Thursday, April 11, 2013

Designated Drivers

WARNING: If you're a perfect parent who would never dream of drinking alcoholic beverages in front of your children, would never allow yourself to accidentally get a little tipsy in front of your children,would never let your child drive under the age of 16, would never ever consider taking your child to a bar/restaurant meant for adults only then you should just click off right now.This story is a joke (sort of but kinda not) - not real so don't go all ape shit and call CPS on me.

I'm not a Martha Stewart mom. Not even close. My kids have seen me cry, get mad, make mistakes, get tipsy, act human. I don't claim to know what I'm doing in the life skills department, I'm not a great cook, I have a sloppy house but let me tell ya - my girls know that I love them unconditionally, we have lots of fun together, they are well mannered and self sufficient,  have never been pregnant or jailed, aren't drunks or druggies - they're good kids so I must have done something right. Right?

The other day Manchild came up with the perfect solution for our need of getting home safely after going out for a night of music (and beers). He suggested that we teach Kidlet (who is 13) how to drive! Since she's always out with us when we hear tunes, and since she doesn't drink beer or alcohol, she should be the one to drive us home! That would help keep us safe or avoid getting a DUI or causing a crash in case he and I had a little too much fun. Can anyone say "REDNECK????????"   I mean, that's the kind of statement I expect to hear on the cheesy reality shows on TV right now not by a law man!! But I must's brilliant.

Being the lawman that he is, Manchild was thinking out loud about how he would react if he stopped a car and there was a kid driving it. He said he'd laugh then ask the kid why they were driving. Then, he'd look at the "adults" in the car and verify that they were not safe (blotto) for driving. And if the kid hadn't been driving badly, he'd probably send them on their way. I myself, think that this scenario might pass in the country but NO WAY it'd fly in the city.

Do any of you remember Toonces the driving cat from Saturday Night Live?
Maybe we could teach our cat Ruby or Pork Chop how to drive instead of asking Kidlet to do it. That way, she wouldn't have any moral dilemmas about driving her parents home after they had taken her out...TO A BAR. No, wait...Toonces always drove off a cliff so maybe that isn't such a good idea. Oh wait, you thought I was going to elaborate about how it's morally wrong to take my kid to a bar, right? Nope. As much as my girl loves the blues, and as much as she wants to stay inspired to keep practicing her guitar, I'm going to take her out to hear music as much as possible. As a bonus, she gets to meet lots of wonderful musician friends, learn some cool tricks and hopefully, learn not to overindulge and become a drunk ass. Oh yeah, and maybe learn how to drive a car.

Speaking of 13 year olds driving cars, when I was a kid living on a farm driving was a way of life. We drove tractors, motorcycles, bicycles and farm trucks. I think it was a good skill to have! When I began drivers education classes I already  knew how to drive. My instructor basically set me free and let us just cruise because he knew I knew what I was doing. Kids these days (or should I say city kids) don't have a clue about driving! Going in circles in a mall parking lot does not constitute driving lessons. They need to learn how to dodge cows and mesquite thorns and potholes. They need to learn how not to get stuck in the mud. They need to learn what to do when a tire blows out or a bale of hay falls off the back of the car (because I imagine that there are lots of city folk hauling hay bales on the backs of their cars). You know, practical stuff!

Last weekend the road to the little house in the woods was very muddy. Manchild was showing Kidlet how to drive down that road without getting stuck. There were multiple tire tracks where other vehicles had tried to make it through but nearly all fo them went off into the ditch or had deep ruts and indicators that they had to be pulled out with a tractor. We slowly went down the road without a slide to the side, easy peasy. He was trying to impress upon her the importance of knowing how to drive in mud in case he and I keeled over one day and it happened to be muddy and she had to drive us out. Maybe it was the precursor to showing her how to drive on a regular road. I know it's coming any day now.

The big question is what car she's going to drive. There's no way in HAY-DEES that she's going to drive my Charger. Heck, I don't let anyone drive it. She could drive the Tahoe but we'd have to carry 5 pillows so she could sit on them to see out of the thing. That leaves the tiny little car which would still require pillows to lift her up high enough to see out. And it's kind of zippy so if she gassed it, it'd still crash like any other vehicle. As I write this, I have decided that Manchild will be the one to teach her to drive initially. I'd be too nervous. Maybe, I could sip beers while he teaches her so that by the time she drives down an actual road, I'd already be unfit to drive and it would be a real test for her. I'd sip a few all in the name of educating my kid. Because that's the kind of great mom I am.

If you happen to be out in the middle of Nowheresville and it's late at night and you see a teeny young person driving a car don't worry. It's probably Kidlet driving us home. And she'll be well schooled in the art of driving even if she's a few years away from having her drivers license. I've got to go now and share this idea with the other rednecks that live out by the little house in the woods so they can be safe, too.

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