“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
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.”
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?”
” 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!”
(L): “I HAVE TO PUT IT ON TO TURN AROUND AGAIN”
“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.