Friday, April 11, 2008

Driving with Liddy.

This morning Liddy slept through her alarm but instead of the usual panic stations she rang work, said she'd be in as soon as possible then came & prised me off the computer so she could have a driving lesson. Words fail me. I seriously felt the need for an indeterminate amount of time to psyche myself up for driving with Liddy.

Being sporty & co~ordinated Liddy is actually over~confidant. Ooops, past tense. She was over~confident. Now she is experiencing how many things she has to remember to do anything she has stopped backseat driving in case it turns round & bites her!

Once I managed to convince her that it wasn't necessary to move both feet just because she had to move one we got the clutch/accelerator thing working & she backed out of the parking space the wrong way. After 10 minutes of me with my brake foot pressed hard to the floor on an imaginary brake & Liddy vainly trying to do a 3 point turn backwards, she conceded defeat, climbed out of the driver's seat & let me turn the vehicle round.

Am I allowed to supervise with my eyes shut? See the boys learnt to drive paddock bashing in the farm's old cars so had some idea of the basics. Liddy does not & has a natural lead foot. (heavy on the accelerator) Even in first gear she was speeding ~ relatively speaking. I was gripping my seat till my knuckles turned white & trying not to scream as if I was going down the Big Dipper or something at Dreamworld. Sweat was dripping of me & we were neither on the mainland nor experiencing heavy traffic. Actually there was no traffic. Do I look that mad?

Against my better judgement I agreed she could toddle down the road ~ slowly ~ & round the block. First corner, not smooth but ok. The second corner Liddy misjudged completely & wedged herself across the road blocking traffic from 3 directions!!! I sweated some more while coaxing Liddy in a reverse where she would keep watching her feet instead of either the road or the rear vision mirror! What's with that? Finally, finally she rounded the 2nd corner, drifting right across the road like an autumn leaf in a stiff breeze. Not good. I suggested she might like to stay on her side of the road. She over corrected & started heading across the nearest paddock. Oh, yeah. This was a circus. I may never recover. I asked her to brake so she took her foot of the clutch. We braked all right!

I finally got her home again where she suggested we go round once more. No way. I reeled out of the car heading for caffeine. Lots & Lots of caffeine.

This afternoon was better. We actually got out of 2nd gear. She's getting her gear changes though still revving the engine. My credibility has skyrocketed. NOW she gets why I get nervous driving on the mainland. She can't manage to focus on everything at once so I am working on getting her to figure out some way that works for her of knowing where she is on the road & watching the road instead of looking round for pedals & gear sticks & blinkers. Liddy, head down & bum up in the driver's seat is not a good look; not when I'm in the passenger seat! Prayers please. Lots & lots of prayer.

Meanwhile, back at the station, Ditz is watching events unfold with keen interest & a sense of purpose that has me quivering with dreadful anticipation. Three years is all the grace I have before she too is getting behind the wheel of my car. Whether I actually join her remains to be seen.


Mrs. Darling said...

Oh my goodness. How hair raising! We've put one child through the driving thing and I made my husband do most of it. Im too nervous!

Ganeida said...

Mrs D, none of my kids will learn with their dad so I've got to do most of it. Theo was good, very careful. Dino thought he was still at sea with miles of ocean to work with & is responsible for lots of grey haits. Liddy will be fine ~ eventually. Once she's got the basics she'll take some lessons from a proper instructor in mainland traffic. Here at least she can't really do much damage.

molytail said...

I think I can understand what she's going through with the staring at her feet -- I can't drive a stickshift either LOL ....I mean, I understand the concept - this gear for that speed, next gear for next speed, etc - but I'm not the coordinated sort who just picks that up. Noooope.

MamaOlive said...

Oh, that's hilarious.
In the US we mostly have automatic cars, but my Dad has a 1969 VW beetle, and he insisted we all learn to drive on it. He figured if we can learn on the hard things, the easy things will be no problem, and I guess he's right.

Ganeida said...

Actually, Theo has Molytails problem. It took a really embarrasing amount of time for him to learn to drive a manual & about 20 attempts to actually get his license but Dearest instists all ours learn on a manual otherwise they have a limited license. I insist because manuals are safer [imo] just because if your brakes go you can crash through the gears as well as use the handbrake. I prefer to drive a manual too. I just feel like I have more control.