Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Eleven more days of school....eleven more days of school....only eleven. more. days.

The worst part about having a school age kid, for me, isn't getting the school kid out the door. I have a 6:45 riser, he's always ready before me. It isn't even waking the other two kids who would happily sleep until nine if they could. It isn't even listening to their pitiful, tired screams there and back. The worst part is actually taking that kid to school.

THREE years we've been driving back and forth to that school twice a day. I'm actually surprised we've survived. THREE years and NO accidents. It's amazing, really.

I am lucky, of course, that instead of the forty-five minute trip I was taking the last two years, I have a five minute trip. Depending on the stop lights. And the other drivers. Just like last year, the closer you get to the school, the worse it becomes. Only now, since I'm that much closer to the school, it's ALL BAD.

At the beginning of the year, the head mucky-mucks send home a detailed map showing which direction you pull into the driveways/lots, where to drop off your kid, how to get out of the driveways/lot, and where you can and, more importantly, cannot park. They even have a nifty system with two, count them, TWO driveways. One for the students coming from the west side of town and one for the students coming from the east side of town. As explained by the principal in a half hour mandatory presentation, it is to keep things friendly and eliminate confusion for people trying to pull out and into traffic. Last year we came from the west side. We turned left into the first driveway. To leave, we turned right. Simple. Oh, sometimes it backed up and every now and then you'd have some yahoo brush your front end when he defied the rules and turned left OUT of the driveway cutting all of us waiting in the huge line, but it wasn't too bad. This year, we're on the east side. We turn right INTO the driveway. Easy peasy. But that means, we turn LEFT out of the driveway. Have I ever told you how much I HATE, HATE, HATE turning left into traffic? Well, I hate it. And as if that alone weren't bad enough, seems all the west side parents can't read or follow simple directions. Instead of lining up on their side, they now line up on MY side preventing me, or anyone else for that matter, from getting out onto the highway.

Do you get what I'm saying? Because I could draw a map. But then I wouldn't be able to get into the locked study to use the scanner, so what good would it do then? Just imagine poor little Andria and her band of merry children meeting their brush with death every. single. day.

I bought a school sticker and slapped it on my back glass at the beginning of the year. After being basically abused traffically last year by people heading the same place as me, I thought if others saw that sticker they might be a little nicer knowing that, HEY, I know where your finger's going. But, really, it might have been the worst three dollars I've ever spent. Seems like once they know I'm going where they are going, they have to see who will win. Or they think that since we both have stickers that I'm suddenly okay with letting them cut me off so they can get to the door first.

I started leaving fifteen minutes earlier and for a while I avoided a lot of it, but either my clocks are off or the crazy drivers decided to do the same thing because it's gotten worse. There used to be signs, lots of very colorful signs, with arrows and gentle reminders that you "might" be going the wrong way. Jesus loves you, you know. We're praying for all of you. I hope you make it out alive. Better you, than me. Bwhahahaha. Something like that anyway. The signs are gone now. Been gone at least a month. Did some traffic crazy Hummer driver steal them or did the powers that be just give up? Does this mean we don't have to sit through the presentation next year?

I want the signs back. At least then, some people followed them. Now, it's a free for all.

Today I attempted to take a right into the driveway and was completely cut off, almost hit by, a white Ford Explorer who turning left. As I drove into the building area, I almost hit five teenage girls who just walked right out in front of me. Tapped my hood even. Then they stopped and had a conversation with a boy in the middle of road while I waited. And waited. I would say WTF? but this happens daily. Never mind that they don't have to be at school for another hour. Who forgot to teach their kids not to walk into traffic? Ford Explorer lady? When I finally got around the flirtatious quintet, a powder blue Mercedes came from the other direction, realized, I guess, that he was going in the wrong direction, and did a u-turn RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I'm wondering at this point if my car camouflages to it's environment, but surely he heard my brakes squeal stopping for him. WTF? So I think I can, I think I can, I think I can make it the few hundred feet to the orange cones where I am, by decree of his holiness upstairs in his office, to stop and let my kid off when a rusty white Miata blew past me, yes passed me, and screeched to a halt about ten feet from where I ended up. All that hurry and my kid still got to the door first. WTF?

The kid. Got to school. Alive. In tact. Another miracle.

You'd think it'd be over by then, mission accomplished, but no. I am instructed to circle through the small parking lot across from the doors and turn right to head back to the driveway. I would do that too if there weren't so many cars parallel parked along the one-car-size piece of curb blocking that entrance into the parking lot. So I do my own u-turn. I have to. I am forbidden to go out the other driveway. That. Would be wrong. And discourteous to all those west end drivers. But, of course, that makes a man in a black Hummer very angry. Angry enough to shoot me the bird. In the Christian school parking lot. But I made it to the east side driveway. We're almost home kids! Well, when maroon mini-van moves out of the turning lane so we can actually GET to the highway.

But wait. What's this? Is maroon mini-van backing up in the turning lane? Did she even see that blue mini-van behind her? Wait, there's a spot, this dude is turning right and there's nothing on the other side, I'm going for it!

I would've made it too, if I didn't have to back up myself to avoid the cell-phone gabbing teenager tearing through the 35 MPH school zone at 60. WTF?

But I did make it into traffic and had an uneventful two minute drive home.

Made it just in time for the Dora to cease the squalling.

But, oh, how I wish the school had a bus.


coreymom40 said...

Just Wow.

My Hubs takes our son to school in the mornings and he complains all.the.time.

kristi said...

I would lose my mind. My son rides the daycare bus...hallelujuah!

Aunt Becky said...

I'm pissed just thinking about it!

Leslie said...

I HATED driving my daughter.. Hubby drives her now, but in September... in September, she will be changing schools, and there will be a school bus... Halleluia!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I went through the SAME.THING. last year. This year he's on the bus. BUT in August Jason and his EPI pen will be going to Kindergarten and I don't know how the bus (actually 2 buses because they have to switch buses at the public school) handles EPI pens so I'm driving again. I just broke out into a cold sweat reading your post. Thanks for the anxiety.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Oh I SO don't miss that...

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I understand-We go through the same thing each day as well-

gingermagnolia said...

Holy moly! I can't imagine driving in that area every day...twice a day...and dealing with that crap!

I Am Boymom said...

Feelin the pain, been driving my kids to school from day one. 5 years now. Not the same school, but they're all pretty much the same wehn it comes to the whole "ritual" of drop off and pick up. Some days I think I will slit my wrists if I have to make the trip just one. more. time. Hang in there! It's almost over and you can rest for a few months!

Miss Hope said...

My son goes to a military day care (that also houses the state 4K program he's in). The parking lot is the size of a postage stamp. Logistics say it's an impossible drop-off nightmare since you HAVE to park and walk in ALL kids.

Smartest thing they ever could do happened this year. The 4K classes' start and get out times are staggered at 15 minutes intervals. It's still not the greatest but much better.

I guess when your "clients" are the children of military members (Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard)? You figure these people know how to fight it out crazy style and the problem might need to be fixed.

JessieE said...

Close enough to walk? Is there a group of somewhat older kids who walk that he can walk along with? Nothing wrong with walking to school!

Lynsey said...

haven't had time to comment in awhile...hope you're feeling better! :)