|Sea Cliff Bridge, part of last week's drive|
Today I realised that I have been teaching the offspring to drive for the last six years! Six years and I'm not done yet! Young drivers have to accrue 120 hours of supervised experience in varied conditions before they can even take a test. First I taught my oldest son, who was always a little over confident. I didn't allow him to take the test when he was technically competent because I wanted to supervise for as long as I could. Eventually I couldn't fudge any longer and he took a test. Then another and another. One of the examiners told him he was fabulous with the gears, clutch etc but terrible at taking care. And so he was. He passed on the next try.
With my twin girls they had to accrue their hours concurrently because who ever heard of one twin getting their licence significantly earlier than the other? 240 hours of instruction is a lot! The younger twin got her licence and the older waited a few months because she was going to have to share the car anyway and thought she might as well just be a passenger a little longer. They both passed easily although there were a couple of panicked moments.
The first to take the test went to the centre with her brother and as the examiner looked over the log, he pointed out that I hadn't signed every page of the log book. My daughter tearfully called me and explained, then she took the test while I drove, very sedately, to the testing centre to sign everything before the test was finished. The second daughter to take the test checked all the details the night before, not to be caught out with some overlooked detail. It was all good. In the morning though, a brake light had mysteriously failed and we had to beg the local mechanic to replace it with only minutes to spare: a safety issue with the car would mean instant disqualification.
My second son is still not licensed, he was nervous about driving and while there was all that competition for my supervision time he chose to ignore the whole thing but now we are working on his skills. He is careful and has a natural feel for the car. I took him on a long drive last week, on steep and winding roads, through suburbia, freeway and country roads. He did well. That's three hours down!