Family Life, Parenting

The Fast and the Fearful

Before you become a parent, you hear all about (or witness first hand) the horror stories of the terrible-two tantrums in the middle of Target. Or the endless potty training tales that cause your face to grimace and emit sounds like “eeewww.”

But what no one warns you about is having to sit in the passenger seat while your newly-permitted teen driver goes from 0 to 60 faster than when they hurled their poopy diaper like an Olympian shot-put athlete.

I suppose it makes sense though. I mean the human race would cease to exist if people knew that one day, they would be required to allow their child to operate a 4,000 pound moving vehicle while they sat next them, bracing for an impending impact, gripping the sides of their seat as if their life depended on it (because it does).

I totally get it. These stories need to remain clandestine. So instead of sharing my woes of teaching my twin teens to drive, I’ll share some signs that should be conveniently placed next to actual road signs–for all those parents like me that need some support along with a paper bag to control their hyperventilation.

STOP Slamming on Your Imaginary Brake
It would have been really helpful if I saw this sign at least once when I was teaching my twin teens to drive, because now I need to replace the car floor mat.

The habitual motion of my foot pressing down has worn away the fabric rendering the mat useless like my imaginary brake. At the very least, seeing this sign could have saved me $20, but then when you add in the visit to the doctor for the foot sprain and then the costs really start to add up, and don’t even get me started on the pain factor. I’m just saying–this sign could save lives or definitely some feet and floor mats.

DANGER, You Are Going to Pass Out If You Don’t Breathe
I get it. Your body has transitioned into survival mode–you know that whole “flight or fight” response thing you learned in high school.

You want to “flight” right out of that car, but you are strapped in with a seat belt, and let’s face it, you have zero control over what will happen next. All you see is the sidewalk is way too close to the car and you know that you are in the “death seat,” which for the first time in your life, you are truly understanding why it is referred to with this lovely title.

But it’s really important to breathe because if you pass out then your teen driver will definitely be distracted and end up crashing.

I’m not sure if my twin teens have watched too many high speed chase movies or played too many video games like Mario Kart or Rocket League, but both of them feel the need to go from 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds.

I’m going to have to find some more calming activities for them like reading, yoga, or better yet, they can buy me a spa gift certificate to help calm me down.

U-TURN It’s Okay to Go Home
If you survived more than five minutes in the passenger seat, it’s okay to call it a day and go home. Most roller coaster rides are only five minutes because the people that created them know that if it were any longer, you would probably die of a heart attack or stroke from pure fear.

Those roller coasters also have safety harnesses and all sorts of other safety measures. But you are at the mercy of your teen driver who can’t seem to figure out how to hang up their wet towel that they leave on the floor, and now you are expected to trust that they will stop in time to not hit that pedestrian. I’m just not buying it–are you?

I know I said that these stories should remain secret so all of the above mentioned is merely hypothetical–I swear.

If you are wondering why I got a new floor mat in my car, it is simply because there was a great deal on floor mats–it’s true–you should go check it out. I’m guessing that if you are reading this, then you are likely going to need at least one new floor mat for the passenger side of the vehicle you are using for the driving lessons.

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