I am fortunate in that I now live only five minutes away from my workplace. Unfortunately, it takes me roughly thirty minutes to get there every morning. Why? Because I have children, people, and these children go to school, and these schools are on opposite sides of town for maximum convenience.
Now I’m grateful for school, mostly. I mean you get people to take your kids everyday for free and occasionally they even learn something. But getting them there really sucks. I live in a moderately sized town. Not so tiny that the only social outlet is a Dairy Queen, but too small to have anything open past 11 pm. When I was growing up, there were three schools: an elementary school, a junior high, and a high school.
Since then there has been a yard ape population explosion and now there are multiple elementary schools, an intermediate school, a junior high, and a high school. Intermediate and junior high (they totally demoted my high school, the jerks) only house two grades a piece but there are still roughly a million kids going to both schools. This is better than the elementary school that houses like eleventy-billion.
And all of these children have parents and all of these parents have cars. Most of them have SUVs, actually, with those charming little stickers on the back with the stick figure children. I freaking hate those stickers. Seriously, people, the reason there is so much traffic every morning is because you decided to have like eight children, all of whom have names that aren’t names and start with B – Barracks, Britain, Breyers, Bayer Aspirin, Bayleaf, Boo-boo, Bridge, and Beyonce. Also a dog: Barfy. (Please see Tracy’s post on these stickers that will make you laugh your butt off.)
These people always pull in front of me and then stop, blocking traffic, and forcing me to block traffic, while they tearfully give lengthy goodbyes longer than the Gettysburg address to every single little brat (and yeah, all of them somehow go to the same elementary school, which shouldn’t even be possible biologically).
I reach this elementary school first, just a couple of blocks from my house. At one time I could drop both children off there, but then Thing One had to get older and go to a charm school for adolescents. Now I have to plan this strategically. If I get there too late, I am never getting out of the parking lot before 8 A.M. when technically they expect me to be at work. So I try to get there at 7:30, because the earliest you can drop your children off is 7:30 without them calling the cops.
This is rife with problems since Thing Two has the memory of a gerbil and never, ever, ever puts any of her stuff (like coat, shoes, backpack, etc) away. I do not know where she gets that from, seriously. Also, she must always have a stuffed animal with her because it’s like her familiar or something, and it’s always a different animal so no fairsies trying to keep one where you can find it.
Once I’ve deposited her, I get to go to the other side of town through early morning traffic. Now they force people to drive 20 mph and not use their cell phones (this is, like, followed so religiously) in school zones so that they don’t run over any precious children. That’s great, but it also makes it damn near impossible to get anywhere going at that speed. Also, you must frequently sit at stop signs and watch as one car putts, putts, putts along just slowly enough that the car putting along from the opposite direction has enough time to prevent you from crossing. Or some jerk who is much more important drives up beside you and blocks your view as well. My children have learned so many new words on the way to school.
I finally make it to the opposite side of town to the intermediate school, whose parking lot is somehow even worse than the elementary school, by which I mean 18th circle of hell worse. I drop off Thing One, and wheeee, it is now time for me to go to work. At this point, if I’m lucky, we’re operating at 7:45. Now to go BACK across town to where I work, that also happens to be closer to the elementary school and my house.
Once I arrive, I am greeted by the awesome parking situation, by which I mean there is no parking except several blocks away from where I work. In case you missed that post (No Parking) I also pay for this privilege. Again, if I’m lucky, we’re now at 7:55 or so. Then I just have to hoof it to the library and ta-da, I am there! Well, I’m in the building, which flipping counts because I say so, and because I have to tromp across the library, up the stairs and across the second floor to get to my office.
Fortunately, I work till 5 PM so I am unable to pick my children up from school (SADFACED) although I do occasionally get calls at work wondering who IS going to pick up said children. Maybe they could ask SUV stick figure mom.