I don’t enjoy school day mornings. The chaos that encompasses them is relentless. Though I get my children up in plenty of time for the bus, they are always rushing around, scrambling to get out the door. The patient bus driver and bus monitor sit parked in front of my house, waiting for my two cherubs to board.
I still have trouble fathoming why such a simple thing as getting ready in the morning takes so damn long! My children are free of dress choices as they wear a uniform. However, they still manage to fight about personal items. Like rabid dogs, they lunge at each other, “That’s my headband!” “She’s wearing my North Face jacket! Take it off now!” As an anxious negotiater, I offer a trip to Claire’s if they agree to share their accessories for the day.
Breakfast is always a challenge because they’re never hungry in the morning. The problem is they need to eat something so that their ADHD meds don’t upset their stomachs. They sit at the table, staring off into space while I circle around them, stuffing pieces of cantaloupe in their mouths. I repeatedly check the time, my voice rising an octave with each progressive check. My youngest responds, “Mom, stop. I know what time it is!” Stubborn as the day is long, she goes back to her drifting thoughts. I breathe and pray for the bus to arrive. My wish is granted and I scream, “The bus!!!”
As they’re exiting the house, I’m hit with numerous forms, permission slips, folder sign-offs, raffle notices, etc. I run around trying to find a pen with ink, knowing this should have been done the night before. I don’t take the time now to remind them of that. My fruitless efforts would go unheard. Instead, I sign the forms, stuff everything into their hands and send them on their way! I begin to relax when I see them seated on the bus only ot watch the youngest stand up and come running back to the house because she forgot her dance bag. Innocently she asks, “Did you pack me enough snacks for after school dance?” I scan my brain trying to remember, “I think so.” “Mom!!!!” She rushes back outside, a bus load of students staring at her. I pray the peer pressure will cause her to become more organized.
As I start to relax, coffee in hand with a quick glimpse of the Today show, the phone rings. My youngest forgot her glasses. Sweet as pie, she says, “Can you please bring them to school?” Do I teach her a lesson and say, “No, it’s your responsibility to pack everything for school!” Instead, I relent and say I’ll be there shortly knowing she won’t be able to see the board without them. So much for self-care today. I won’t have time to meditate and decompress before heading to work. I reflect on what a 70’s mom would do – let her squint! The thought of a miserable, headachy tween post school day doesn’t look appealing either.
My goal is to learn from these experiences and make it better for everyone! How do others handle the school bus rush?!