Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adventures in Real Parenting: In The Driver's Seat



MathMan and Nate are out of school this week for something called Fall Break.

I know, right?  Fall Break?  Lots of schools have just gotten started.  What can I say? It's Georgia.  We like to be ahead of the curve on things.  Starting school, voter suppression, French kissing the Confederate flag.....


So here these guys are, underfoot and messing with my routine.  This is where I say "I love them, but....."  because goodness knows I do. But I also love my routine.  Everything is off kilter right now, though, so I can't really blame them. I don't know what it is - the change in season, the shortening of the days, the lack of alcohol in my system, the general ennui and bad news burnout that seems to grabbed a lot of us by the lapels and made us swear off cable "news."

And then Twitter went all fercockta this morning.  That sounds way more fun than it is.  I mean, how am I supposed to know anything without Twitter?

Aren't modern day complaints hilarious?  Wah! I can't make the xBox work right!  Wah! That store's ATM machine is on the fritz!  Wah!  My cable is out!  Wah!  The internet is moving slowly.  Again!!!!

People, none of us would have survived the crossing of the oceans.  We would have been fish food or, on a particularly rough day, tomorrow's lunch special.  For those of you not living in the U.S., pick a World War to not have survived because....yeah.

But before I wonder too far into the land of low blood sugar and this ache in my neck, let me wrangle my thoughts back to what I thought I might tell you today.


When it became clear that I wouldn't be getting much writing/revising done yesterday, I acquiesced to Nathan's begging to go for a driving lesson.  He's got ants in his baseball pants about learning how to drive a stick shift.  See, we only have manual transmission cars.  He doesn't master driving one, he doesn't drive.

Well, good thing our county is loaded with aborted subdivisions.  The roads are paved and there's no traffic on the back streets where the developers didn't build before the bottom fell out of the real estate market.  That's where we go for driving practice.

And the truth is, he did pretty well.  This was his first outing with me, but he's been out with Chloe and with MathMan.  So he's getting it.  Sure the car stalls sometimes and his shifting still requires some finesse, but, for the most part, he definitely gets the concept.  This is a good thing because this is the same kid who videotaped himself just a year and a half ago doing stupid things with a wagon.


For those of you who haven't been around very long, Nathan used to be referred to as The Actor.  Not Good Actor, just The Actor.

So how about you?  Are you feeling weird today or is it just me?  What's stuck in your craw?  Or are you stuck in second gear?

22 comments:

  1. Lisa that video is hilarious. Your son is obviously a determined kind of guy. I love it that he's learning to drive a stick shift. I also learned to drive stick shift -- an old VW bug -- and loving having the skill.

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  2. I'm feeling out of sorts and off kilter today, too. It's a full moon so maybe that's why. But I'm on pins and needles about That Man. You remember the one who won't talk to me? He talked to me. Now I'm as Farkakte as Twitter.

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  3. I remember trying to learn stick shift. On a car where you had to go from 1st to 3rd because second had sort of died.

    It was not pretty. Now I buy the front of the car, Mr. Jazz buys the back. Never since then has a stick shift entered my life.

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  4. No. They can't be on 'fall break' because it's not fall yet. Once again your adopted state shows how idiotic they are.

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  5. I'm off kilter this month. Maybe even this season. Daughter's being off at college has changed the whole dynamics of how the household goes - not just her helping out (which she did a lot), but also just the emotional tone of the house. It's actually getting worse as time goes on, not better.

    I know I'll eventually get used to the new dynamics, but I hate feeling un-centered. Right now, I'm happiest when we're not at home.

    And I can't whine on my blog because she looks at it sometimes. Thanks for giving me the opportunity here. :)

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  6. I can't seem to get going on my research project. I've changed it several times and now I'm just stuck. I can drive a stick but prefer automatic.

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  7. I forgot about that video!

    I love driving a car with a stick shift. It makes me feel ike Mario Andretti!

