid deceleration scenarios.

Aren't you glad I restrained myself?

Best of luck,

Rick

Re: Help!

CatherineL on 3/19/02 at 12:39 (076839)

Oh, Noooooo... Wendy!

I can't imagine... mine are 14.5 and 11.5 and the province just changed the beginner licensing, I think it changed so that they cannot drive without adult supervision until they're about 17... whew, just in time for my first one!!!

My oldest and her friends were complaining for about a year about the new driving restriction and how it 'sucks' that she and her friends didn't squeek by on the old system.

Until... a month ago, one evening a car, driven by a 16 yr old, filled with kids, drove onto the hwy and was struck by a car of 2, sending ALL 8 people to hospital - no fatalities, 2 serous injuries. I explained the reasoning behind the new driving restrictions and how, if they had been in place earlier, this accident would have never happened. She understands why now.

but I don't imagine it will be any fun at 17 either.

Catherine

Re: Help!

John h on 3/19/02 at 20:03 (076902)

Wendy: I taught my daughter to drive when she was 16 in a stick shift old VW bug. About a week after she got her license the car became toast in the high school parking lot but she was ok. Good luck mom.

Re: Thanks

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 21:17 (076920)

Thanks for the support guys!!!!

I don't know Rick - you didn't make me feel better but you sure made me laugh!!!!!

He is out again tonight on very icy snowy roads....I intentionally put him in driver's ed in the winter - and he passed his test in lousy road conditions.

Since we have crappy weather anywhere from September to May - it didn't seem to make sense to have him try to avoid it. But I thought it would be better than this by now. We are expected to have the coldest first day of spring on record here tomorrow.

His driver's ed teacher reassured me that he is one of the best students he has had in a long time, and that he's a very good driver. Gulp.

I would have him get his own car, but a 16 year old here pays a small fortune in insurance if they are primary drivers. We will deal with that when he graduates from school next year. The biggest plus is that we no longer have to crawl out of bed to pick him up from work at 1:00 in the morning.

Re: Canadian Spring

Carole C in NOLA on 3/19/02 at 21:47 (076924)

Wendy, it was 85F (29C) here in New Orleans today. We have our A/C on; no long sleeves any more, either. I am sunburned bright pink from being out at sea last week. I shooed all the song birds in your direction, and every time I breathe out I blow it towards the north.

Spring has got to get there soon! Is all of Canada that cold still? Or do you live up by Hudson Bay? brrrrr I have heard it is warm inside igloos (just joking! I know you don't live in an igloo)

Carole C

Re: Help!

Nancy N on 3/19/02 at 22:10 (076929)

John: I learned to drive stick on an 81 Dodge Omni Miser. Boy, were they not kidding about the Miser part (and that word alone was what drew my dad to it, I'm sure!). So miserly that we had to have a rear-window defogger added on because it didn't come standard.

By the time I was learning to drive this thing it was 7 years old, and my dad had really beat the tar out of it. Reverse was to the left of first gear, and the theory was that you had to push the stick to get it into R. Not on this car. My dad had driven it long enough that he could tell the difference, but I had no frame of reference and, therefore, no clue. In fear of putting the thing into R at a stoplight and accidentally backing into the car behind me, I kept overcompensating and putting it in 3rd--and then stalling out when it was time to go.

My dad finally got tired of this and took the car while I was at work one day, leaving me with the automatic (which I thought was a real treat at the time, before it started having trouble and I discovered that stick shift is where it's at). He took one of the empty panels along the dash and installed a little yellow light, which he wired to the reverse lights. For the first time, I actually knew beyond all shadow of doubt when the thing was in reverse and when it wasn't--and I never had any trouble driving that car after that day. I'm sure it didn't take long before I could tell the difference without the light, but it was a life-saver for those few weeks. I drove that car for two or three years and survived it popping out of gear and doing other idiosyncratic (and sometimes scary) things.

