9/7/17 learning to drive and a learning list…

I have been having Maggie take me driving every night. She doesn’t love to drive so she never asks to drive. She needs a license. If mom can’t drive, Maggie would need to be able to get herself to work. Maggie is a pretty good driver, but she is new and she needs a lot more hours. I am comfortable enough when she drives that I can text people and not constantly point out curbs and telephone poles and red lights…she is able to pull the car into the drive and back to the garage, our house is very close to the neighbors and the drive goes between the houses and their gas meter is up against their house in the middle of the driveway (SMH). Maggie can pull in safely, but is not comfortable backing out. She is also not ready to pull the car into the garage. Someday…
Are there skills that every child needs to learn before they reach adulthood, or before they move out? Are some skills really not needed, like if they live right by work and there is a grocery store, and their church right there, then they wouldn’t need to drive. But should they learn to drive if they really don’t want to? Just to have the skill in case of emergency. Two of my kids say no, driving is not a skill that they want at this time. We went to Cedar Point and they all drove the old time cars, a little taste of driving and commanding their own vehicle, but it only sparked an interest in one of them.
When the kids were young I found a list on the internet of what a child should be able to do at what age and I taught from that list for years. I lost the list a few years ago and haven’t been able to find it to see if there was anything that was missed, besides being able to drive. If anyone finds it, please leave the link in the comments.
The list had things for really small children, like being able to hold silverware at a certain age and it had a lot of things for older kids. It had things like, being able to cook a simple meal from a cook book and eating with chop sticks, changing the oil and balancing a check book, making change and shopping for dinner items at the grocery store. I did skip the ones that I couldn’t do, like changing the oil, but we did go over checking the oil and adding more.
When the kids were young they wanted to learn every new skill, but as they got older there was more negotiation involved.

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7/12/17 driving, interviews and thank you cards…

Beth took the car out for a drive for about an hour yesterday. She never gets to drive alone and was so excited to go. She did fine. She drove over to my moms neighborhood. She got there OK but took a wrong turn and got lost on the way home. I let her know that there is a map in the glove box if she needs it. Beth is from a different generation than me so she would probably get directions from her phone, but the paper map is still there if she wants to use it.
When I got home yesterday, there was a message for Maggie. She got a call for an interview. cheer…cheer…cheeeeeerrrr…wooooo hooooooo. I am so excited. Maggie was finishing a thank you note to one of her great aunts, would my aunt be her great aunt? She had gotten a check for graduation and had misplaced it (she graduated over a year ago). Maggie had been cleaning her room and found the card and check. I had her call the aunt and thank her and ask if it was still OK to cash the check. Maggie did a good job on the call. She made a lot of nice small talk and then brought up the check and asked about it. Maggie is usually quiet so this was a big thing for her to make the call. She cashed and spent the money a few weeks ago but hadn’t written the thank you note. So I had her call and then send a note too, since she had gotten the check so long ago I thought the extra call was needed. I always tell them that the gift isn’t theirs until they sent the thank you note.
Maggie went to look for an outfit to wear to the interview. She only has jeans and t shirts. She doesn’t have any need for dress clothes, so she doesn’t have any. Her choices just didn’t look good for an interview. Maggie and I went to Meijer’s and got her dress pants and a dress shirt. She looks ready. I hope that the interview goes well.

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6/19/17 driving and movies…

Beth is out driving for the first time alone today. I gave her money for gas and a few dollars to go through the drive thru at McDonald’s. I thought that she would want to get the gas and drive back home. That’s what I did. My parents gave me a few dollars to get gas and I did that and drove straight home. She didn’t feel  the same way. She wanted to be gone for an hour. An hour. I’m hyperventilating. This is her first time out driving. Couldn’t she go get the gas and come home and tell me that she is OK?
We all had lunch after church. Maggie had separated the movies. She made a pile of movies that we don’t watch any more. We needed to wait until we were all here to choose which ones to let go. The VHS will go to the Goodwill and the DVDs will go to the resale shop. The resale shop doesn’t take VHS’s any more. They take up too much room. We separated the movies and kept any that any one wanted. Each movie only needed one vote to stay. Then Beth went driving. My little girl. She still had her dress on from church and looked so grown up. I prayed over her before she left, that she would be safe and everyone around her would be safe. I also told her to remember to watch her speed and the other cars and to watch all of the things that I usually remind her of. I also took her picture of her before she left. She left in the car… I watched out the back door… The garage is in the back of the house. Then I watched out of the front door. She texted me after about a half hour from a McDonald’s that she was OK. I’m still hyperventilating.
Beth made it home OK. She had fun but looked like it was no big deal. I may need to color my hair soon. Beth had gone to get gas, then she went to McDonald’s. She went on the highway and went past a few friends houses. She did have fun. Beth looks very sure of herself when she is driving.

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1/21/17 driving lessons…

Beth and I went driving last weekend. She needed to learn to drive backwards. A friend of mine said that they had taken their kids to an empty parking lot and had them drive in backwards figure eights for two hours. It sounded like a good idea to me. So…Beth and I stopped at a McDonald’s and got a Coke and went to a parking lot. There is a vacant parking lot by us that doesn’t have the parking spaces drawn on it any more but it is still in good shape and it only has one light which is by the curb on one end, not in the middle of the lot. We got there and Beth asked what the driving directions were today. I said she needed to do backward figure eights for two hours. She said OK and started. First she drove making the figure eight really short. I asked her to use more of the parking lot. She made bigger ones. Then she stopped and did the figure eights going the other direction. After about twenty minutes she asked if we were done. I said no. She needed to do this for a full two hours. I said she still seemed shaky and unsure how the car would react when she made different turns. So many times when the girls are driving and they try to back out of a parking space they can’t figure out which way to turn the wheel to get the car to go the way that they want. We were now out of Coke and she was not ready for another hour and forty minutes off backing up, so I suggested that we go back to McDonald’s and get another Coke and come back to the parking lot. After we got the Coke we went back to the parking lot and she asked how much time she had left. I said an hour and forty minutes, I think she was hoping that the driving time to McDonald’s would count towards the backing up time. We do need to do the whole two hours. So she started driving. Beth did figure out how to do small enough circles that it turned my stomach. She didn’t do that all of the time, just when she could catch me off guard, then she would look at me out of he corner of her eye to see if I would react. She made big figure eights, and small ones and many too close to the light pole, just to watch me squirm. In the end she said that this had been a good idea. She felt a lot more confident. She was driving better too. We had spent so much time having her learn to drive forward it was good to have some time learning to back up.

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