Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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Entries in winter tires (1)


I Am The Master Of My Domain

I don’t like to drive.

I do it anyways because I am lazy and there are things in life that need to be driven to, like gymnastics and skiing and my mother’s house for dinner. But I am always anticipating the crunch of another car grinding into my passenger door.

In fact, just writing this is giving me that anxious feeling that lives in the pit of my stomach and kicks my heart rate into high gear.

I’m not being truthful, I’m not really scared of having a fender-bender. The truth is, I am really afraid of something bad happening and it will be my fault. I live in fear of that one-second that will change my life (and someone else’s) forever. Driving in winter is even worse. I don’t like when the ABS brakes kick in and I slide through Stop signs. I don’t like not being able to see; or the unpredictability of other drivers.

This all means that I am not a very good driver. I’m okay, but I’m not aggressive or decisive and I prefer to be the passenger. But since I have a car and am a bit of a teetotaler I often end up driving places. I’m not sure I will ever be comfortable behind the wheel though.

When I was in my 20s and waffling about what to do with my life, a smart woman implied to me that my fear of driving was similar to my fear of taking control of my life. She said I just had to get behind the wheel and drive with confidence.

A classic Seinfeld, but not what I am referring to.

And while I can fake it most of the time, being a master of my own destiny is not something that I am comfortable with. This makes me a very good passenger; a team player, a co-author, a partner of a bossy husband, a best friend of an overly-competent woman.

But here I am in Chaos, the master of my domain (no Seinfeld pun intended, but I will leave it) literally. Embrace the Chaos has been refreshed, revitalized and no more MSN safety-net. We (by we, I mean the most talented Schmutzie) have made the blog more functional and prettied it up. You should be able to share more easily (and please do!); see my Twitter; and read what I have been writing in other places. 

I don’t foresee too many changes other than a more idiosyncratic posting schedule; probably more recipes, more YouTube and maybe a bit more about what I have been up to on a personal level. Please tell me what you like and don’t like. Don’t be afraid to interact with me – I put up with a lot of crazy commenters in my time at MSN.ca! I’m looking forward to less trolls and more conversations. I hope you are too.

So it is fitting this week that I conquered, well maybe conquered is a bit of an overstatement, that I took a step in conquering a fear this week. I did a winter driving class with an (adorable) instructor, courtesy of Michelin tires.

Here is what I learned. Winter tires are worth the money, just go get the best ones you can afford. They make a difference. Anything that makes you safer on the roads, will also make you feel safer which in turn, makes you safer.

I was so panicked about doing the skid test that when I was a passenger in the car, I closed my eyes every time I hit the skid pad. But when I was driving I didn’t have the option. I had to steer out of a potential disaster and I didn’t do badly. Maybe the (adorable) instructor was making me feel good. But he said that confidence was more than half the battle. A nervous driver is a dangerous driver.

So here I go, I have my hands in the 9 and 3 position, and my eyes wide open.


“You didn’t spun. You are in control.” (Easy for him to say.)