Honest Toddler’s Mom: New Rules For School Drop Off

shutterstock_82121953All right parents, listen up. I’ve tried to stay quiet on this issue but you’ve forced my hand. We need to talk about school drop-off and pick-up AKA the time when rational, courteous adults turn into rude devil babies.

We’re all in the same boat. We’re all running late, stressed, and annoyed, but that’s no excuse for some of the behavior I’m seeing. As the president of the Parental Douchebaggery Prevention Squad (a subteam of the First World Parenting Problems Committee) I’ve enacted new legislation for School Drop-Off/Pick Up effective immediately.


New Rules For School Drop-Off/Pick Up


No Cutting: This isn’t American Airlines. There’s no preboarding. Notice the lack of a fast lane for Elite Special Club members. Anyone who cuts in line will be abducted in the night, taken to a windowless room, tied to a chair and made to watch a recording of their their driving on an endless loop until dawn. “Let It Go” will be playing in the background and you’ll be taught complicated Rainbow Loom formations by an eight-year-old with an attitude problem.


I don’t know about your kid’s school but mine has reduced congestion by creating a line system. At pick up, all of the cars line up and roll up to the fence where a teacher brings out one kid at a time. It’s kind of like a McDonalds drive-thru but instead of nuggets, you receive a school-aged child that you are financially responsible for. At drop off, you drive up, your kid hops out, you wave and they leave. It takes a little time, yes, but it’s better than the alternative which is a game of bumper cars wherein the loser gets backed over.


Yesterday, a car blew past all of us and pulled up alongside the car first in line. The teacher brought out her kid and she sped off. When I asked why this was allowed to happen, the teacher just said “some people are in a hurry.” Oh yeah? Sleep fully dressed, line cutter. We’re coming for you.


Use your turn signals: Modern motor vehicles come with plastic sticks that jut out from behind the steering wheel. When moved “up” or “down,” they emit a ticking sound that coordinates with flashing lights. These lights tell drivers who aren’t currently living inside your head what your next move is going to be. We call these batons “turn signals” and encourage their frequent use.


Keep the bonding to a minimum: School drop-off and pick-are are not the times to share an Aesop’s fable with your child. Unless you’re going off to war that same day, a send-off that includes 14 hugs, six kisses, and a ten minute story about your family history is excessive. With 20 cars behind you, please have the courtesy to push your child out of your still moving vehicle and speed off. Teach them to tuck and roll.


If you need extra time, PULL OVER Blocking the line so that you can do a 20-point inspection of your child’s clothing is grounds for immediate ejection into space. Make use of the hundreds of side streets in your city and do this before you get to school. Or better yet, do it at home. You’re making uncaffeinated people angry which is very dangerous.


Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!
  • Kay_Sue

    There was actually a moment last week that I thought there would be a brawl in the student pick up line at my son’s school.

    A minivan broke down about a quarter of the way through the line…and the entire back half threw their vehicles in reverse and cut anyone behind said defunct minivan…

    It was ugly. Really ugly. So happy to have been able to watch through my rearview, but I wish I had thought to bring popcorn.

  • Kendra

    I don’t even have a school aged child and this was the greatest thing I’ve ever read. My child’s daycare really only involves a few families and yet I end up with people blocking me in or hogging the doorway. I think I might print a copy of these rules and pass them out…

  • Rana

    I am literally about to fall out of my chair! M for Monistat, OMG I am dying!!! What is the testicular gang sign going to be?

    • Lee

      I think it should be a cupping the balls action.

  • Virginia

    At my daughter’s school you can start dropping off at 7 but the teacher in charge of the drop off line doesn’t come out till about 7:20. This leaves 20 whole minutes of people who feel the need to park at the beginning of the point of the drop off line, walk little johnny into school and proceed with Aesop’s fables inside the school. All while causing a back up line of no one moving forward because they don’t realize they’re behind one, sometimes more, parked car(s).

