You see, I am a nervous driver. After I earned my license, I drove only for about three years before I got pregnant and then I had the perfect excuse to give it up. Since then, I've managed to evade the issue using emotional blackmail - "do you want me to endanger our kids??", which worked especially since Kenneth was a willing chauffeur and I was more than willing to be chauffeured. When he was at work, I was perfectly happy taking the bus and the MRT.
But then things started getting complicated about two years ago. While Lesley-Anne and Andre take the school bus, they sometimes have after school activities which fell outside of school bus hours. Still not a problem, I would go and fetch them in a cab when that happened occasionally. Then Kenneth started working in the city where the parking and ERP fees are just atrocious. Added to that, petrol prices were rocketing like there was no tomorrow. He found a super private bus that charged a low flat rate for a trip right into town from a bus-stop just outside our estate, and that became his mode of transport to work.
That meant there was a perfectly functional car sitting pretty at home, while Kenneth took a bus to work and I took a taxi to fetch my kids to their CCAs. Even I had to admit my excuses were starting to sound lame and without conviction. So I grasped the bull by the horns (or rather, the car by its power steering) and started driving again.
There've been a few near misses (and once where a side concrete wall eluded my eyes and multiple mirrors when I was parking, but no need to get into that). I'm one of those drivers who will proceed at snail pace when filtering onto a crowded expressway, signaling madly and yelling at my kid behind "Don't talk to me now! I'm driving!" Once when I was attempting to parallel park next to a coffee shop, I saw a whole group of kopi uncles eyeing me with interest. I'm pretty sure they were taking bets as to whether I would hit the railing.
I have suggested to Kenneth that we wrap giant sponge around the car. Afterall, Singaporeans are just frightful drivers. When I'm driving, I'm constantly muttering to myself like an escaped lunatic: "What, your signal for decoration ah?" "Red light cannot see, colour blind izzit?" "Mad, park here like your grandfather's road like that."
My driving skills are much better now, after almost two years back on the road. But you know, I've come to the conclusion that driving is like exercise, ie:
1. You get better with practice but may never actually come to enjoy it.
2. Some people just have two left feet - disastrous for both activities.
3. Doesn't matter that you're perfectly coordinated, some idiot can always come crashing into you.
So as I drive my prince and princess around, I chalk it up to another sacrifice I'm making for them. Years later, they'd better be returning the favour and preferably not to the nursing home.