I don’t know of any other three words in the English language that cause quite as much anxiety to the elementary school parent than the three words… “school carpool line.” Just typing these words makes my blood pressure rise and my underarms start sweating.
(Why do they call it a carpool line anyway? I’ve never seen ONE actual “carpool” – it is more like each and every student has their own private driver that picks them up and drops them off everyday, therefore causing traffic to back up for miles- isn’t that the opposite of what a carpool is supposed to be?). But I digress.
So, as a newly stay-at-home mom, I embrace my duties as chauffer. And I’ve come to grips with the fact that we do not live close to any modern convenience or amenity, so I just deal with the fact that I spend the majority of my days in the car. But when you add in the whole carpool line thing – it adds at least another hour and a half to my day.
Two step-kids, two separate schools. Both a 30 minute drive from our house. Each school has their own “rules” for the carpool line. Each school has their own protocol for picking up a child – and let me just tell you – it is an act of Congress for a step-parent to pick up their step-child. (yes, I know, safety is most important and I’m glad they do it, but WOW, seems there should be a more efficient way).
Every day I have to call the school to let them know I’m picking them up. “Ma’am, you aren’t on the list.” Yes, I am – I just picked them up yesterday. Seriously. “Well, I’m sorry, I don’t have you on here.” (do they throw away the forms everyday?) Doesn’t help when the kids mom’s name is Martie and mine is Marnie (seriously, not kidding- what are the odds?). So, I have to get used to the fact that I will forever be mistaken for their mom – or they think I am some imposter trying to kidnap the kids, so I have to go through extra hoops. “So what district are your kids in?” Well Bixby, duh. Umm- that would be the wrong answer – crap. Let me call you back. “Honey, what district do the kids live in?” Then another call back to the school. This alone takes a good 30 minutes.
Then you are either assigned to Loop A or B. Great – but there are absolutely no signs depicting either loop, then you get totally confused once you drive there – cars EVERYWHERE, traffic backed up for miles and not ONE sign that tells you where the heck loop A is. Still haven’t figured it out. Been yelled at several times by the “traffic police”…I just try to follow the car in front of me and do as they do. Mind you I have my son in the back seat who is getting pretty darn ancy at this point and like clock-work decides he MUST go potty THIS VERY MINUTE – as of course, I can’t pull over and park (heaven forbid- the evil stares I would get).
This is why nothing gets done on my to-do list – I am stuck in the time warp of Bixby Carpool Line Hell. I would so slip the bus driver an extra $100 if he could deliver my kids to our house in the country, but I’m pretty sure that would be considered illegal.
So how did our parents do this? Was it always this complicated? Oh wait – I remember – that was because we WALKED to and from school (up hill in the snow both ways) and somehow we miraculously lived to tell our tale. Oh…the good ol’ days.