Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Kiddo Took Her Driving Test Tonight!

The Kiddo has been in Drivers Ed all semester, and today was her driving test. 

We've driven all over town on the weekends, practicing things like stop signs, parking, going 60mph and all the other things that she was tested on today.  

Some things, I disagreed with her teacher on, such as “when turning left, always get in to the left lane (and vice versa).” Why? If I’m going to be turning right in 500 feet, why should I have to lane change? Made no sense to me. I taught the Kiddo to get into the lane you needed to be in when you went into the turn (i.e. If you are going to be turning right at the red light, get into the right lane when you turn left out of the driveway). 

Another thing I taught her was to not be so jerky on the brake.  I try to coast to a stop, then glide – by the time I get to a complete stop at a stop sign, you don’t feel that little ‘kickback’ you normally get when you just brake normally. Jerky stops are a pet peeve of mine, so you can imagine how much fun teaching her to brake has been!

Anyway, I took her over to the Drivers Ed compound and wished her luck, then returned 2 hours later to pick her up and celebrate her new freedom.

There was no freedom to celebrate. She had failed her driving test.

As a mom, you know that there are times that you can pick up your child and hug or kiss away whatever is hurting them and making them cry.

Other times, there is nothing you can do but hold their hand and wait for it to pass.

As soon as she got in the car, the floodgates opened and she began to sob.  I held her hand and waited for her to calm herself. We both took a few deep breaths and I asked her what had happened.

First, she had points taken off for not using her turn-signal in a 3-point turn. 

Okay, what? Who has ever used their signal in a 3-point turn? Where do you signal? That you are turning into a turn? For each point of the turn? I was confused and mad about that, because I was never taught that, and I don’t remember her ever saying she was taught that.

Second, she had points taken off for not looking behind her when pulling out of a perpendicular parking space.

According to the Kiddo, she looked over her left shoulder, used both mirrors and the rear-view mirror. She neglected to look over her right shoulder, which was probably what dinged her.

Third, she failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

This was an automatic fail, according to the driving instructor, and the one that made the Kiddo cry even harder. She sobbed, “I understand why it’s an automatic disqualification, I broke the LAW!” but she swears up and down that she made a full stop, just like I taught her.

Get that – Like I taught her. With no jerky stop.

I think that it is my fault that she failed. If you can’t feel the car stop, a driving instructor might have a hard time telling if you fully, truly stopped. If you are doing a driving test for 20 people and 19 of them do jerky stops, the one person who doesn't jerky stop would seem like they didn't stop at all. I can see that. Doesn't make me feel any better, but I can see that.

Once we got home, Hubby came out to see if she passed and she just folded herself into his arms and cried some more. Oh, just breaks my heart to think about it now. 

It took her a good part of the night to clear her head about it all, but we talked everything out, make sure we knew what we needed to work on, and we began healing with jokes (“we’re gonna practice stop signs all weekend and you’re gonna slam on the brakes!”)

Thursday is her written test, and then next Tuesday, she can retake her driving test again. I have a feeling there won’t be any tears next Tuesday.