Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have teenage boys.  Two of them.  I love them to pieces.  Truly I do.  They are both on their "L's" right now.  I don't love that. Not. One. Little. Bit.  No siree.

Mr 18 is almost ready to get his licence.  His driving is very good, if not a tad fast.  The first few times out were scary, or so I thought at the time, but in comparison to Mr 17, not even a "ONE" on the Fear Factor scale.

Mr 17 ... where do I start?  Could it go right back to when he was a little boy and not really having terrific hand eye co-ordination when it came to ball sports?  Could it be the fact that he has no idea of which way is right or left?  Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that he has no idea of direction, as in he still thinks Sydney is "up" from Brisbane?

I've taken Mr 17 out a total of 4 times now.   The first time we went to a little estate where there are only 2 houses.  Unfortunately there were builders building the 3rd house right where we wanted to practice.  It was horrendous.  We kangaroo hopped 75 percent of the time and the other 25 percent was spent with me screaming and grabbing the steering wheel as he lurched towards the cement drain surrounds.  That lesson lasted 10 minutes before we both melted down.

A month or so later we tried again.  One lovely Sunday afternoon we decided to drive around the streets of our suburb in my step daughter's "automatic" to give him the "feel" for steering etc.  I was prepared for a relaxing little drive.  OMG this so didn't happen.  We leave the driveway and within 3 metres we almost take out the side mirror of the neighbours car across the road.  I gain composure and put my "shrill" voice back inside and we continue down the road.  We live at the top of a hill.  It is usually expected that you will use the brake on the way down the hill and apply serious pressure at the bottom.  Not my Mr 17.  I scream "brakes, use the goddam brakes!!!!!"   We kind of stop and head around the corner.  Thankfully it was a quiet Sunday afternoon.

May I remind you that I suffer from anxiety.  The bad kind.  The debilitating kind.  It comes on in cars.  Yes, that's right.  In cars.

This particular "lesson" lasts around an hour and by the end of it he didn't take out any side mirrors, but I can tell you it was a miracle he didn't.  I have never closed my eyes and screamed in a car so much ever.  It was like being on a roller coaster, except it was flat.

The following day I was feeling a tad demented - I think as a result of the day before - and I agreed to let him drive my manual in the estate we visited on our first attempt.  I was demented.  Truly.   We kangaroo along a bit and he gets the feel for the gears and the clutch and he's not doing too bad.  Did I mention that he's not that good at doing two things at once?  No?  Oh well, there's that.  So the gear changing is working a treat, shame about the steering.  He totally wipes out my wheel on a cement drain - things break and crack. I possibly say the F Word and he says "it's not my fault".  Needless to say the lesson ended right then.

Enter "Mike" the driving instructor.  He has been Mr 17's driving companion for past 4 attempts.

This brings me to our little jaunt tonight.  "Mum I've had a few lessons now and I'm pretty good.  Can I drive to my girlfriend's house?".   I may have been feeling a tad demented again, I did have weetbix for dinner, so possibly my brain hadn't had enough protein.  I said yes.

His girlfriend lives in our suburb.  I'm dressed in my Peter Alexander slip nightie - and not much else.  I grab the keys and off we go.  I didn't grab anything else, not even shoes.  I told you I was a tad demented.

We kind of start off rocky - he swears its because he's trying to show me how good he is and he's nervous.  We get to a stop sign on a small hill.   Crap.  Hill start.  He rest assures me it's all good - he learned them today.  We have a few false starts - that's ok - hill starts are hard.  I don't mind him practicing.  That is until a car comes up behind us.  All of a sudden it is Game On.  "You can't roll back, ok?"  I say.  He looks at me like I am speaking a foreign language.  He tries again.  He rolls back.  I scream and grab at hand brake.   "YOU CAN'T roll back OK?"  I think he mutters something like F**k.   He tries again.  He rolls back.   I scream hysterically. "YOU CAN'T ROLL BACK, JESUS".   Sometimes in these type of situations I like to call my kids holy names.  It helps. I think he says F**k again.  This scenario plays out for at least another 5 minutes.   Car is still sitting behind us - thankfully inching further and further back.

After the last attempt, Mr 17 says "Um mum I think you better do this."   I look at him and say "do you see what I'm wearing?"  He laughs.   I get out of the car, walk around the back of the car, mouth "I'm sorry" to the driver and hope he's not looking at my nightie and also hoping it's not see through with his headlights shining on me!!!     Mr 17 - does not get out - he slides over.

He decides he's had enough driving lessons for one day.

I've had enough for ever.


Picture credit:  http://rightamerican.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/liberty-is-not-for-sissies/


  1. I'm sitting here actually laughing out loud at the way you have written what happened, feeling horrible for laughing at your anxiety and freaking out cause I know Karma is going to come and bite me bigtime in around 12yrs time!

    I am wondering 2 things though, just how "Mike" is after the lessons ;) and also I wonder what the heck was going through the minds of the car behind you.

    Thank you for making me laugh, but don't worry just feel safe in the knowledge that I will get paid back.

  2. PMSL. I'm sorry, but I am. Oh Annie, what a nightmare. I DREAD this. I plan to leave it all up to their father. That's the plan...

  3. Oh Annie. This fills me with horror, you poor thing. My Dad taught me. I am sure he regailed his friends with similar tales...although not the slip nightie...


