I knew this day would come but I didn't think it would arrive so quickly. Well, the entire process lasted about three months.
For the last six months Kelly has been bugging us about taking her learner's permit test. Being the good parents we are we ignored her as much as possible no matter how much she whined. Then my mother-in-law gave her the book. Gee, thanks. Kelly looked at it and decided she didn't need to read it (what teen does?). Whenever I asked her if she was studying she would reply, "I don't need to." "Ok," I'd say in my best I-can't-wait-to-say-I-told-you-so voice. She took a practice test, failed, then realized that indeed studying was required. What? Mom was right? Write it down on the calendar!
Let the studying begin! This was a fun process. She tried making flash cards which involved me making flash cards. Kelly's favorite find was that children must be thirteen in order to sit in the front seat. I had to look this one up because I thought she made it up so she didn't have to fight Reyna for the front seat. Kelly was right...shhh. So, for two months I heard, "Why do I need to know about drunk driving laws? I'm not going to drink and drive!" And, "Who cares about farm equipment on roads? We live in a huge city!" And my favorite, "What do immigrants have to do with driving on the road?" Really, what do they have to do with it?
Last month she took the drug and alcohol test which lasted four hours. It took her all of a few minutes for each section then she wandered around the house looking for something to keep her occupied while she waited to do the next section. Oh, and you can look up all the answers to the questions by using the links they provide on the side. You have to be a real kind of stupid not to pass this part. She passed (whew!) and received her certificate in the mail a few days later. Then she took the signs test and passed with flying colors! Well, I would hope so since she's had to read them to me for the last two years because I was too lazy to go to the eye doctor. (FYI, I went last week and am waiting for my purple beaded glasses to come in. How stylish am I?)
The rules of the road test turned out to be more of a challenge. She studied and took practice tests. Studied and tested some more. When she felt she was ready she had to beg for a few more weeks until we could no longer ignore her...no matter how hard we tried. For those who don't have a teenager you may be surprised to learn that the test can be taken online. Yup, that's right, at home with only Jimminy Cricket on your shoulder, or is it Mr. Blue Bird (zippity doo da zippity a...). Kelly signed on, entered Daddy's credit card number and hit 'submit.' Then it asked for a parents initials as well as hers to verify it was her taking the test. Funny thing about that is she and I have the same initials (which got her in trouble at school for initialing something then saying they were her initials not mine...mmmmhmmm). So how do they know it's really me entering my initials? They don't! Next she had to answer 10 questions to make sure it was her taking the test. These are to prevent stupid person A from taking the test for stupid person B. Uh, yeah, great security measure. I could only remember six and here they are:
Do you live on a boat? What kind of question is that??
Have you ever been sky diving? Ummm, she's only 15 so I would think not.
Do you speak French fluently? She's lucky she speaks English fluently.
Have you ever been to Disney? How can you live in Florida and not have been to Disney?
Have you ever been to Mexico? Yup, she's the reason the swine flu spread.
Have you lived in Florida for the last 5 years? Why only the last 5? Why not 10? Or 15?
These annoying questions popped up while she answered the twenty questions that stood between her and her almost freedom. So, time for the test. This is where the fun began. She started taking the test and read the first question. A few seconds later I heard, "MOMMY HELP ME!" I walked over and read the question then the multiple choice answers. Ummmmmmmm..... This is when I realized that I would be totally screwed if I were to have to take the test myself. Fortunately for Jimminy Cricket my kid's mom had no idea what the answer was. Not that I would have helped her if I could because, well, that would be wrong. Plus my mommy wasn't standing over my shoulder giving me the answers to me test. I had to earn it! And I had to take it twice, shhhh.
She had fifty seconds to answer each question. Well, at least they put a time limit on this section so people couldn't Google all the answers. She missed one because she ran out of time while pondering a question that had something to do with double white lines and construction workers. Or double white lines and one way streets. Finally question twenty popped up on the screen and she answered it. Hubby had wandered into the kitchen by then and the three of us stood there waiting...and waiting...and waiting... I think they did that on purpose. She has a pretty good lap top which is normally very fast. The next screen loaded and there it was. Seventeen out of twenty. My baby had passed the test. I congratulated her then realized that meant I now had to teach her how to drive. "Wait!" I yelled. "Go back and fail!" As usual she didn't listen.
So if you live in Tampa watch out for The Bus. Stay off the sidewalks and out of the ditches because my teen is about to take over the roads. I pray there are survivors...mainly myself.