I’ve aired my frustrations with the drop off/pick up situation at Oldest’s elementary school on more than one occasion (here and here). Well, it appears that my name should now be added to the list of “Offenders.”
To set the stage, from the outside, his school is more or less shaped like a large horseshoe – the kindergarten classrooms start on the far right followed by each consecutive grade moving towards the middle, with the cafeteria rounding out the horseshoe on the left. Main entrance/office falls in the middle of the “U.” For some reason, I guess because there’s a wider section of sidewalk, the kindergarten and 1st grade classes walk outside from the right side of the “U” over to the cafeteria side at dismissal. They sit in a line with their teacher, waiting for mommy, daddy, nanny, whomever. Then they proceed to that specific corner of the “U” where a crossing guard is there to ensure everyone makes it home alive.
You following? (wouldn’t shock me if you’ve already clicked away.)
Anyhow, our little neighborhood school is smack in the middle of our subdivision. Sounds cute, right? Wrong. Massive pain in the ass, because, since most of the kids live in a one-mile radius, we don’t receive bus transport. We happen to reside at the end of the radius, across a major four-lane road, with no crossing guard ironically enough (you’ll understand the irony soon), so either I walk from the house to the school with Youngest in wagon tow (did I mention it was 105 today?), drive and go sit in a line that wraps the distance only slightly shorter than a trip to the moon, or drive, park close and walk up.
For yesterday’s first day of school, I chose the park-close-walk-up option, and gathered Oldest from the second grade classroom exit right on time. We turned towards the cafeteria-side of the “U” to make our way back to the car, and what I saw happening at the kindergarten/1st grade reclaiming area made that scene in “Titanic” (you know the one where James Cameron pans back after the ship has finally gone under, and all those people are in the water screaming and splashing) appear civilized.
Executive decision - we head the opposite way, past the kindergarten part of the “U,” to cross to the opposite sidewalk there. Less crying children. Less chance of losing Youngest. Win/win.
I grabbed the boys’ hands and we began to cross, only to discover ”The Enforcer” waiting for us on the other side. (for the record, as I was relaying this story to best buddy Mich, she said – “oh yeah, no crossing unless there’s a crossing guard.” Grasshopper still have so much to learn.)
And honestly, I completely agree. Seriously. I’m a rule follower. I file my taxes in February. I never surfed porn while in the corporate world. I follow the rules. So when I get busted for bending a rule, I’m chagrined and get a little defensive. But “The Enforcer” took it to a whole other level.
This is what was hurled at me as we almost reached the curb:
“Ma’am – our children watch us and learn from our example every day. Consider your boys the Father and the Son, and I’m the Holy Ghost. We’re watching your every move and taking notes. So tomorrow, I better bear witness to you hauling your hot, sweaty children all away around, through that gauntlet of 300+ cherubs, plus their respective gaurdians, remembering not to cross over the sidewalk red line denoting the no man’s land area about a foot off the curb, and greet that crossing guard over there with a smile on your face and a skip in your step. If not, there will be hell to pay. Now, run along little sinner, but remember, I’ll be sneaking into your home later, double checking that all the toothbrushes are damp.”
OK, so really only the first sentence was verbatim. The rest is just made up, because honestly, after that first sentence, there really wasn’t anything else I wanted to hear coming out of “The Enforcer’s” mouth.
They watch and learn from what I do every day, do they? Well, praise the Lord I decided to shoot up in the closet this morning. I know I’m being way too sensitive, and believe me, I totally get the safety issue (bad mama), but I wish I could’ve told her to save that self-righteous attitude for the next mama doing 40 in the school zone, while talking on a cell phone, with an unbuckled kid in the front seat. Oh yeah, I’ve seen it.
After reading back through this, I can admit I somewhat overreacted (in my head of course), but I’m only lashing out because of sadness. Sadness over said best bud Mich, who was my mentor for all things elementary school, has moved two towns over, and now I have to make new school mommy friends. I don’t begrudge her a spec of the gorgeous new home she and her husband have worked tirelessly to build.
But, damn if I’m not pea green it’s on the bus route.