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Inspirational Reads

Hey Mr. Driverman, Don't Be Slow

July 21, 2010

School started back up for my kids on Monday, which added an extra layer of nuts to last week. My kids are on a year-round schedule, in case you've forgotten, never knew, or didn't care. Getting two monkeys children ready for school is a bit hectic, even if it wasn't me who was meeting up with the new teachers and all that shizz.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, my wife works early shifts so that she can get her shit done at the store before people start coming in asking for vampire books for teenage boys and such. This leaves me with the task of getting the kids ready and off to the bus stop for pick-up and delivery. Not a problem, right? A monkey can do that. More or less.

Well, my friends, I am not a monkey!

Last year, the bus would show up around...8:25. Ish. Some days it would be 8:23, some days it would be 8:40. You just never knew. That's what we call "excitement". Who wants a boring, mundane start to their day? Apparently, not me.

I assumed that the bus would show up around the same time this year, too. I mean, for my entire youthful schoolboy experience, the bus always showed up at exactly the same time. And when I got to high school, the bus was exactly one hour earlier. Not much of a shift in the morning routine.

So, like a good father, I got my children all gathered up and out the door by 8:12 so that we would be at the bus stop plenty early for the bus. We get there, we stand around. A little while later, here comes the bus! Awesome! was a different bus number from last year. Not to mention it came down the road banging and grinding and roaring loudly. And with a different bus driver. And this guy...looked a little bit like he had just escaped from Arkham, if you know what I'm saying.

But, this is the only school running a bus route right now, so this must be the correct bus, right? I load the kids on the bus and stand there waving. As I stood there waving, the bus passed on down the road and I realized that there were no other children on the bus.

Curious, I thought to myself. And then I began walking toward my car.

And then my overactive imagination kicked in.

Jesus Christ, what have I done??? I internally monologued. Did I just put them on the 'Pervert Bus'? Am I going to be an evening news special now? 'Tonight, on the six o'clock news...every parent's nightmare!!! And it happened, right here in North Carolina!'

Being that I'm an awesome father, I shrugged it off. I went about my day. I didn't think of it again until it was time for them to come home. So, I called to make sure they were okay. Normally, they get home around 4:00, so I figured I'd call around a quarter after. Except, they weren't home.

Oh, no! Every. Parent's. Nightmare! I was going to have to brush up my unintelligible Southern drawl for the interview. Maybe I'd have to scare up a wife-beater to wear. And a John Deere hat.

Finally, around 4:35, they arrived home. Safely. Somewhat soundly. Everything seemed to be in good order.

Fast forward to Tuesday. This time, I got up earlier than normal, showered and got prepped for the day. I got the kids up, got them going, and everything was good. Eight o'clock rolls around, and we're screwing around watching tv because we have extra time because I got up early like a good, responsible adult!

Just before it's time to go, my daughter realizes that she hasn't put in any earrings, and so she dashes up the stairs to put them in. I'm in the kitchen pouring my cups of coffee when I feel a strange disturbance in the Force. I look at the clock. It reads 8:10, and it's accurate with the time on The Weather Channel. I walk into the living room and peer through the shades and see the bus...pulling away from in front of my house!!! I rush to the front door, swearing the whole way, and I throw open the door and stand on the front stoop, waving my arms furiously over my head. Quite the sight, I'm sure.

The bus continues on, ploddingly slow, as it rounds the corner and drives away.

"Sonuva..." I begin, but then I suddenly realize that, as well as having to drive them to school today, I am going to have to get gas before I do so.

At this point, I'm a leg up on my mother, who would have just called the school to tell them I was sick if I had missed the bus. Disturb my regularly-scheduled routine of sitting on the couch on the front porch monitoring the neighborhood for the sake of my children? NEVER!

"Dammit!" I utter, frenzied, unsure of how the timing is going to work out.

With earrings in her ear, I load the kids into the car and we're off! I throw half a tank of gas in my car and then we hurry off. Fortunately (and this is something I didn't take into account while doing the mental calculations around getting the kids to school in time) traffic is light because the regular schools are not yet in session, just the year-round schools. We get to school, I drop them off, and hurry on to work.

Fortunately, my wife is working a later shift today, so I could get up, shower, and get the hell out the door before anything untoward happened with the school bus.


erin said...

Because I work at home, Jeremiah and I share a car to help save money. (Ironically we're now trying to save money to buy another car)

My worst fear of all fears was that the girls would miss the bus. How would I get them to school?

Last year Olivia had to poop right when the bus was coming and came home from the bus stop to do so. Rose got on the bus and didn't give her sister a second thought. I had to walk her, Max and Elijah the two miles to the school. It was lovely.

Raine said...

I loathe the bus people already and my kid has only been in school a few months. I'm not looking forward to another 14ish years of this.

Nej said...

Through high schoo, we lived in a development tucked up in the hills, and the roads were quite steep. During the winter, some days the weather wasn't bad enough to actually cancel school....but it WAS bad enough to cancel bus service to some locations (us!!).

Day off of school, excused, when everyone else had to go. It was awesome!!!!

And I feel your pain, I found out, many times, that walking to school from our house was a possibility. Our bus never arrived at the same time, and I missed it quite a bit. (sigh)

Ed said...

That "being a dad" shit is a pain in the ass sometimes, right?

Heather said...

Man, going to school year round? What the shit is that all about?! I never miss the bus in the morning cuz I don't take it. I'm pimp like that.

Jennifer said...

I'm hoping we someplace, uh ... more populated when we finally send The Boy off to school, but if by some chance were still here, I'm just going to take him. A bus picks the neighbor kids up for school, but we live a mile from it! That's just fucking lazy, if you ask me.

Pearl said...

I know this was probably not nearly as much fun as it sounded, but I thoroughly enjoyed your pain.



Tracie said...

Three more weeks till I have to go through this. The bus is always unpredicatable the first week of school. I'm too lazy to take them myself.

Scope said...

At least for next year, Gwen will not be dealing with buses. She will walk.

All 2 blocks.

On a quiet, residential street.

Jeaalous yet?

SkylersDad said...

your line: I was going to have to brush up my unintelligible Southern drawl for the interview. Maybe I'd have to scare up a wife-beater to wear. And a John Deere hat.

This might be the most accurate and laugh out loud/shoot snot out of all my orifices thing I have ever read!

I always mention to my wife that the news folks must work extra hard to find the one "3 tooth minimum" guy to interview.

Eric said...

I was in Highland Park a few days ago (wealthy section of Dallas), and saw a stretch limo-bus. Oh wait, almost all busses are.