I am having a parenting crisis and I could use your help. My son has finally reached the age to drive and he has been pestering me to take him to get his learning permit. I have been putting him off by requiring him to read the entire test booklet before I will take him in. Lola, this is just a stall tactic. I don’t want him to drive! I am not sure he is ready for the responsibility that comes with a license. I am positive that I am not ready to sit in the passenger seat, shrieking at the top of my lungs for him to hit the brake pedal. What should I do?
Bicycles are Better
Dear Bicycles are Better,
It’s finally upon us. The season when Miniature Humans go back to school and compare notes on who is getting their driver’s permit and when. This conversation will dominate the cafeteria for weeks, displaced only briefly while everyone discusses what kind of car they will be driving once they’ve received said permit. Meanwhile the teachers stand to the side in silent horror – likely wondering if now is the time to retire before they are permanently bumped off this planet by a Mini Human in a car.
No one should have to die by Prius at the hands of someone barely out of diapers!
I think now is the time to sit down with your Mini Human and discuss your worries. Tell him that driving is terrifying and that you know he will murder someone. After all, he didn’t do so well with that pet goldfish and driving is a much bigger responsibility. Explain that he has to earn your trust before he can drive. First, he has to keep his room clean and his bed made. Then he has to do all his own laundry. He should definitely cook all the meals for at least a month – and do the dishes afterwards! If he can complete all of that, then maybe he is ready for a license.
Based on my knowledge of the Mini Human chore ethic, that should earn you 6 months of peace.
If your Miniature Human makes it to week three without wavering, you are in trouble and will need to step up your game. You will have one more week to convince your Mini Human that driving is not for him. Use the internet to show him the absolute carnage that exists on the road. Make sure to use the pause button effectively, burned out shells of a car will really drive home the point you are making.
I should mention that you both may need therapy after this. In fact, it’s practically a given.
If your Miniature Human still wants to drive, I have some bad news for you. He’s going to badger you until your brain explodes. Good thing he had that month to learn how to clean! Have you considered enrolling your Mini Human in a driving class with a qualified professional? You could avoid the month of terrible dinners, the internet video carnage, the therapy bills, and the inevitable brain explosion. You also won’t be strapped into a death machine with someone who once tried to eat tomato soup with a fork while you watched in frustration.
How could you ever take a Mini Human seriously once you’ve seen that?!
Comfort yourself with the thought that if your Miniature Human is actually not ready to drive, the teacher will not pass him until his skills improve.
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