“L” plates for parents.


‘L’ is supposed to stand for Learner Driver.

‘P’, for Provisional Licence Holder, in other words a driver who has just graduated from ‘L’.

I am suspicious the single letters are subtle codes for what Transport Department officials have covertly branded parents, who are attempting the teaching.

L for Laughable,

or Ludicrous, or even Loser.


P for Paranoid

and Pathetic.

So far I have taken two daughters from non-driver to L (learner driver)  to P (provisionally-licenced driver).

I’m onto my third daughter, with two to go.

There is nothing L for Lovely or P for Pleasant about it.

And after my most recent lesson I reluctantly tend to think the Transport mob has got the surreptitious branding right.

The Background.

None of the girls is allowed to drive as an L with anyone else in the car other than the parent-teacher. So no siblings, no friends.

The Scenario.

Daughter no 3 (L) had only been driving for two weeks, had only clocked up six hours of the required 100 and had not had one “official” lesson.

The Journey.

(L) was required at a representative basketball bonding BBQ.

For her, the chance to socialise with new team members. For the parents, an opportunity to meet the coach, other parents and fact-find.

It was at a private home at least 20 minutes and 20 kms away. A trip L drivers champ at the bit to get behind the wheel for.

The Travellers.

This was the first time in all the early stages of L driving for the previous children that the two L parents had been in the car with the L driver.

None of us knew where the home was.

The Story.

Me: ” Honey do want to sit in the front with (L )and be the instructor?”

Hubby: “No sweetie, that’s okay I’ll sit in the back.”

Me: ” We’ll turn left here (L )so slow down and put your indicator on.”

Hubby: “(L) put the indicator on earlier.”

(L): “Ok.”

Me to Hubby: “Darling, I’m the instructor here, if you want to do it, we’ll pull over and you can get in the front.”

Hubby: “No, that’s fine.”

15 Minutes later and arriving at the suburb where the BBQ is.

Hubby: “Do you know the address?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve found it on the referdex.” (saying this and turning the map upside down as all women know that’s how you do it – flip the map to put the street running in the same direction as you are travelling)

Me: ” We are looking for street name, it should be on the right.”

Hubby: “There it is.”

Me: “(L) we are turning right soon so slow down, put on your indicator.”

Hubby: “No that’s not it, don’t turn.”

(L): “What!, What do I do?

Me: “Yes it is,  turn.”

Hubby: “No it isn’t go straight.”

(L): getting anxious-and turning blinker on and off.

“Oh my God, what do you want me to do?”

Hubby: yelling

” Just Turn!”

Me to (L): ” This isn’t the right street, turn around.”

Me to Hubby: thrusting the referdex to the back seat, exasperated.

“Here you direct!”

Hubby to Me: thrusting the referdex back, exasperated.

“I can’t read the map I forgot my glasses!”

Indicator: “blink, blink, blink”

Me: “Actually it is the right street, the sign post was skewed. Turn around again.”

Hubby to (L): “Turn the blinker off!”


Me:  yelling,

“Don’t YELL, we are trying to help you.”

Hubby: “Put the blinker on, look behind you, slow down, spin the wheel harder”.

Me: ” Actually, I don’t think it is the right street.”

Hubby: “Give me the map”

Me: “You can’t see!”

Me: “No it’s right, keep going(L)

(L): “Oh my God this is the worst day of my life, shut up both of you.”

(L): “I can’t even drive straight ahead yet and you are yelling at each other and screaming at me to do U-turns in the middle of  all these street with cars everywhere, and the blinker is on the wrong side of the steering wheel (it’s European) and I am scared and I don’t know where I am going”

Hubby: “Stop complaining and concentrate!”

Me: “Look we are here, it WAS the right street.”

Look on the bright side honey(L) you did 10 more minutes and a few more km’s driving, how good is that?”

(L): gets outs of car, slams the door walks off and rudely mutters,”You guys suck!!”


New driving rule for L’s in our house.

No siblings, no friends and NO SPOUSES.

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