Worst. First Day of School Morning. Ever.
Let's start off with how The Girl woke up with not 1, not 2, but 3 new pimples on her face, more than likely from stressing about school. Not the way you want to start off your middle school career. So, I pushed the My Daughter is Only 11 Years Old aside for the sake of the My Daughter is Starting a Brand New School Today and put some concealer on her new friends. No foundation. No powder. Just concealer. We will be buying her tinted zit cream or moisturizer in the near future.
As far as the home life section of our First Day of School morning, that was the only hiccup. Apparently, the Fates were just warming us up for what was about to happen.
The Girl started a new school, and it's not conveniently situated on base, and right by the house, like The Ginger's school is. So, we decided that she would try the whole riding-the-bus thing this year. Her bus is supposed to pick her up at around the same time The Ginger's school starts, and as her bus stop is right beside his school, I felt this worked out perfectly. And, it gets both the kids out of the house at the same time, despite the difference in times that their schools start. That's great for my sanity in the mornings.
So, because it was the first day of school, and Hubby is on leave from work right now, we all decided to head to the school that morning. Hubby walked with The Ginger to where his class was lining up, and I walked with The Girl to her bus stop, where 4 other kids stood. Of course, being a middle schooler now, she was embarrassed to have me stand with her (as I was the only parent there), so I walked back to The Ginger's school, but stood where I could see her.
|Picture courtesy of arts.ri.gov|
Her bus was supposed to be there at 7:29. The Ginger's school starts at 7:40. 7:30 came and went. Then, The Ginger's bell rang. The Girl was still at the bus stop, and while several busses had driven by the bus stop, not a single one of them stopped. We helped The Ginger take all of his supplies into his classroom, and when we came outside, The Girl, and these 4 other kids, were still sitting there. So, Hubby and I hid in the shadows like ninjas and waited...
At 8:05, we saw the kid with the blue mohawk (awesome, by the way) talk to his mom, who had driven to
come pick him up, and he disappeared into the car to be driven to school. Hubby started off toward the bus stop while I headed to the house to grab the car. We picked The Girl up (the other kids had now been picked up by their parents, too) and started driving toward her school while she told us her story.
Apparently the bus driver drove by their bus stop, but decided not to stop. Didn't stop, no lights on, nothing, but the kids did see their bus approach them and keep on driving.
This wasn't what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that the bus driver never arrived. I wanted to believe that he was still driving around the base, looking for these 5 kids he had forgotten. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, because when we arrived at The Girl's school, there was her bus, sitting in the line of busses, dropping kids off... minus 5, of course.
|My phone wait time felt like this.|
Picture courtesy of DCPI Wholesale
At this point, I had been on hold with the transportation department for over 20 minutes (hell yes, I called to complain). When it was finally my turn in the queue, I told the customer service rep what happened, and she put in the complaint. She said this was the first call she had had about bus route this morning. I'm not sure if other customer service reps had gotten similar complaints, or if I'm just a bitchy mother who waited the total 25 minutes on hold to complain about how the bus driver decided not to do his job.
Fast forward to the evening, where we decided to have The Girl ride the bus home, just to get the bus experience, before we decided whether or not she would continue to ride the bus. She was supposed to be dropped off at 5:05 (late, I know). At 5:25, I called her, to find that she wasn't even on base yet. I waited at the bus stop, until at 5:35, her bus appeared. The bus stopped, doors flung open, and behind the steering wheel was an old Asian guy. After everything that happened that day, I can say now that I giggled, because he wasn't helping the stereotype that exists about Asian drivers. Anyway, I decided to have a few words with him, and yes, I remained calm and upbeat, even despite his extremely broken English.
Me: Hi! Were you driving this morning?
Driver: (huge smile on his face) Yes.
Me: Are you going to be driving tomorrow morning, too?
Driver: Yes (shaking head yes)
Me: Are you actually going to stop and pick the kids up tomorrow morning?
Driver: Yes, Hahaha. I call dispatch dis morning. I say, "I to have 23 kids. I see no kids. Dair no kids here." Hahaha. So, I keep driving.
Me: There were kids here, though. They were standing right there (and I pointed to the bench at the bus stop).
Driver: No. Bus stop here (and he pointed to the road).
Me: Okay, so you'd rather them stand on the street corner instead of sitting on the bench?
Driver. Yes. Bus stop here. I pick up kids here (pointing to the road).
I decided to not even get into it with him about how a bus stop can not be in the middle of the road, per his request. Then my mind registered the fact that he said he had 23 kids to pick up; Was that 23 at this one stop, or total? How did he explain showing up without 23 kids? One kid, yes. 5 kids, maybe. 23 kids? Somebody didn't do their job correctly.
I told my best friend the entire story this morning, and she told me I was a bitch for saying what I did to the bus driver, and that mistakes happen with bus routes in the first few days of school. I understand mistakes. 15 minutes late is a mistake. Completely driving by 5 children, one of which had a blue mohawk, and my daughter, in her neon yellow shirt and shoes (remember how I said that the 80s threw up all over the current trend racks at the stores), and continuing on with the bus route as if nothing happened is not a mistake. It's a problem, and a huge one. They are just lucky that this guy decided to not do his job on a military base, where 80% of the moms stay at home, so that each of these kids were able to be driven to school.
Today my daughter texted me to tell me that the bus did indeed pick them up, and only 15 minutes late- that's okay, and understandable. I texted her back and told her that at least it was better than yesterday.
For The Girl's first day at a new school, with all new peers, she came home in a great mood. She had made some friends, and was very excited about her new school program. The Ginger shared her enthusiasm, as he had all new kids in his class, and was looking forward to making new friends. Overall, the rest of their first day of school was great, thank goodness.
So, as long as the bus driver continues to pick The Girl and her peers up at the bus stop, I think we'll have a great school year. That makes me a happy mom.