I won't bore you with the details of the time I left the lights on while I was at school (it was too miserly for a warning bell for the lights, too) and ended up getting the football coach to pop the clutch for me after school--with half the football team pushing the car through the parking lot :) Never had an accident in that car, though!

Re: Standards

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 22:48 (076931)

We have two vehicles - one is a minivan - the other is my husband's new toy - a 2002 Honda Accord. Thank God it's a standard and said child has not yet learned how to drive one (parent's have been really dragging their heels on this). The idea of him out driving that is enough to push me over the edge.

You can only feel just so cool in a minivan.

Why hubby did not hold on to the much older station wagon we had until 2 months ago is completely beyond me.

Men.

Re: CAROLE! STOP IT!!!

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 22:53 (076932)

NO!!!

There is NO SPRING.

Spring has been cancelled. I am sure.

It is -15F. Really freakin cold. The forecast now is that it will warm UP to freezing by the weekend - and then drop AGAIN.

People, including myself - are EVIL. There is only so long you can be stuck indoors - the kids were stuck inside for recess and lunch again today. To have this come at the supposed end of winter is just a mean trick.

I understand Eastern Canada has had a great winter - they have leaves and green grass.

I still have yet to see that robin.

The worst part is the negative effect on people. They really are just plain miserable right now. I am so down I cannot even stand to be around myself.

The weather man on the news spent the first few minutes just apologizing tonight.

Sigh.

Re: Standards

Nancy N on 3/19/02 at 22:56 (076934)

Ahhh, see, my dad would not let me go to take my test until I learned to drive the stick. I took the test on the automatic, but only after he was convinced that I could get around with the standard if I had to. (The light was installed after I had my license, but not long after.)

My brother got off easy, and got to learn stick on an 88 Accord (this would have been in 1991 or so), which was a dream compared to the Omni (which we nicknamed the Ominous). We always had the third (older) car so that he and I had something to drive that was not in our names.

You're absolutely right about the minivan. There's only so much you can do there. I've never driven one, but I've driven my parents' truck, which is close enough for me. I'm a small-car person by nature, I guess. Though, if you can parallel park a Dakota, I think you can parallel park almost anything (except maybe a school bus).

Re: Standards

wendyn on 3/19/02 at 23:02 (076936)

Driving a mini van is not that bad really - I got used to it fast. I still don't really like parking it though.

We did not want to encourage driving of the new car any more than absolutely necessary. The van is pretty new too - but it's not a 'cool' Honda, and I think he'll be less likely to try to act 'cool' driving mom's mini van.

I attribute husband's need for a new car to some type of mid life crisis. He did not like me pointing out that he is in the middle of his life.

I paced around the house for about the last 30 minutes before the son got home tonight. Maybe I will feel better when the road conditions are better. But then I will have images of him out 'cruisin' around looking at everything other than the road.

Re: Help!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:22 (076967)

The more you tell him you trust him, the more pats on the back you give him for his responsible driving, the more responsible his driving will be!
Having said that....teenage driving rule number one - no pals in the car with him for the first year. Sounds contradictory, doesn't it? But it really is important - in fact, California just enacted that very 'rule' in to law a couple of years ago.

Re: Help!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:28 (076968)

Hi Laurie - this is going to sound odd but, after raising two sons through the driving thing, I've come to believe that the good 16-year-old driver is the experienced 16-year-old driver. John and I often said that we wished we'd had our sons out in empty parking lots learning to handle a car long before their 16th birthdays came around.
We found out too that the driving classes they went to via their high schools didn't have enough depth and, if we had to do it again, we'd send them to private driving programs after the high school programs.
And, with all that........and in spite of our concerns, both kids are alive and well and have never been in auto crashes! We'll talk about traffic citations another time...........:)

Re: CAROLE! STOP IT!!!

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 10:46 (076973)

Hey Wendy - don't be too down, my friend. After all, the rest of us love being around you even in frigid weather! :)

Re: Help!

