So, Flash completed driver's training class last week. (And yes, that IS three weeks of my life sitting in a parking lot at Sears that I'd like back thankyouverymuch.) We weren't able to make it to the Secretary of State's office on Friday (and not because I didn't try. I carpooled, but still managed to fly home from school, to pick Flash up at a friend's house who lives much closer to the S.O.S. office than we do only to find that Flash had forgotten all the paperwork on the counter at home. Ahhh, Flash...) So Wednesday evening, with extended hours at the S.O.S., WG and I convince Flash that we're going to go out for dinner when really, we take him to get his permit.
We sit in the waiting room for about an hour before we finally get called up. We had the absolutely nicest woman in the world take our information and yes, I realize I'm talking about someone in the Department of Motor Vehicles actually being NICE. She congratulated Flash on his permit and told me how easy it is for a parent to revoke the permit rights should I feel the need.
We left the office with more congratulations from WG and myself. I tossed Flash the keys to the car in Hollywood style and he responded incredulously with, "Really?!" Nope. We just drove down here to get your permit so we could look at it.
WG and I had conspired to a restaurant choice that was fairly easy to get to considering we were on some pretty busy roads. We didn't want Flash to have to contend with difficult driving on Day One. I had parked the car intentionally, knowing I would probably have him drive on the way out. There were no cars parked on the right or in front of us, and a grassy curb with a street lamp to the left, allowing Flash to be able to simply pull forward to get out of the parking space.
I hopped in at shotgun, WG jumped in the back and Flash climbed in behind the wheel. He took his time to adjust the mirrors and seat (Now I get why automatic seats are such a hit!) and to get familiar with my vehicle. He had only six hours of behind the wheel training in class, and it was all done in a small sedan, not my boxy crossover. Before he even started the car, we talked through where we were headed and I made sure he looked around and saw exactly where he was going to go. "Pull the car forward and then turn left. See that driveway? We're going to pull there and STOP. We will make a right turn out of the parking lot then, but not until I say it's clear and tell you to go. Got it?"
He assured me he understood. When he was ready, he put the car in drive and proceeded to pull out of the spot. Only he didn't exactly pull forward, he pulled more left. Which meant the front left tire hit and then went onto the curb. But Flash didn't stop there. With his mother in the passenger seat covering her mouth for fear of yelling, he simply proceeded forward. As if BRAKING never crossed his mind. I think WG started snort-laughing when the back wheel jumped the curb and we were now completely lopsided and continuing left and forward over the curb. All within clear eyesight of all the people in the waiting room of the S.O.S. office.
I finally recovered my senses enough to yell, "STOP!!" which Flash finally did. In between my laughter and complete shock I explained to Flash that from now forward, when the car hits something we are going to STOP.
We made it the rest of the way to the restaurant without incident, but jumping the curb 38 seconds after being congratulated by the nice woman at the S.O.S. left Flash at our mercy all throughout dinner.
"Hey, Eliza, I think there's a mechanic down here on Stadium that offers a frequent alignment card. After hitting your ninth curb, the tenth alignment is free."
"Do you think we could submit the video to America's Funniest Videos? I could use the money to get the shocks fixed."
It didn't take us long at all, then, to come up with Flash's new nickname. Stories like this aren't easy to live down, but we wouldn't have expected anything less from Curbie.