This was the boys first year at a public school. I have to say that it was probably the best decision we have made in awhile (unless of course you count the monumental decision to buy facebook stock).
As you 5 regular readers know I abhorred the drive to get them to and from the private school. The actual drive itself wasn't so bad - it was the playing well with others in the parking lot.
By comparison this year has been so much better. The boys are the first ones on the bus which arrives almost always at 7:33. The boys leave the house at 7:31, walk past 2 houses to the bus stop, wait approximately 90 seconds, and then whoosh they are spirited away my big yellow taxi of sunshine. I loves me the bus!! I watch this all from my front door. It is friggin' fantastic. Except when it rains and I have to actually leave the house to park at the top of the street so they don't drown (it must be raining hard enough to cause a visible splash in puddles for a car trip to be sanctioned). I decided to pick the boys up after school because they are the last ones off the bus which would mean almost a 50 minute bus ride home (and with after school activities and homework that doesn't work well).
Z-Toad's (2nd grade) school at first glance seemed to have the most well run pickup. Parents are suppose to drive up the side of the school and wait in line around a circle at the top. When you come around the circle one of the teachers looks at you and calls your child to one of three cones. So in theory 3 cars pull up to cones 1, 2, and 3 where you child is waiting. They get in their respective cars, drive away, and then the next 3 cars pull up to the cones, etc..... Doesn't it sound like bliss? Yeah well leave it to a bunch of helicopter parents to ruin it.
School gets out at 2:45. At first I was making every effort to get their early and be the first one because I still had to get to the other school to pick up J-Toad. I tried 2:30 and was horrified to discover that I was like the 20th car in line!!! What the hell? So I kept arriving earlier. TWO pm these
The road along the side of the school is narrow - 2 way traffic only. And the line to pick up backs up all the way around the circle and down the road. Yet EVERY BLESSED DAY their is a school pickup truck that parks on the road right after cone 1. So if the people coming in are not YET bright enough (and really it has only been since September ) to leave enough room for exiting traffic then there is a little stand still while all the incoming cars shuffle forward. Call me silly but why can't the truck be moved just during parent pick up?
The teacher who stands by the cars to call your child to a cone STILL acts like she doesn't remember whose kid is mine. Keep in mind I am almost always last so there is like - um - ONE child left to be picked up!!!! Z-Toad has curly hair and I have curly hair!!! Not to mention he is waving at me and jumping out of his skin to be called. But everyday she looks at me and says "Z-Toad (well she actually says his name) right?". I am going to break down in hysterics one day and start sobbing "Where is my kid??? Who did you give her too?"
Then there are the other parents picking up. Oy! Oy! Oy! In theory parent pickup should work like this: Parent pulls up to the cone where child is waiting - child opens door - child gets in vehicle - child shuts door - parent leaves. You know so the rest of the line could move forward and pick up their child. There is not one but SEVERAL parents who get out of their vehicle, walk over to their child greeting them with a big display of hugs and kisses cause it has been a whole SIX friggin hours since they last saw each other and OMG how they have missed their little darlings! I bet these moms have a flask in their coach bags. Parent then takes their child's backpack (cause oh it must be so heavy and why expect them to carry their own stuff?) , and LEISURELY get their child into their car. They secure the seat belts by pulling on them (they worked this morning but perhaps a mouse gnawed thru the belt in the last 6 hours and we wouldn't want Little Savannah to take a face plant into the back of mom's seat). The whole time uberparent is talking away so animated that small planes could mistake it for landing instructions. Then they duck their heads back into the car for one more friggin' kiss cause after all they are going to have to shut the door - get into the front seat - and drive that whole way home with no physical contact!!!! Why did they even have the doctor cut the umbilical cord? Sometimes ubermoms have OPENED the backpacks to look for something cause their little darling is just SO excited about their latest Picasso like drawing.
Then there is me. I pull up. I get out of the car to open the slider (the one on the passenger side no longer works). Zachary walks around to the door all on his own and if he is not moving fast enough I bodily pick him up and throw him in (like a bundled carpet) - tell him to buckle up - shut the sliding door - get into my seat - and pull away all while he is still getting in his seat and has not yet got the buckle in place. At this point I usually need to go around the uberparent in front of me who is still landing small planes while kissing their brat and fawning all over their piece de resistance of the day.
This morning was the first time I had to drop off Z-Toad. Same concept except no cones so parents pretty much just drop off once they get around the loop. I have an uberparent in front of me. UGH!
I am the last car in line. Everyone is gone now except me and her. Z-Toad is out - kissed (at home) - and in the recess yard. Uberparent's uberchild has not even OPENED the damn door to get out of the car. I still need to get J-Toad to school and make an appointment. I pull out around uberparent's vehicle to leave and this teacher starts screaming "STAY IN LINE" "GET BACK IN LINE" and pointing at me. Is she fucking serious?? I am already 2 car lengths beyond uberparent. Our eyes meet - my eyebrow arches up making my WTF face (my fingers twitching on the steering wheel) and I go. What the hell is she gonna do? Maybe ubermom behind me will don her cape (surely it will have a drawing her child did plastered on the back) perform a citizens arrest all while kissing her child and whispering words of positive reinforcement.