23 April 2010

...And keep your hands on the wheel

Driving lessons have been a bit sporadic with all the other household chaos, but I put the son behind the wheel again with the instruction to drive around the neighborhood. I'd already done a turn around the area to make sure there weren't any young children or old people out.

"Really?" he asked, looking thrilled. And appropriately terrified.

"Yup," I told him. "L, do you have your seatbelt on?"

"Pulled tight," the daughter replied.

The son carefully adjusted the mirrors and seat, turned on the ignition, and put the car into drive.

We sat.

"Uh, Mom," he said, looking under the dashboard in confusion. "My foot is off the brake."

"Parking brake," I told him patiently.

"Oh," he said, coloring a little.

He took the parking break off, and carefully eased his foot off the brake pedal. The car began to roll forward.

I put down my window because it was getting warm in the car, and suddenly we heard the squawk of a child from a nearby yard. The son slammed on the brakes, and said, looking pale, "What was that?"

"Kid in the yard," I told him, pointing at the house to our right.

"Oh," he said a bit sheepishly. "I just didn't know."

"Better to be careful," I acknowledged.

He made a cautious right turn at the corner, and began to roll slowly down the hill.

"You can give it a little gas," I told him.

"My foot is completely off the brake," he said.

"No, I mean you can put your foot on the gas pedal," I replied, gently.

"Samuel L. Jackson has not told me to put my foot on the gas pedal," he countered sternly.

And we proceeded around the neighborhood at the stately pace of 2 mph.

Go listen to some good music: "Drive She Said" from the album The Big Heat by Stan Ridgway.

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