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Driver’s Education

Driver's EdYesterday was a remarkable day of synchronicity for my little earthlings… Judah got his driver’s license and Tilly her learner’s permit. On the very same day. At the very same time.

If you know me at all, then you probably realize that the efficiency of this thrills me. Two legal documents, two Rites of Passage all in one trip to the Department of Licensing! Can’t get much more efficient that that! Almost worth having a party over.

Those of you who know me even better probably realize just how horrified I am about this. The day, the very day, I am released from teaching one kid to drive, I have to start with a second.


I have spent the last month white knuckled with high blood pressure as I taught Judah to drive. Today I received my emancipation papers (aka: Judah’s license). It’s not that Judah is a bad driver (hey, he passed his test after all). It’s just he’s a new driver.

This is the kid who once needed eleven stitches and to have an artery cauterised after he was showing off to his siblings while he chopped celery for a snack.

It is terrifying to get in the passenger side of  car with someone who has never driven before. Am I right? Would you willingly get in an airplane knowing the pilot had never flown before but don’t worry, he passed his knowledge test and the co-pilot will be next to him. With no brake or controls? And before you go on about how that isn’t a fair comparison, think about this: we all know, statistically, you are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash.

So there you have it.

I am so proud of you Judah and Tilly!

Off to pour myself another stiff drink…of coffee.




    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes…I told Chuck when Adalia was a BABY he would have to teach our kids to drive…but the reality is, he can only take them for drives on the weekend and very, very rarely during the week after work. Therefore it falls to me by default 🙁

  1. Melpub

    Hey, add a little kahlua to that coffee. And a dollop of whipped cream. You just sound like a mom. I never learned to drive myself, because I grew up in New York, and only began to take lessons when I planned to be in L.A. for the summer. Things were swimming along until Hercules (that was really my instructors name) said I could drive across 86th street, and the lights turned red when I was right in the middle of crossing Central Park West. I slammed on the breaks, he grabbed his wheel and pulled us over, lit three cigarettes at once, took a long puff, and in a menacingly quiet voice announced, “That was an error.”
    I didn’t pass!
    I’m so glad your kids did!

  2. Erica

    Great post. And the beauty of it is that it will not let up anytime soon!
    We have two drivers and one learner. And seven more after him. Our baby will get his license when I’m 59.
    Better stock up on coffee. And Vitamin B.☺️

  3. Liz

    Melpub, I am sitting in a trader joe parking lot after an argument with someone at home. I was down. I read your comment while sipping my latte and my coffee may or may not be on my inside windshield now. Oh how funny!!!! Not… But Hercules??????? I’m still smiling. Glad my oldest is only 9. A few years off. Lol.

  4. Emily G

    The first time I got behind the wheel of a car was the first time I heard my mother swear.

    I think that says it all. I have ten years to go…but before that Daddy gets to teach them to drive the tractor, so maybe they’ll at least have the steering part down by the time they try a car.

  5. Erin

    A month!!! A month!! You should see what kids in NSW, Australia have to do to get to an unrestricted licence. Imagine if you had to get all your kids through this! I wonder if there is any correlation with this and the birth rate….

    This is from the RTA site, and is the path to an unrestricted licence:
    1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) – this gets you a learner licence
    2. Hold your learner licence at least 12 months for drivers under the age of 25. Complete 120 hours minimum driving practice (log book records the driving experience)
    3. Pass the Driving Test – progress to a Provisional Licence – stage 1 (P1 or ‘red’ Ps)
    4. Hold your P1 licence for a minimum of 12 months.
    5. Pass the Hazard Perception Test – progress to Provisional Licence – stage 2 (P2 or ‘green’ Ps)
    6. Hold your P2 licence for a minimum of 24 months.
    7. Pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT) – progress to a full licence

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Erin- It takes much longer than a month to get a license! Judah has had his permit for over a year. The reason I said I spent the last month teaching him to drive is, we needed him to get his license before he starts school (next week). We needed to get in 40 hours of driving last month to meet our 50 required hours. Ten of those needed to be at night. So it was an intense month 🙂 Sorry for the confusion.

  6. Helen

    I was just going to say the same as Erin!! I am only half way through the 120 hours with my son. It’s torture!!! A month would be bliss!!

    • Erin

      Helen, my kids aren’t old enough to drive yet, but we recently moved away from a small country town in NSW. There are no hills in town (nearest is at least 50km away), and most places take only a minute or two to get to. So for the kids in our town getting up hours means driving on roads that are 100km/h with road trains. Plus it never rains, so getting in the rain hours was interesting to say the least. The parents of teens used to tear their hair out trying to get to 120 hours.

      • Helen

        That makes more sense!! I think ours started at 50 hours, but is now 120, with 20 needing to be at night. My son has all his night hours, but we’re only 50% through the daylight hours.

  7. modeejae

    Kia has been driving for a couple of years and it STILL freaks me out to be in the passenger seat! Even though it’s been a few years she’s still a “new” driver and scares the heck out of me! I have no idea how my mother did it.

  8. Dorothy

    Only my oldest has her license and she is in the Seattle area. #2 can not see well enough, with her glasses, to pass the vision test to get a permit. #3 had his learners permit for almost 3 years and only got 10 hours total of driving time in. He let it expire, so now has to start accumulating 40 hours again. Hubby works evenings and every other weekend. Poor Tom has to practice with my 15 passenger van on the evenings I take him for driving practice. I figure if he can drive the van, Hubby’s camry should be a piece of cake to drive.

    #4 and #5 are old enough to get their learner’s permits, but have not gotten them yet. I offered to assist with purchasing a car for the first child still at home to get their license as an incentive. I miss having someone who can go on errands for me.

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