Here we are again…FRIDAY!  For this week’s Quips and Quotes, I’d like to bring you the conversations that took place in my house in the days following my daughter’s completion of Driver’s Ed and those leading up to her 16th Birthday.  Enjoy!

Always Listen to Mommy!

As some of you know, I have a 16 year old daughter.  With the achievement of one’s 16th birthday comes all types of new experiences. The scariest for parents, however, is DRIVING!  About 6 months before her 16th birthday, Amber completed Driver’s Ed and received her Learner’s Permit.  Immediately she was off and wanting to drive the van at every opportunity, and that posed some problems.  At almost 16, she thought she knew everything.  She passed her Learner’s Permit, so she assumed she knew how to drive and would occasionally become argumentative with me when I’d give her guidance on the road.

One afternoon, she was driving my van down the winding backroads near our home when we noticed a truck off in the ditch on the other side of the road.

“Whoa!” Amber exclaimed.  “What happened there?!”

“Oh…that’s another new driver who wouldn’t listen to the directions of her mother,” I responded.

It took her a moment to realize I was kidding, but she sure slowed it down and paid a little better attention the rest of the trip home.

Want a Car?  Get a Job!

With learning to drive and getting a driver’s license, Amber just assumed that she was entitled to a car.  We live in a rather affluent town where some parents don’t think twice about buying matching Audis for their twins, or a sporty BMW for their “Little Princess.”  Unfortunately for Amber, that’s not how her dad and I are “wired.”  Deep down we’d love to give our kids every little thing their hearts desire; but to do so, we feel, is counterproductive to the process of learning the benefits of hard work.  Teaching this to a teen, however, whose friends always have the latest and greatest has been a challenge, and this was evident when – just before her 16th birthday – Amber began asking for a car.

“We’re not buying you a car,” Troy told her.  “If you want a car, you’ll have to save the money to buy a car and to pay the insurance costs.  Otherwise, you’re welcome to borrow one of our cars on an as-needed basis.”

“But I don’t have money for a car or for insurance. I don’t have a job,” she whined.

“Well then, maybe you should get a job,” Troy responded quite reasonably.

“Mom won’t let me,” Amber replied in a a “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” voice.  “She says I have to focus on school.”

At that point, Troy turned to me and said, “Mom – give her a job.”

I couldn’t resist.  This was the moment I’d been waiting for.  “Amber, go do the dishes,” I responded.

I’m pretty sure that’s not the job she had expected.  The tally for this one:  Amber – 0, Mom – 1.