  4. I can see this being me & my kids in the relevant number of years... My recommendation both to you & myself is - professional lessons. Reduce grey hairs, anxiety attacks, thoughts of matricide (by them), filicide (by you), damage to your vehicle, increases in insurance costs and permanent damage to mother-child relationships... Money well spent I think :) I'm saving already lol

  5. Annie, I loved this! Reminded me of the time I sat in a car with my stepdad, with him trying to get me to do a hill start without stalling while a car beeped the horn behind us - ah, memories! Thank god it'll be years before I have to accompany any of my children - I'd better start my 'nerve training' now!

  6. My son just turned 16. Thank god I've already lost all my hair. Well, most of it. And what's left is a respectable shade of gray. Not looking forward to this.

  7. I think he mutters something like Fuck.

    Oh Annie, thanks for the giggle.


  8. LMAO - oh sorry!
    We have 3 more years until we are faced with this challenge - thank god! Miss 13 is going to be tragic, but Miss 11 will be fine, she already drives Dad's car around the yard by herself. I think some have it and some obviously don't. LOL

  9. LOL! But I cannot believe YOU got out of the car and he sidled across. Come on, Annie- you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight, didn't you? Headlights, anyway. ;)

  10. Thanks for my morning laugh! Absolutely hysterical...and frightening in equal parts. Thank God that's a long way off for me.

  11. Hilarious (to us readers anyway)!!

  12. oh that makes me laugh! I hope I didn't put my parents through that!!

  13. Oh Annie, I am dreading this, and now I know why!!
    Thinking back to when I learned to drive, my poor, poor father. I was headed for a fence one leisurely Sunday driving lesson and the more he said "BRAKE!" the more I accelerated! Oh dear.
    The only thing I can do is wish you luck! xx

  14. That settles it. I am NEVER teaching my kids to drive. They will have to take the bus. And the nightie Annie? If it's the one I'm thinking of, then you made that driver's night!

  15. Ohhh I'm never learning to drive. Ever!

    Yes...I'm 26 and I can't drive...
    but i'm terrified of it!
    Especially seeing as my husband wants to teach me.
    I wonder if he can spell d.i.v.o.r.c.e ?

    Funny post Annie

  16. My grand daughter has her "L's" now too. She's not doing too badly, but then both grandkids did learn first out on the farm around the paddocks. The grandson, who is younger is a natural driver. Truly, the kid can drive anything.

  17. Hilarious, but I shouldn't laugh too hard as it's still all ahead of me! Mr almost 17 has been making worrying noises about getting his Ls this holidays...

  18. i'm so tempted to squeeze in a joke about "high beam" but i daren't … 5 years to prepare for my son, and another 4 years after that for my daughter. i don't know which one i'm dreading more — The "I learnt how to drive on my PS2" Stig, or "all knees and elbows and no road sense" Roadkill Bambi. good luck with yours … xt

  19. Oh Annie..this blog is hilarious - and brings back sooo many memories. Like when Ms now 27 drove into our front fence (I was screaming BRAKE too). Or Ms now 24 jumping out of the drivers seat and getting in the back of the car. Me - still screaming.

    Hubby has promised he will take Mr 14 when the time comes. I think he likes him :-)

  20. Love it - I have two boys too but they are 6.5mths & 22.5mths so you just gave me a glimpse into my future - not pretty, but I figure I scared the crap out of my mother and my brother made her cry once (he had his licence then!) I was in the passenger seat laughing, so I probably deserve it!

    Check out my blog about my boys when you get the chance although I'm not going to pretend to be as funny as you!


  21. Yeah, I'm terrified as well - but at least I have 15 years before I have to go through this nightmare with my twin boys. My hubby loves to drive but has zero tolerance, I just know it's going to be me... apart from the driving instructor. Awe crap.

    Funny. I'm following you now ;)

  22. I abdicated responsibility for teaching my son to drive when he was 4. I mistakenly gave him the RTA driving handbook to keep him quiet (he liked the pictures of signs) but unfortunately he taught himself to read and then lectured me every time I tried to change lanes, turn corners, park or stop at traffic lights.

    Going out driving only wearing PJs? Well, that was never going to end well. I definitely think your blood sugar levels must have been malfunctioning because of the whole weetbix-for-dinner thing. :-)

  23. Oh, we've been there already with out two girls, but not looking forward to boys. Eeek! And not only was this so great, the photo is pure gold! xx

  24. This fills me with dread Annie. We lived in small country towns when we learnt to drive, so it was lots of paddock bashing and tip runs as practice. Yes, tip runs.

    Anyway.... I taught Hubby to drive a manual car, and it was not pleasant. In one episode (the last) he managed a hill start and then in his panic/stress/whatever drove through a procession of Greek Orthodox church goers. They were celebrating Easter, we were celebrating a successful hill start. I yelled at Hubby to STOP FOR FUCK SAKE! He said I can't - I think he was scared he'd stall... again. So he wound down the window as angry church goers yelled at us in Greek and said, "I can't stop Man.... I can't stop"

    I am not teaching my kids to drive. That's Hubby's job. I taught him, it's only right he shares in the hell that driving instruction is.

  25. Too Funny! Thanks for the laugh, & thanks for validating my decision to NOT teach our 18 yr old to drive - that's for her dad, & the professionals.

  26. This is HILARIOUS! I can totally relate to this, obviously not as a parent, but as a former L plater. I learnt to drive about 5 years ago and mum refused to get into the car with me until I'd done AT LEAST 40 hours practice. I can understand how it'd be terrifying. When I have teenagers, they're father can teach them. I don't want anything to do with it! x

  27. very funny... but i won't be teaching anyone how to drive, def now after hearing this story!! no anxiety control for me would work!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

Share this post