I am still getting into the swing of things of being a mama who has kids in school. As of now we have two kids who go to school during the week. As far as transportation goes, a lot of my friends put their kids on the bus, even my stay at home mommy friends. Well, this mama is a lil lazy and likes to sleep in so waking up extra early to get my kids on a bus is not ideal. I am not about to stand outside in the hot or cold with them to see them get on the bus either. Growing up I was a car rider, with the exception of middle school I wanted the experience of riding the bus and it was pretty fun actually (I got to witness a lot of good fights). When my oldest started Pre-K, it was a no brainer I would take him to school and pick him up. Day one I was lost as to how the whole school drop off shit worked. My oldest brother shared plenty of horror stories with me about picking up my nephews, and I also got to experience it first hand a few times when I was called to pick up my nephews. First day of school for him, I got up pretty early because I wasn’t used to getting up at that time of morning and wanted to give myself extra time. I got him ready and fed, then I got the others up and ready. We headed out and I pulled up to this mad house of an elementary school parking lot. First I passed the school, so I had to turn around. After that I entered in the wrong entrance for cars….the person outside was nice enough to let me cut everyone in line to get to where I needed to be and firmly but nicely explained how it works.
When he was getting out the car I asked about dismissal and the info went in one ear and out the other, as the person who was obviously annoyed explained it to me in what seemed like there was a live auction going on. So I just said fuck it, I will figure it out myself. When I came back to get him, I was super early but there were other cars in the line waiting. I brought some snacks and things to do. Picking up was way more hectic. They were using tags and names then but people would cut in line etc and throw things off. Kennedy literally had melt downs waiting in the car everyday that we had to pick up Cameron and cry herself to sleep. I quickly learned how to time things, either you get there early to be at the front of the line and still risk being cut off, get there late and wait forever and still risk being cut off by another parent, have your tag visible or the person calling names would not only skip over you but make you go inside into the office to get a temp tag and record it as a violation, and lastly road rage is definitely real in the school drop off line.
*Disclaimer: my kids all use car-seats this is just a pic of them all in the backseat while we were waiting a long time on my husband, so chill tf out*
The following year, Kennedy started Pre-K and they announced that they were changing things after several complaints (and fights in the parking lot). They changed to a number system instead of names, and they changed the area where you waited to stop the liner hoppers (so they thought it would but it created another problem). Things were going good until I almost got into a fight with another parent. See there are two lines, and one car is allowed to go from each side. It goes back and forth and the person calls the number on the tags. They do it this way so that your child is standing with the person who is going to put them in the car (it’s usually like 6 people outside) to make the process go by faster. Well this lovely parent with their Confederate Heritage Not Hate bumper sticker on their SUV, that was practically falling apart with duct taped windows and tail lights decided she wasn’t going to wait her turn and was going to cut me off when my number was called to pull in front of me. Well, my SUV is bigger and badder so I politely made sure she wasn’t about to cut me off after I sat there waiting all damn afternoon to get my kids. She laid on the horn as she almost hit my truck. After my kids were in the car and she got hers, we were pulling through the rest of the stupid maze they have set up for you to drive through and she decides to speed up behind me so I brake checked her. She then puts her car in park and gets out. I got out as well and asked her what the fuck her problem was? She proceeds to try to cuss me out and gets back into her car only for her piece of shit not to start. I called her a bitch and went on my merry way. She never made eye contact again or tried to cut me off anymore. We both did earn a strike for that incident though.
- You are not allowed to get out of the car
- The child must be able to enter and exit from the passenger side of the car
- The child must have everything together to get out of the car quickly, if not you need to park and assist them and walk them in
- Make goodbyes quick as the child exits the car
- No holding conversations with other parents or teachers that will hold up the line
- Your number tag must be visible during dismissal, if you forgot it you must park, go inside to get a temp one only good for that day
- If you lose or destroy your tag, it is $2 for a replacement
- Earn 3 strikes and you are banned from using the line and must park and wait until all cars have passed to get your child
Simple right? Nope. So far every year I see the same things. Now there is a issue with what the parents are wearing to drop off their kids, because there may be a instance you need to get out to go inside or something or that nature. There have been some real hoochie mamas, and some really I don’t give a fuck I am just here so I won’t get fined looks as well. Hair rollers and slippers galore. I saw a news article about one school trying to ban pajamas in the school drop off line and they wanted you to actually get dressed. On top of that they did not want parents being inappropriately dressed such as wearing Daisy Dukes and revealing tops etc. I could understand to an extent, but then I was a little offended because I am one of those PJ, hair rollers and slippers wearing mamas; especially in the morning. I usually go back to sleep when I get home with the littles. Getting myself dressed isn’t ideal in the morning unless everyone wants to be late. I think if I had to make an effort to get dressed in the mornings I would look even worse because nothing would be ironed etc. At a PTA meeting, someone suggested a dress code for the drop off line. The person that suggested it, kids rode the bus and she just so happened to use the drop off line for a week for whatever reason.
Of-course the whole proposal for REQUIRED and acceptable clothing didn’t fly, but they did put out a little memo of being mindful of clothing choices in case you have to be seen out of the car. I didn’t really care until I ended up having to get out of the car one day during pick up to go inside. Kennedy had fell and they sent her to the nurses office to get bandages. I got Cameron and was directed to park. I dreaded going inside because this was the day I decided to wear PJs that were mismatched. I was pregnant with Kali, and my shirt also had a stain on it from eating and dropping BBQ sauce. My hair was in a messy bun, I had on my UGGS in which one was missing a button; oh and the kicker I didn’t have on a bra. So after that day I made an effort to at least not look like shit when I pick them up.
I am noticing that there are more and more parents who do not belong in the carpool line.
If you do the following you need to go park your shit and stop holding up the line:
- You have to get out of the car…
- Your child needs help with seat belts, projects, jackets, book bags etc. I handle all that while I am moving forward in the line or right before we turn in. Everyone knows when we get in the turning lane and turn, seat belts off, book bags in hand
- You have some kinda attachment issue and goodbyes are long. We say see you later as they are EXITING the car
- You have to make sure your kid gets let out right in front of the doors so you can WATCH them walk in…..there is a line and several adults outside supervising drop offs and walk ins….please drop off and move the fuck out of the way
- My kids can get out of the car faster than your one kid
- Want to talk with the teachers? Get out the line and go park
If everyone is respectful to each other and mindful of the rules of dropping off and picking up, the lines would move way faster and in a safe manner. Even with the rules we have those who want to be shit heads and try to cut people off, hold up the line being a helicopter parent, get their kids dressed instead of having it done already, and wait for parents to do a complete 360 safety check of their car before they pull off even though we have to drive through the maze they created in the parking lot to get off of the school grounds.
Sometimes I regret being a school drop off line parent and want to just let them ride the bus, but then I remember all the reasons why I don’t let them ride the bus.I love that Kennedy gets a little nap out on the way home everyday.
So excuse me while I continue to complain about the dreaded line, all while I balance holding the steering wheel, drinking my Starbucks and taking my friends who have no filter off Bluetooth speaker phone as the door is opening.