Monday 29 December 2014

Potty Training vs. Driver Training

When Thomas went on the potty for the first time, I was elated!  I ran outside to the backyard to announce the news to Rob who was cutting the grass.  Little did I know that it was just the first of many steps -- the old "two steps forward, one step back".  Nine months later, after awarding him with endless stickers and chocolate eggs, my son was in big boy underwear.

Well, I long for the potty days now.  I was excited when Thomas got his beginners' driving licence on December 16.  I had taken him six times to parking lots and once home from the pizzeria. Since then, Rob has taken him to McFit which is just three or four minutes from our house.  The route requires only right turns.

After a five day break, however, I decided I'd take Thomas out for another lesson last night.   Left turns were on the agenda this time.  That's a whole other ball game!  With my heart in my throat, and my foot on an imaginary brake, I watched as Thomas ended up in the oncoming lane thinking he had to make a left from the left lane.  Luckily, it was only on our quiet street and no one was coming the other way. Calmly, I just reminded him that in North America, drivers always stay to the right.

Thomas made up for his mistake when he successfully turned left from Brantwood Park onto Dunsdon.  I intended on going to Wink's for a bag of milk.  But when we reached Park Road North, Thomas signalled to turn right rather than left (I had pointed left but he didn't want to look at me, but rather focus on the road -- that's a good thing, right?)  Outwardly calm, I just asked him to stay in the middle lane and continue through the intersection.  Plan B was to go to Shoppers Drugmart.

Thomas drove along Dunsdon, successfully changing from the left lane to the right lane.  He crossed King George and entered Shoppers Parking Lot.  He stayed in the car while I went inside for milk. With two items in my hand, milk and half price Christmas serviettes, the lady in front of me had a full cart to be checked out.  The lady behind me was getting frustrated with her young daughter, who wanted to wander around the store rather than stay by her mother's side.  At that moment, my nerves ringing, I would have traded my 16-year-old and his driving lessons for the restless five year old.

Finally, I returned to the car with my purchases.  We made our way out of the parking lot and retraced our steps home.  Thomas pulled into the driveway, both of us in one piece.  Thomas looked proud of his accomplishment.  I felt like I'd just gotten off a roller coaster at Wonderland (I don't like roller coasters!)

Thank goodness Thomas' first official driving lesson is scheduled for January 5.  Driver training is a job for a professional!  As for me, I want to return to potty training.

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