Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Bus Rant

I have something of a bus rant to post here.  In reality, it has been over 6 hours since the "final straw" fell on the camel's back but I would still like to put this out there.
Let me begin by saying that I have had issues with the transportation department in our district since before D started kindergarten.  This was when I first discovered the hoops necessary for parents of kindergartners to jump through in order to retrieve their student from the bus.  D and I managed to make it through kindergarten with relatively few bumps but I suppose I will mention some of my hang ups from then to give a little background into what happened today.
See, in this district, in order for kindergartners to get off the bus their parent has to meet the bus.  If there is no parent, the child does not get off the bus.  While this seems like a good safety rule in general, when it comes to practice there are some snaggles.  For example, there were only a few times when I could not meet the bus.  On one instance, I knew before hand.  I had an appointment that could not be changed and had been made months in advance.  So, I jumped through the ridiculous hoops of having a signed letter faxed to the transportation department and another copy given to the bus driver stating that D could get off the bus with our next door neighbors.  I carefully worded this letter to apply to always but unfortunately, the transportation department only interpreted it as a one time deal.
On another occasion, I was planning on being back but was detained in traffic and knew I wouldn't be there.  I called my persuasive neighbor (who happens to be one of my emergency contacts) to get D off the bus.  It worked because it was late enough in the year the bus driver knew both of us and had seen us together on numerous occasions.  Apparently, emergency contact people can pick your child up at school but are not allowed to retrieve them from the bus stop even if there's an emergency where the parent couldn't be there.  If the bus driver hadn't allowed my friend to get D, he would have had to ride back to the school where they would have called this same friend to come pick him up.  What?
Anyway, water under the bridge.  Like I said, we made it through the year alright.  Now we are 8 days into K's kindergarten career and I'm already fed up with the bus.  To begin with, K is gone from home for about 4 hours every day.  4 HOURS!  Which would be fine if school was a little longer but considering kindergarten is only 2 hours 40 minutes, 4 hours seems a bit long to be gone.  Especially since we live ONE MILE away from the school.  ONE MILE!!  I am willing to cut some slack for running a bus route to pick up other kids but almost an hour and a half of a 5 year old's day is a really long time!
The bus keeps getting earlier and earlier in the morning (we missed it yesterday!) and later and later in the afternoon.  Then today, the bus finally pulled up (30 minutes after school got out) and stops at the corner.  I'm casually standing across the street on my corner waiting for the driver to open the door and release my sweet little K but nothing happens.  And nothing and nothing.  My mind is going all over "she peed her pants and doesn't want to get up" "she spilled her backpack and is taking forever to clean it up" etc. When the bus driver waves me over.  Concerned now I walk over as she finally opens the door and K appears in the walkway.
You know what the bus driver tells me?!  "You have to come to the door to get your child."  Are you freaking kidding me??  I'm 20 feet away in plain view but I have to come to the door?  As K is trying to rush off to give me a hug the bus driver calls after her, "Is this your mom?"
I was dumbfounded and said nothing but what I wanted to say was, "No.  I'm a psychopathic murder that she's never seen before but she can't wait hug me and tell me about her day."
Hope you can see/read my completely not bitter or sarcastic photo additions!
As it was I said nothing.  Because anything I would have said would not have been nice.  My problem, I think, is that I feel like it has little to do with child safety and EVERYTHING to do with control.  There could also be something in there about pregnant and emotional but I wouldn't swear to it.
Anyway, I'm really not looking for the voice of reason here.  Mostly just fed up with other people telling me what I have to do to get my OWN CHILD off the bus.  And I know there are solutions.  I am seriously considering picking her up from school (but she likes riding the bus) and I could *gasp* walk across the street to meet the bus (but I tend to be stubborn).  We'll give it a few more days.  Maybe the other bus driver will come back.  The only who only cared if I was visible somewhere outside my house.

(Also, this is pretty tame considering the rant I gave to my mom on the phone immediately after the event which didn't involve any swearing (outloud) but did involve several references (that were less than Christian) about what the transportation department could do with their rules....)


Annette said...

I have to admit she did have some pretty strong inuendos about the rules:)

Kathy said...


(I'm having a hard time typing because of the outloud laughing)

... L
Not because of your woes (which are totally legit and not remotely hormonal) but because I can so totally hear you as I read this. {And the addition of your visual representation is priceless.}

p.s. that bus driver is obnoxious, at best.