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  8. Extremely off kilter... could be the full moon coupled with the fall equinox or it could be trying to get my head wrapped around moving to Smiths Station (which btw- has no DSL... its Alabama what can I expect right? Yes I really really love him) and trying to find a J-O-B/toying with idea of winging it on my own with the knitting/photography because the economy and future are so welcoming to those visions of grandeur now.

    *sigh* I need some tea... and not in a cup.

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  9. I've been off kilter, but today I think I've pulled myself together. Sort of.

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  11. I had to learn stick shift because that was the hand me down car I was going to get to drive. My uncle taught me. First lesson, park between a Mercedes and a Jaguar in a parking lot. Second lesson, take on the worst traffic circle in souther New Jersey (I think they call them rotaries elsewhere). Gotta tell you, past the test with flying colors, never have had a moving violation. Oddly, I've been hit from behind four times, each time I was observing a red light. Oi.

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  12. Oh, how I miss my stick shifts! I had to say goodbye to the last one when my son (the preemie) came home from the hospital and I was definitely too stressed out to deal with my "wild and crazy" single car - a two-door stick, with a car seat and a squalling child.

    Love the Yiddish. Reminds me I'm long overdo on a second Yiddish posting! And that video is so funny! Boys are just... different, right? They just want to fall on their heads, over and over.

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  13. Where's our fall break? Goddamn kids.

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  14. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Love the wagon video... and the fact that he keeps doing it. Boys.

    My daughter has her permit, so I hear you on driving lessons (though we only own a minivan, so the stick shift hasn't been part of it)

    I hope the week flies so you can get back to your routine!

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  15. Oh that video made me laugh. It so reminded me of my boys. My youngest had 3 sets of stitches before age 1/2, a black eye for every single holiday photo and 11 broken bones to his credit before he graduated from high school. Admire the tenacity but at times that's just another word for stupidity! And why do boys insist on video taping all this stuff? WHY? Oh yes....for their moms to post on blogs in later years. I gotta dig through those tapes!

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  16. yes...weird energy floating all about!! Definitely cosmic.

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  17. I learned to drive a stick on my first car, a 1968 Chevelle SS 396. My dad had to drive it home from the guy's house (we bought it used in 1975 when I was 17) because I couldn't handle the tranny.

    (You gotta admire my parents' trust, or their foolishness, to loan their teenage son $1,000 to buy an old hotrod. And I paid back every freaking cent by slaving away at my $2.15-an-hour job as a dishwasher at the Montgomery Wards' cafeteria while I was in high school. Didn't wreck the car, either, although I did split the rear axle differential during a street drag race (which I still won.) Chevelles were notorious for their wheel-hop, which blew the gear-pumpkin apart.)

    Anyway, with my friends coaching me and laughing in the back seat, I got the hang of not stalling this powerful beast on the second day I owned it. Memory of that day is still vivid 35 years later.

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  18. Okay, there is definitely something in the air! My husband and I are inexplicably exhausted, all of my friends have had a series of bad days and I feel like the poster child for Prozac. I think it's the weather and getting into the full swing of a school year (minus your fall break). I am so glad we have great blogs like yours and alcohol to get us through!

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  19. HA! That video was hilarious. But I am DREADING the day my son EVER drives a car.

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  20. Hmmm, where to start? an apartment supposed to be ready for the 1st of the month that still wasn't on the 5th? a major moving company that missed a delivery deadline and leaves us leaving messages for a driver who can't tell us when, where or how our stuff is going to arrive?

    It seems to me a lot of business is conducted now by people who get money up front and the leave the work to others who hopefully still have a sense of honor.

    btw: Are there really such things as cars without a stick?

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  21. Your blog brought back memories of when my ex decided to buy a stick shift when I had never driven one. I had to learn in order to be able to drive the car. I thought I was going to hate it but once I learned how I loved stick shift more than automatic. Of course, the next car we got he decided he didn't want a stick shift anymore!

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  22. I guess that school "Fall Break" thing is a Southern thing. We have that mess here. I haven't been getting much support in my campaign for "NO breaks" program. I still can't figure out why the kids don't like it.

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