$1000 of Gasoline

Took my daughter in today to get her learners permit. 
It wasn't terribly real to me until I glanced up and saw her face on the preview screen as the DOL employee made up her permit. 
Breathe. 
Because I want to drive her out to the college every day in the fall even less than I want to see her driving herself. On highway 17. In a motor vehicle. By herself. 
Not only that, but the little dears pointed out to me tonight that my son can officially get his permit this year, also. 
No parent on earth should have to log 100 hours of practice driving sessions in the same year. 
At fuel burn rate of approximately $10/hour, I'm shelling out $1000 for the privilege of shelling out even more to insure two teenage drivers. That's on top of tuition for Driver's Education. 
They didn't cost this much when they were in diapers. 
Everyone assures me that I will adore having extra drivers attached to the household. 
Uh huh.
On a completely different note, I made the decision to change my hours. I will be closing at 4:30. Good for my family, but tough to lose kids I love like my own. 
I also turned away four other children this week. 
I don't usually do that, when I have room. But they've been here before, and after reviewing their records I remember why I was relieved the last time they left. Three and four hours late to be picked up, etc.
I wrestled with the decision for days–but when I really made it, really made up my mind, it was like walking out of a dark room into the light. Knew it was the right thing to do. Paring down the ranks, little by little. I want to go back to more of a family feel and less of the institutional you have to run with larger numbers, even if it doesn't pay as well.
Ooooh. I just had a great idea. 
The drivers, being drivers, could eventually get jobs and buy their own gas. And stuff. Yeah?
Maybe this license thing isn't such a bad idea after all…

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11 responses to “$1000 of Gasoline

  • Flamingo Dancer

    This is exactly what I have always said – when you give birth to them, no one ever tells you that one day you have to teach them to drive and allow them to drive the family car.
    We paid for sriving school lessons as neither Mr FD or I were calm enough to teach them to drive! It is also my experience that they all have an accident, such as backing into someone in the first few weeks of gaining their wheels. I always told them "just because you can drive, doesn't mean that you can drive well."
    I will pray for you!

  • Emjay

    I did many hours with my eldest son. His first time out was with his father and they had a disagreement about turning a corner. My son got out in the middle of the road and walked off never to log another hour with his father. He gave me a few scares but when it came time to sit the test for his licence I paid for a few professional driving lessons… he passed first go. My second son learnt with his father, seemingly without any issues and my daughter learnt and logged all of her hours with my son's girlfriend.
    It is nice when you don't have to drive everyone all around…..

  • Louise

    3-4 hours late! OMG! I get stressed if I am 10 minutes late, and that doesn't happen that often.

  • Kimber

    Ha! You don't know the half of it. A couple years ago I had a mother who would get wasted after work and forget to pick up her kids until the next afternoon! She was also the one who would drop them off two miles away, not tell me they were coming, and not call to see if they ever made it. Just show up ten hours later to pick them up. If something had happened to them on the way to my house (they were six and eight years old) I would have never known it, and neither would she! Good kids though. Probably the best behaved ones I ever had, ironically.

  • Kimber

    Here, you have to do the driver training course, and get the 50 hours logged with a parent practicing. I was kind of hoping that's what I was paying the instructor for, darn it. No abdicating parenthood in this case!

  • Kimber

    Wait a minute…are you saying I could get out of further sessions by being a really obnoxious copilot…? This is worth some serious consideration…

  • Kimber

    Oh, my favorite part (and she's only been to one of her twenty or so classes so far) is that she's starting to critique my driving now.

  • Alicia

    XD I love this. When I learned to drive I managed to hit my dads old chevy truck with the van. I've never done any major damage though.
    I crituque my mom all the time now. Her driving is so reckless it drives me mad! But I don't like her sitting next to me when I'm driving because she freaks out so easy that it scares me and then I forget when I'm doing! Or I hit the break, and cause more trouble than if she would have just said calmly what she was freaking out about!
    Lets just say, we let Dad drive.

  • Emjay

    Actually I think they have to log 100+ hours in Australia now. It used to be 50 – or was for both my sons but I'm pretty sure my daughter had to log 100. They also have restrictions on the motor size of vehicles they can drive once they get their P plates (provisional license) and have restrictions on how many other kids they can have in the car with them during certain hours. They have red P's for a time and then they progress to green P's where they can drive a bit faster and have a few restrictions taken off. Sadly, all of that does not necessary decrease the tragic accident statistics of teenage drivers.

  • Kimber

    They have done similar things here. No passengers for six months, then nobody but family for another six months etc, and our accidents stats have gone way down.

  • Emjay

    I'm glad your accident stats have gone down – that's a nice positive thing. I have a friend, in Australia, who has 5 boys – half of them older than mine. She once told me that she used to stress herself stupid about them being out driving on their own, especially at night. Then she realised that there was nothing she could do about whatever they were doing so she might as well get a good night's sleep so that she was well rested to deal with anything that might come up. I thought it was very good advice but it is hard to put into practise.

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