19 Sep Big Mumma Is Watching You
Last week was pretty big on a few fronts, not the least of which was that my baby bird finally got his drivers license. This was a big dealio for several reasons. Firstly … after two kids and 240 hours of supervised instruction, I no longer need to endure that white knuckle, tongue biting invisible brake hitting torture that inevitably ends in a screaming match and a migraine. Call me old fashioned, but the notion of putting my life in the hands of a testosterone filled teenager who drives like he’s playing a game of Gran Turismo and thinks he knows everything … is not my idea of a good time.
Secondly, after eighteen years of chauffeuring I can officially hang up my hat. Math isn’t my strong suit, but I estimate that over the course of the last 18 years I have spent well over 8000 hours behind the wheel ferrying kids. That equates to about a year’s worth of non-stop driving … or around 100 trips across Australia. If the Governor General hands out medals for service … then I totally think I’ll be at the top of the next Australia Day Honours list … for contribution to the states roads (via excessive toll payments).
Thirdly, and perhaps the most momentous of all is that my son actually got his license at all. His first attempt saw him hit a pedestrian. He tried to justify it by saying it was her fault for stepping out without looking … and it was just a bump! Who knew that would be an automatic fail item? … harsh really … no one died. On the second attempt he mounted a kerb and on the third he went through an orange light. You know there’s a problem when you’re on a first name basis with the RTA staff. Anyway, it was a case of fourth time lucky … or maybe they just felt sorry for him, but either way I think you can understand why I’m feeling slightly apprehensive about letting him loose on the streets. Which is how I’m justifying my newfound obsession with stalking … or justifiable monitoring, as I prefer to call it. The condition I attached to giving him access to a vehicle was that he downloads an app that allows me to track his location … with a few extra add-ons (that I may or may not have fully disclosed to him) in the form of a driving report. This nifty feature tells me his top speed, his average speed, the number of rapid accelerations and hard braking and even the number of times he’s touched his phone. Yep … creepy, I know. And I now have the predicament of what to do with this info, which I admit must come close to crossing some basic privacy laws. If I confront him about his 16 rapid accelerations and 5 phone touches … then I risk him deleting the app all together and losing my George Orwell esq power … so mum’s the word … and Big Mumma is watching you.