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Driving Miss Daisy (driving me crazy).

My first memories of learning to drive are this:

taking my mother’s car down to the cul-de-sac at the end of our street , trying to turn the steering wheel with no power steering

and instead mounting the gutter

breaking just in time to miss hitting a jacaranda tree.

My mother’s hands grasping the sides of her seat so tightly

that her knuckles were white.

Driving to the local community centre car park when nobody was awake

and circling round and around until I aced corners

and this;

reversing from our driveway at home

into a ute

on a hot Summer’s day.

No air conditioning, windows down.

The neighbours all suddenly needing to water their gardens

as my father raced out onto our patio and screamed…

“Bloody hell Tiffany! You couldn’t drive a stick in hot sh*t!”

and yet I think that it was far easier to learn to drive a car

than it is to attempt to teach your teenager to do it

or in my case, three teenagers.

They are all very different and adapting to each ‘style’ has been…

lets say challenging

because that is a diplomatic descriptive word.

The word I really want to write is terrifying.

Sorry, kids, it’s not you, it’s me (okay, maybe it is you a little).

Not naming any names

but for the love of all things holy -

please slow down when I ask you to slow down.

Speeding up, especially around corners is not good

and while I’m on corners, when I say hug the curb

I mean it.

I don’t mean swing out wide onto the other side of the road.

Also; accelerate up the hill means go faster to maintain your speed.

Keep your momentum going, kids.

It doesn’t mean slow down as we go up the hill and then accelerate at the top so that we hurtle down the other side faster than a speeding bullet.

Doing that will illicit swear words.

Some of which I have never uttered until now and some of which are, yes, I admit it, made up.

I apologise in advance for the next time I scream that we are all going to die.

Of course I don’t mean it. (disclaimer; never uttered, just used for dramatic embellishment purposes)

*cough*

When we come to a round-a-bout and we are giving way to the people to our right

and I tell you that you are safe to go (because you’ve asked for my guidance and help, remember)

please go.

Go right then,

not in ten seconds

and when I tell you that you can’t go now, because in those ten seconds another car has entered the round a bout and it has become unsafe -

please, please, please

don’t floor it.

Here are a few basics;

‘stay to your left’ doesn’t mean drive in the middle of the road,

hitting trees with the car’s passenger side is not a good thing – especially when I am the passenger,

screaming that you are ‘a killer’ as you hurtle downhill and telling me that you get ten points for every bird you swerve at, does not instill confidence

and screaming at me that the worst thing about learning to drive is me doesn’t help either.

Also, just for the record, turn right doesn’t mean you should turn left.

I come from a long long line of women who maintain their hair colour

and grey later in life.

Since I have become a ‘driving instructor ‘ I have found the need to dye my hair twice over

because of the little silver weeds that keep springing from my scalp.

With 120 hours of driving to accrue each

please take your mother’s hair (and her nerves) into consideration when you put those darn yellow ‘L’ plates on my bus.

 

Yes, another disclaimer. Please, friends, take this with your tongue firmly placed inside your cheek. No teenagers were harmed in the making of this post.

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21 Responses to “Driving Miss Daisy (driving me crazy).”

  • Amy:

    Do you remember taking Kris driving around the local shopping centre carpark practicing corners and nearly hitting the brick wall? Good times, good times.
    You’re a stronger woman than I could hope to be. Three at once is so very impressive.

  • joools:

    You will survive. Probably. :)

    I have two learners at the mo. sigh.

  • Mary:

    It is too bad that Frank isn’t there. He is a master at teaching this skill and would be very happy to take young AJ out, in particular!

  • Pixie (213 comments.):

    You are such a brave woman

  • tricia (167 comments.):

    I am sitting here laughing uproariously because I am teaching two teenagers to drive… we(they?) have set up an even/odd day system so that they don’t bicker about whose turn it is. I commented to a friend this evening that it has been a long time since my throat hurt from yelling because during our drive this evening, I yelled “STOP!” so many times I became hoarse!

  • Jess (18 comments.):

    I learnt to drive in a car without power steering too, and side swiped someone else! Almost didn’t get back in after that!
    Hope you don’t have that kind of experience to deal with. ;)

  • Heidi Wilson:

    Tiff, I LOVE how you write! Thanks for that wonderful, hilarious post – I needed a good belly laugh today!! :-) Good luck with the driving and I’m sure you will all survive the experience!!

  • Annie (2 comments.):

    Oh Tiff, that’s hysterical! Sorry that it is so terrifying but I can remember doing many of those things when I learned to drive. When my dad took my brother to practice driving he asked him to turn left. My brother got nervous, forgot his left from right, and turned right across lots oncoming traffic at a busy intersection! I got nervous and forgot how to steer and turned right into the bushes. Heaven help me when I have to teach my kids driving!

  • Mum:

    This is seriously hilarious! :-)

    How well I remember those days but we did try to tell these new learners that driving a vehicle is not as easy as it seems while a passenger. A totally new learning curve to master but alas, necessary on-the-job training required. To prevent the grey hairs appearing all too soon, this is probably one multi-task capability we should never admit to. Maybe the car park thing is still the way to go now as it was then, to help with the steering problems at least and reduce that stress factor for the instructor. I do hear you, though.

    Good luck, CAAAALM DOOOOWN, & have fun! :-) xoxo

  • rachel:

    bahahahhaha seriously pmsl, but im sure i wouldnt be if in the car with you n the teens… agh!

  • Trish (586 comments.):

    Brave Braver BRAVEST …I couldn’t teach our David I’d have throttled him. PUN INTENDED.
    Cannot imagine teaching 3 to drive.

  • cat@jugglingact (2 comments.):

    Oh good heavens – luckily I have years to go before that. (Our legal driving age is 18)

  • river (193 comments.):

    I don’t drive so my husband taught our daughter, she learned quickly and is an excellent driver.
    Then we split up, and now the three younger kids don’t drive, because I couldn’t teach them.
    (Also because one lost his licence being a bad boy, one was terrified behind the wheel, and the youngest simply can’t be bothered.)

  • river (193 comments.):

    P.S. you’ll survive, but your hair will still go grey.
    Mwah-ha-ha

  • Kate:

    Hysterical! Had to call hubby over to the computer to read this as it sounded exactly like his complaint list after getting back from a drive with our teen :)

  • Bear:

    I love that you make up swear words!

  • traceyb65:

    three years to go … at least my hair is already going grey. xt

  • Dave:

    Possibly unbeknownst to the author, my competency assessment is thus: if i can take a nap up the back of the bus while a teen is driving and Tiff is instructing, the teen is deemed competent.

    1/3 so far … ;)

  • Jackie:

    LMAO
    I hope that you will have your video camera capturing certain moments during lessons?

  • Meg:

    Hilarious post, but also not funny as I know it’s real and i know I have it coming in just over a year. Basically Im scared shitless… and that was BEFORE reading your post!!! xxxx

  • valarie k:

    I feel ya, Tiff. Ive got two with permits now, one waiting for her license.

    I don’t know why they cant hand Moms some Xanax when they sign over those permits. It just seems like everyone would be better off.

    My second daughter will only drive with me, bc she thinks Dad yells at her. lol

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