Trust me, *Pours glasses of tea* you're gonna need this.
I don't know how you all do carpool, but at my school it works like this...
Every parent has a car tag with their child's name and class name on it and our secretary goes out and calls the names on a walkie talkie while the children wait inside with the assistant teachers. When I hear a child from our class we gather up ALL THE THINGS and walk them out to the cars. The teachers are MORE than ready to throw (sometimes literally) the kids in the cars with a wave and a smile and a quick "Had a great day!", and get them the heck outta there.
We make a point to keep the line moving as quickly as possible, so we don't talk much unless there's something really important to say, or unless the line ahead isn't moving.
Well, earlier this week, I had something important to say to a parent AND the line wasn't moving. As I was talking to the parent and putting (TWO) kids in the car, the line ahead shifted half a car length. Not even a full car length. Seriously. There was a six foot gap and two more cars ahead of us. The line wasn't going anywhere.
But APPARENTLY the mom in the car right behind us thought I was wagging my tongue too long and she HONKED AT ME! Y'all know how carpools work. There is NOWHERE for her to go. What's worse, is that I had her kid last year and she was nuttier than squirrel poo then.
If there weren't so many witnesses I'd have gone over there and knocked her teeth in. Which would have been fine, really, she could have been twins with her kid who's only four and is missing all of his front teeth due to cavities. (Word to the wise: Send more than CAKE to school for lunch AND snack! I told you, squirrel poo.)
Well, that riled me up enough as it was, but after carpool, I was walking back to my classroom and passed our Director. She said, "So, I heard somebody was talking too much during carpool. What's that about?"
I told her about the mom honking at me and she giggled. "I know," she said, "She called me just now to explain that she had to honk at you because you were talking too much. She said she timed you and you were talking for FOUR minutes. Which is impossible. There's no way you were talking that long."
Yes. This woman not only HONKED during carpool, but she took it upon herself to CALL THE DIRECTOR and bitch me out! Of course, our Director is the
BEST BOSS IN THE WORLD
...and she took my side. My head was about to explode. She said she should charge the mom the price of a pedicure and treat me. I told her that was a fantastic idea.
So, dear readers, here are some tips for making one of the most stressful times of the day a little easier on everyone:
Carpool Tip #1: Do NOT honk your horn unless there is a child running out in front of your car. For realz, it is SO unbelievably impolite. We are all doing our best, and those little preschoolers' legs can only move so fast!
Carpool Tip #2: Please do not leave TEN FEET OF SPACE between you and the car in front of you. Nobody does that in the McDonald's drive-thru line. There's no reason to do it in carpool either.
Carpool Tip #3: If you have a car tag like at our school, make sure it is clearly visible in the window. Laying it flat on the front dash does not enable us to see it.
Above all: Be KIND. Be COURTEOUS. BE PATIENT!
We are SO sorry that it is SUCH a burden to you to sit through a 30 minute car line, but you are MORE than welcome to come line up early and wait in the comfort of your air conditioned (or heated, depending on the season) car.
Might I suggest possibly watching a movie on the TELEVISION you have in your car? Or listening to an Audiobook? Or even reading a book while you wait? Catch up on email, or Twitter, or Facebook on your cell phone. Knit a sweater for your dog! There are LOADS of things to do to pass the time.
And please remember: You are not the one out there in the freezing cold (or burning sun, depending on the season) wrangling three-year-olds with folders, and artwork, and jackets, and backpacks bigger than they are.
And thank the people who care for your child, and love them, and put them safely back into your car at the end of the day.