Nancy N on 3/20/02 at 11:09 (076979)

Judy--

Were you a teacher in a previous life? Seriously--that's one of those little tricks that comes in really handy with kids. I didn't realize it until about a month ago, when I was in NYC with a colleague of mine. We went to the Met museum, and when I checked my bag and coat, I asked her if she would hang onto my wallet for me since I didn't have any pockets.

She looked at me and said 'Are you sure you trust me with this?' I said of course. She said that I was brave, and I said 'Now that I've said I trust you with it, are you going to lose it? I don't think so.' And she immediately said it's the 'You are trustworthy because I trust you' concept that she uses in her teaching. It comes in handy!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

john h on 3/20/02 at 11:38 (076988)

Nancy: of interest the early VW bugs had a heater under the back seat that was fueled by gas. talk about a noxious odor and a danger-- the dodge omni was indeed a luxury car for all time. There was another great car that I bet only Julie will remember and that was the Crossley. I may have spelled it wrong but it was smaller than an omni.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Nancy N on 3/20/02 at 11:52 (076994)

We had two VW bugs when I was very little, in succession. My father really loved those cars--if the most recent ones hadn't been so old and unsafe by the time I was driving, he'd have suggested I get one. He likes the new ones, but we all agree that they're too quiet to be 'real' bugs!

My brother once had a girlfriend who drove an old blue bug. She came over to visit one day, and left a few hours later. About five minutes after she walks out the door, the doorbell rings. She's standing on the porch holding the emergency brake lever in her hand and says to my dad 'Shouldn't this be in my car?'

He fixed it and she was OK after that, but it is a classic story in our house.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Julie on 3/20/02 at 16:09 (077014)

John, I have to disappoint you. I'm sorry. I'm the right age to remember the Crossley, but I don't remember it. I wasn't really into cars in the 50s, apart from the first one I owned - a 1949 Nash that I bought to go camping out west in with my best friend Judy in 1956. We called it the Pregnant Banana. It had front seats that let down so that the interior became a double bed, and we spent ten weeks in our 'mobile home' - through the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and home across the prairies. I still miss that car. Sigh.

Re: Standards/hello Julie

JudyS on 3/20/02 at 20:02 (077041)

Julie - I have a feeling that that Nash of yours may well have been the same one that sat in our garage, untouched (except for the mice) for a good seven years before I finally said it's gotta go. My husband adores Nash cars. When he sold it, it was to some fella from Iowa who drove all the way here with a trailer to haul the Nash back to Iowa!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

John h on 3/20/02 at 21:32 (077052)

The Nash Rambler! oh my yes!

Re: Standards/hello Julie

Julie on 3/21/02 at 03:00 (077066)

Nash Rambler! That's right! And Judy, you've had one too? Wow. That car had personality. It was a friend, even after its suspension went and we had to bounce gently across miles and miles of Kansas and every other state between Kansas and New York. After the Nash Rambler, every other car was just... a car. Until Klaus and I got a VW Beetle (Bug to you) in 1970. I loved that car, too, and we had it for 17 years, but then I wrecked it (at the age of 52 - it's not just 16-year-olds that get into trouble). Not my fault, though. Another story for another time.

Thanks for those websites, john - I'll look at them after I've finished here.

Nash Rambler....ahhh.

Re: Your idea about no friends in the car

Kathy G on 3/21/02 at 08:55 (077087)

It's funny that you had that rule. Our rule was no friends in the car for 6 months. Our children are seven years apart so our son was the first to have to deal with 'that stupid rule'! We always wondered if he really obeyed it since once he was out of the driveway, we really didn't know who he went to pick up! Well, seven years later, when it was our daughter's turn to drive and she started to complain about the rule, he told her it was a good rule and to just live with it!

I don't know if he actually obeyed it and at the ripe old age of 23 realized it was a good idea or if he disobeyed it and had a close call. There are some things you're better off not knowing!

My only words of advice about teenagers driving is encourage to drive as much as possible because practice is the best teacher. Other than that, don't obsess or you'll go crazy - and pray a lot!!