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Some things never change | Living with Gleigh
I’ve spent a lot of time in recent days comparing my youngest daughter’s toddler ways to her teenage ways. When she started school as a kindergartener she would come home and report to the family what infraction each of her rowdy classmates committed.
She was my police girl. She could not believe anyone would think of breaking school rules much less carry out their evil plot. This was a child who as a toddler had a temper that could take down the Incredible Hulk. Her terrible twos lasted from 18 months to five years old. But by the time she got to kindergarten (at almost 6 years old because she missed the age deadline for starting school with her September birthday), her temper seemed to convert itself to being controlled law enforcement.
I thought of her early police work as I was driving the car and going 40 mph in a 35 mph zone. “Mom, you’re speeding.”
“I’m going 38. That’s barely speeding.”
“You’re going 40. And you didn’t look over your shoulder when you switched lanes.”
“I looked in my mirror, and there was no one behind me when I turned the corner, so I already knew there was no one in that lane.”
“Our driver instructor said you’re always supposed to look over your shoulder.”
She long ago quit reporting about her classmates infractions and has transferred her law enforcement talents to policing her parents’ driving skills. Or lack of driving skills.
I had her take drivers’ education when she turned 15 years old because my older daughter’s instructor said it was a good opportunity to have a whole year to drive. When a child turns 15, they can get a waiver for their permit if they are signed up for drivers’ education. I thought, “What a great idea!”
My oldest didn’t start driving until she was almost 18, I figured it would be great for my youngest to get her license when she turned 16. And unlike my oldest daughter, my youngest was anxious to drive. So I signed her up.
It turned out it was too fast and too overwhelming. She was partnered for instructional drives with an almost 18 year old girl. They did drives on Saturdays and then again on Sundays because her partner was in a hurry to finish. There was no time for practicing in between.
She felt traumatized by the intensity of the driving lessons. The subsequent year passed with her driving fewer times than I have fingers on one hand. I could not get her into the car to practice and the opportunity for her “whole year of practice driving” was slipping away.
When she was around 2 and a half, I set up a potty chart giving her stickers every time she used the toilet in an effort to potty train her. A couple days later, she informed me, “I’m not old enough for this.” I knew there was no way I would convince her she was ready if she didn’t feel ready, so I let it go. Then a week or so later she told me she was ready and she was potty trained ever since, even at night.
Now she is 16, her permit is about to expire and we’ve been driving a lot lately. She’s a good driver and her parallel parking is pretty impressive. Her father and I were trying to push her just to go for it and test for her license. She’s not ready.To renew her permit will require a trip up to the DOL, a wait in line and she’ll take the written test this time. It’s a pain, but I can’t make her get her license when she doesn’t feel ready.
Have you heard this before? I fully expect only a week or so to go by before she inform me she’s ready to test for her license.Some things never change.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is currently waiting in line at the DOL. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.”