Jan 10, 2009

Trauma in The School Pick-Up Line.

I have never pretended to be a perfect mother.
I'm nowhere close!
  • There are nights when I forget to tell my young'ins to brush their teeth.
  • There have been a few nights that I let them eat ice cream or cold cereal for dinner.
  • There was that one time I left and went to the store, forgetting that one of the little ones was home sick from school and sleeping in bed.
  • I let my 13 yr old watch rated R movies with me.
  • When my 8 yr old told me he didn't feel good, I sent him to school telling him he was "just fine" only to have the school nurse call me 2 hours later and tell me that he had a temperature of 102.
  • I do NOT volunteer to do the class parties.
  • I am NOT a member of the PTA.
  • And I let my kids ride the bus to school.
Yep, I am not one of those moms who willingly drives her 5 kids to 4 different schools.
I kiss them goodbye and send em out the door to wait for the big yellow school bus, quickly locking the door behind them just in case they try to come back in.

Yesterday was the first day in years that I went to pick one of them up from school at the end of the day.

I pulled into the parking lot 20 minutes before school was to end to wait in line.
There is one long sidewalk that runs in front of the school.
I was lucky because there was just enough room left for me to park at the end of the line of parents waiting to pick up their darlings.
I pulled into line.
I noticed that there were some other parents waiting in the parking lot in a line too.
I rolled down my window.
Turned on my music.

When I looked around I saw some lady, who I have never seen before in my life, waving at me.
I smiled and waved back, only then to notice that she was NOT waving... she was shooting me the bird! Yes... she was sitting there glaring and waving her bony middle finger at me!
I turned away in shock.
I figured that maybe she thought I was someone else.. and never looked back at her again.

I sat in my car for the next 15 minutes or so, waiting for worker #4 to emerge from the school building.
When the children finally came bounding out of the big front doors, I watched the teachers go from car to car getting the name of the student that they were waiting to pick up.
They would shout each child's name over a very LOUD bullhorn, and the kid would break from the pack and make a mad dash to their awaiting vehicle.

Then one very official and slightly perturbed looking woman came out of the front door.
She marched past the 13 cars in front of me in line and came directly to my passenger side door.
I rolled down the window, smiled and told her the name of my short person that I had been waiting for.

"Did you just cut in line in front of all these people?" she snapped

"Um, I don't think so, I just pulled in behind the last car in line and have been sitting here for 20 minutes." I responded.
I was taken aback with her tone, and suddenly felt like I was one of those little kids sitting on the front stoop of the school waiting for their parents. I was being scolded and questioned.

"THAT car in front of you is on the red line!!" She exclaimed.

"Ummm ok.. is that a bad thing?" I asked

"YES it's a bad thing! when the last car in that line is at the red line, you are Supposed to turn left and snake your way around the parking lot!! YOU just cut all of those people!! You are cutting in line!!!" she explained while waving her arms around so everyone knew she was yelling at me.

"I'm sorry, this is my first time picking my son up and I didn't know the rules." I explained.

"The first week of school you signed the student handbook didn't you??? When you signed it you stated that you read it and understood it's contents!!" she lectured.

"Yes I signed it. I guess I missed that part. I'm sorry."

"Well... Don't let it happen again!! All of the other parents in line are calling me in the office and complaining about you being a line cutter!!!". then she stomped off.

Ok... So let me get this straight...
I sat in the pick-up line for 20 minutes.
There were several other parents waiting in their cars too.
They wait there every day for their child and they had never seen my mud-covered Suburban before, they knew I was new.
If I was doing something that made them mad, Why didn't someone toot their horn, and holler... YOUR DOING IT WRONG!! or YOU ARE CUTTING!!
Instead.. they called the office and TOLD on me??
Parents, adults called and told on me!!

I didn't know if I should me angry or laugh at these people or feel sorry for them because this is such a big deal in their lives.

I certainly hope that worker #4 enjoyed the ride home, because his little butt will be on the bus for the rest of his life!!

***Stay tuned for tomorrows post... a Guest post from my Spoiled Rotten City Girl little sister, Bethany!***
She is living my life and watching my kids and the farm while I ran away to spend some adult alone time with the Man-of-My-Dreams this week-end... She may have some things to get off of her chest by the end of her time there.

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14 amazing comments. Talk To Me!!:

Mary Moore said...

