August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday

Yes, it's that time of year again.  So I thought it would be best to post a reminder about some basic skills necessary to navigate the drop-off/pick-up routine at school this year.  Read up.  Take notes.  


Rules for Drop-off/Pick-up at school:

1.  Pull up.

2.  Pull ALL THE WAY up.  To the front of the line, the beginning of the cones, the end of the curb, wherever is the farthest point at which you can pull up.

3.  If your child needs more help than a few encouraging words; park your car, help your kid out and walk him/her up to the door.  Getting out of your car and running around to the other side and giving me some exasperated eye roll as if little Jimmy never needs this much help at home, does not make me feel sorry for you.  It only stokes my drop-off rage.  I know my kids well enough to know how much help they need getting in and out of a car.  Slim is called Slim for a reason, and car doors are not his specialty.  (Thank God for the automatic minivan side doors.  I used to scoff at people who had these--back when I owned a minivan that didn't even have a driver's side slider or automatic anything.  I scoffed.  Until Slim started Kindergarten.)

4.  Don't get out of your vehicle.  See above.  If you are out of your vehicle, you cannot possibly pull up.  Do not ask the drop-off/pick-up adult where your kid is.  The other day some lady (who didn't even pull all the way up!) got out of her vehicle with a note in her hand and was trying to flag down the lone adult out there, saying something about she was a friend of Joey's mom and she was supposed to pick him up.  This was wrong on SO many levels.  First of all, whoever sent her obviously didn't give her the lowdown on procedure, but that is minor considering the rest of her transgressions.  Why would you jump out of your car (one in a long line) in the middle of school dismissal and try and introduce yourself to your coworker/friend's son and the random adult supervising pick-up that day (who may or may not know Joey any better than you do)?  From the way she was trying to introduce herself to "Joey" it didn't seem he knew her very well.  Why wouldn't she go into the office and explain the situation to school staff?  Or hopefully the kid's mother had the sense to call the school and the kid had the sense to get proof before traipsing off with a stranger.  Of course this prompted a grilling session with Moo on the way home:  What would you have done if someone approached you and said that?  Would you go with them?  Would you go back into the school?.........

5.  If you think you've pulled up enough, try another car-length or two.  I'm not sure I can say it better than I did in September on my Facebook status:
Wow! Even at intermediate school people can't handle the drop-off. Here's a few clues for you: 1. Those things dangling from your kid's butt? They're called legs, and they are meant to be walked on. So, you can 2. PULL UP! In case you haven't noticed you are not the only person dropping off your child. If you pull up, several of us can let our kids out at the same time and keep the line moving. I know these are radical ideas for some of you, but change can be good. Keep an open mind. Thanks. 
I just get totally bent by people who think their kids are too good to walk a few extra steps.  Junior does not need to get out exactly in front of the doors, or exactly at the dip in the curb.  And if you think Sally shouldn't have to walk a little more to get inside, she probably needs to walk a little more.  More likely, you should park your car and walk her up because I'm sure you could use the exercise too.  (God forbid if it's raining.)  And it just seems that so many people do not understand the concept that they are not the only ones dropping their kids off.  The more you pull up, the more of us that can let our kids out and the less time this whole process takes. There is a great big world around you with other people in it.  We, too, are trying to get to work, drop off our other kid, get to the grocery store, hurry home and Facebook, etc.

6.  Follow the line.  Don't drive around anyone for obvious safety reasons.  Slim's school (the elementary) recently changed the drop-off route.  We have to drive around the little back parking lot before turning into the actual drop-off lane.  Basically it's like a giant figure eight on acid.  It really is helpful in relieving traffic on the street which was the intention in changing it, but some people can't seem to handle the change or they are just too good to wait in the line before they can peel wheels out of the lot and be on their way.  They park their cars, walk up to get their kid and then rush back to their cars and try and get out before the line backs up.  Hurry up and wait.  Makes sense to me.
(Of course the exception to this rule is at the Intermediate drop-off lane which is a huge "U" that is super wide.  Here they have a few cones arranged in a bottleneck at the inside curve to prevent assholes from jumping the line and running anyone over, but past the bottleneck you have to PULL UP [tada!] so that any cars behind you CAN go around.  Especially at pick-up, since even though you may be near the front of the line, your child may not be the first one out of the school and into your car.)

7.  PULL THE HELL UP!   Every day I marvel that we are so much closer to the end of the year and yet still so far from smoothing the wrinkles out.  At the Intermediate school (4th and 5th grades in our town) haven't most of us been doing this for five or six years now?  People spend less time than this getting college degrees and we can't master a giant left turn with traffic cones and a complete stop in the middle.

So if you haven't surmised, I have a secret desire to be the drop-off/pick-up nazi, yelling at everyone to pull up and making sure nobody pulls into the lane without driving around first.  And heaven help you if you send Grandma to pick the kids up.  You better send her in with a diagram, a map, a GPS and a copy of these rules.

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