Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The scariest thing on Earth

So we've moved to a new house, new county, new school. My son, at 7 years of age, has decided that he wants to ride the bus for the first time. I took him to school the first day, and my husband picked him up, but he wanted to RIDE on his second day.

We got up early and went the three blocks to the bus stop and waited... and waited... and waited. I thought we'd gotten there early enough, but when the bus was still not there after 15 minutes, we decided to go back home. Of course, as soon as we turned our backs to the road and made it halfway back to the car, here came the bus. Which we missed because seeing no one waiting, it slowed down then went on.

Okay, fine. Lesson learned... don't give up on the bus. So we drove to school and rehearsed what bus and what stop he needed to get off at. Repeating. Repeating. Cheery wave and he was off to class.

This afternoon, I got to the bus stop 20 minutes early and waited... and waited... and waited. My husband called 1 minute after the bus was supposed to arrive. "No. It hasn't arrived yet, honey - I'll call you as soon as he gets off the bus." I wait some more.

Finally, 16 minutes late, the bus comes down the hill, slows down but doesn't stop. I take off running after it. Running. Running. Heart bursting. It's 96 degrees outside, 95% humidity. I'm in long, black pants. Running. The bus stops to make a left turn and I actually catch up to it (ran about a block) and I'm yelling his name and pounding on the doors. The driver opens the door and I scream at her "WHERE IS MY SON?" She nods to herself and asks very quietly, calmly, "That would be Z-boy?" Yes. "He's back at the school. He couldn't remember where he was supposed to get off." Oh, thank God. Thank you, bus lady.

I drive, shaking, to the school. He sees me coming and seems to shrink a little. He is embarassed and acting silly, which now that I see him in person, pisses me off. I am so angry I cannot see straight, but act normal in front of the school secretary. She gives me a new bus schedule and we both drill him on which bus and what stop. I think he's got it.

We get in the car. A few bad words fly around in the passenger compartment, but the secretary realized that I needed a moment to calm down - hence the quiz for Z-boy. The words aren't as bad or as vehement as they would have been if I could have just snatched his scruff and propelled him out to the car. Thank you, Secretary.

We go to the bank (closed on the house today, hurray!), then home. I am normal now - and so is he. He plops down at the kitchen counter and starts his homework.

Tomorrow, we will do it again. Hopefully without all the drama.


34quinn said...

omg lol, I remember a few times years ago worrying where were my boys when the bus was late.

That situation should have never happened. First, the school should have ensured your child that he was being put on the correct bus and that you would be there to get him off at the other end.

They have lists for a reason, the bus drivers are required to keep one especially at the beginning of the year when so many changes occur.

Second,I have to say that bus driver should have known better.
That bus driver should have stopped at the scheduled stop and told you that your son did not board the bus but that he was safe and sound and waiting at the school.
The fact that you had to run after the bus is ridiculous and I would have complained to the school. IT was obvious the bus driver knew that would have been a regular stop had the child been on the bus, they must have obviously known the parent standing there waiting was for said child.

I sincerely hope tomorrow goes off without a hitch. Good luck.

Nikki said...

OMG Sayre, That had to totally freak you out. I would have shit myself. Lauren has been riding the bus since Kindergarden and has only missed it at the end of the day once. It scared me to death.

..and on a totally non-related note, I wore long black pants today too - um, stop reading my mind.

Anonymous said...

Do what Mom used to do to us. PIN A NOTE TO HIS SHIRT! THat way, the responsibility remains where it belongs... with the adults. Z-boy, bless his heart is 7, and a country bumpkin at that. Once he makes it through the process once, he'll know where to get off, the bus driver will know where to drop him, and he will have the satisfaction of having worked the problem out himself with only a minimum of assistance (the aforementioned note)


nikki said...

why didn't anyone tell me it was black pants day?!?!? i wore my blue jeans with the little blue flower on the butt!

kids, sometimes i agree with the advice to eat them while the are young! i would have had a heart attack myself!

ablondeblogger said...

Oh my gosh....for some reason your story reminded me of when I was chasing down the ice cream man when I was a kid, lol. Only yours is much scarier, obviously!

Glad he was okay, and I hope everything went smoothly today.

melissa b. said...

I would have died. On the spot died.

I second 34quinn, how could they just fly past you? And? I can't believe they don't help the little guys find their busses. I mean, jebus, Daniel's a sixth grader and they get help!

I have reacted just like you at the school, just so upset and scared and angry that I would been completely not normal!