You know what? There are so many people in this world who have nothing better to do than crap on someone. Poor you. I've been there, and it ain't a bowl of cherries.

Rachelle said...

THAT is just crazy!! Rules on how to pick up your child from school. Wow.
That office lady was quite rude, sorry you were tattled on, maybe you should tattle on the lady who gave you the bird.

AZ Mom of Many Hats said...

I think they were all just jealous that they have to wait in line everyday while you have the confidence in yourself and your children to usually let them ride the bus home. The nice thing for them to do would have been to politely tell you of your mistake. I think the school lady over reacted.....I think you are poor poor dana...you didn't deserve that! But I still think you should laugh at it!

jrmom said...

What a pathetic group of parents!! Can you imagine what they're teaching their children. Wouldn't it have been a better plan to walk over to you, introduce themselves and politely explain how the "pick-up" process worked. Enjoy your break this weekend.

Jenny said...

I watch how some of these parents (mis)behave and find it goes so far to explain how their children behave. I think you are far better to laugh it off. It sounds like they should be attending school with their kids if they haven't outgrown tattling yet!
~Jenny~

Bethany said...

I just feel sorry for Worker #4 - is he gonna get in trouble on Monday for his mother's actions???

- your spoiled rotten, "city girl", little sister

Stacy's Random Thoughts said...

Sheesh! Some people have some nerve, don't they? I really hope that I don't have to pick up Little Princess from school - unless it's because she's sick in the middle of the day. I really like the convenience of having her picked up and dropped off right out in front of our house - I'd really rather not deal with the 'Parent Line'! ;)

Anyone with class would have been nice to come tell you that you were doing something 'wrong'... ;)

1stopmom said...

Oh my god, I love this post! I have sent my kids to school telling them they were ok. I even forgot the first day of school. The principal actually called me to see where the kids were!

anajz said...

Okay, so I have to say first that I am sorry you experienced the bull..but now I have to confess that I chuckled through your account of this disaster. If it had not been that you had to snake through the parking lot, I would have thought maybe we lived in the same town..haha. I live in a very small town of 700, and we don't even have a parking lot (so I know you are elsewhere). We DO have, though, goofy parents that sound a lot like yours.
Adult tattletales...what? Did they expect that you would have to go sit in the principal's office or something? lol
When I was teaching full time and a student would come up to tattle...my favorite question before the tattle could be told was "are you telling me to get someone OUT of trouble...or are you telling me to get them into trouble?"
Sounds like the people in your neck of the woods would benefit from the same reasoning. Honestly, what did they expect to accomplish?
Sometimes we just have to shake our heads and laugh because others' poor manners.

fiveboysmom said...

Bizarre way to handle pick up. I'll agree that calling the office was the wrong way to go about it but the lady from the office should have been nicer as well.

Our schools all have pick-up proceedures but none of them are dealt with like that. We have signs and personnel out there to point you to the right location--not to tell you the office is getting calls about you cutting in line.

20 minutes? And they couldn't tell you nicely that you were doing it wrong?

Please.

Jenn said...

I really don't understand the need for so many parents to pick up their kids from school every day. I rode the bus, my kids ride the bus. My taxes pay for the gas in that bus and the bus driver...why the heck would I pick up my kids if I didn't have to?

And why aren't the ones closest enough to walk to school walking instead of getting picked up so mom can haul them three blocks home? No wonder there are so many obese kids.

Steph said...

I used to nanny for a family whose kids went to a public school that didn't have buses, so every kid there had to be dropped off by someone. Car Line was ridiculous and I was once reprimanded for starting my car before I had "permission"!

I eventually parked in a neighboring subdivision and walked to the school just to avoid it. I couldn't believe how grown adults were behaving. Car Line is in the top 5 on the list of reasons we'll be homeschooling!

Jami said...

Tattle Tales...lol.

Alpaca Farmgirl said...

I can relate. This kind of thing makes me miss homeschooling. At the beginning of the year, we tried taking the 4 kids to 3 schools by car. One day we had a note sent home from my son's school threatening to call the POLICE on us for dropping my son off before school opened. My son exited the car and walked up to the door while I was still parked in the car 15 feet away. I never left him there!

How about a teacher saying something to us before threatening jail, people? Schools and their posse can be so nutty. I find it hard to believe, and I miss not having to deal with the "authority", the way it was when we were homeschooling. Sigh.

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