  • Not A Mandy

    Can we add some specific rules RE:handicapped parking and their access aisles? Guess what folks! While I realize this winter is never-ending and that we’re losing entire rows of parking spaces in the lot, the access aisle between the handicapped spaces is still not legal parking. I shouldn’t have to jump my kid off a curb in her walker because you feel laws no longer apply because *gasp* snow. You especially shouldn’t whip your car into reverse and speed out of your illegal spot 2 inches away from said kid while I’m trying desperately to load her into my van. Now that you’ve seen someone actually needed that access aisle, you’re going to have to sit there looking like the jack@$$ you are until she’s safely in. (At our school, parents of kids K-2 have to go into the building to pick up their kids. Only kids in grades 3-5 can use the pick up line.)

  • Tarraland

    I’m proposing an addition. The whole kid-and-kaboodle needs to climb in through the door. No popping your trunk open, getting out to toss the backpacks in, and then slowly hopping back in to seat belt and drive. Kid-and-kaboodle in the backseat and motor away.

    • dkzody

      This continues into high school. I have been behind cars that stop in the middle of the street, trunk lid goes up and a car door opens. Very sloooooowly this thin, gangly teen unwinds himself from the car. He is comatose, being sent into the world of secondary classes, and has a difficult time finding the trunk, getting his backpack and staggering away from the car, only to be heralded by driver to come back and close the trunk and the car door.

    • Guets

      I just need to know what these people drive that is so tiny it cannot fit both a person AND a backpack in the front.

    • dkzody

      You would think, huh, that these are small cars. NO. We are talking full size sedans. I taught at an inner city high school for 21 years. It happened every day that I was running behind my usual arrival time of 7 am, and even occasionally that early. The closer to the school bell, the more cars stopped on the street. High school kids move slower than molasses in January.

    • Ddaisy

      So true. When I was in high school, I arrived half an hour early every day to ensure I was the first one in the parking lot. Getting there early enough to snag the #1 prime parking spot was really just a bonus. I mostly just desperately wanted to beat the inevitable traffic jam that surrounded the school for three blocks in every direction. High school kids are the worst.

    • Emmi

      In high school there is also that dreaded ‘parent get out of the car so student with permit can get in the front seat to drive and you can take your sweet time to walk all the way around the car to get in the passenger side’.

  • Guets

    If the teacher gave me that response I’d cut every day and yell out my window “I’m just in a hurry!”

    • Momma425

      OMG, me too!

  • Adrienne Bolton

    My favorite way to avoid the car line is letting my kids walk to school…

    • Bunny Lou

      Or push them out the door at Odark-thirty and make them wait for the bus

    • brebay

      for real.

  • ElizabethBRowell

    With 20 cars behind you, please have the courtesy to push your child out of your still moving vehicle and speed off. Teach them to tuck and roll. http://ll2.de/2/CRB/

  • http://www.suburbansnapshots.com Suburban Snapshots

    I’ve missed your voice, B. This is perfect.

  • lizinthelibrary

    I don’t have school age children (yet) but the entrance to my neighborhood is an entirely self-transport optional/charter school. No buses, no neighborhood kids, every kid is driven to school. It’s a nightmare. My husband and I have arranged our work schedules to either leave the neighborhood 20 minutes before school starts or 20 minutes after. That other 40 minutes is a war zone we will not enter.
    Of course during a snowstorm when school was cancelled, I drove past and saw that two kids had been dropped off at a closed school by a completely clueless parent. How do you miss that there isn’t the usual mass of lemmings in traffic? And the building was dark and shut up? A neighbor who is a firefighter/fire inspector (and drives an official fire SUV) had already stopped to help them or I would have. I figured that guy in clearly marked car in uniform would seem more trustworthy than random lady in a jeep.

    • Guets

      Good lawd how stupid could someone be??

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I….think I’m very glad my kid’s school will be only a 20 minute walk from our home. Dropping her off by car sounds terrifying.

    • averyzoe

      Walking is worse. Imagine Frogger, with your precious little ones dodging between oblivious SUV drivers.

    • Adrienne Bolton

      But it’s actually pretty safe for a kid to walk to school if you teach them to use the sidewalk and how to cross a street. I’ve watched my 5 year old cross a four way stop near our school and home all by herself. She gets off her bike, looks around to be sure the cars are stopped and that they see her, then she crosses. Easy Peasy…


    • Megan McLean

      You are my hero.

    • notorious

      The problem, in my area at least, isn’t the kids. It’s the damn parents. I live across from one of the schools, on the corner, and parents come whipping around that corner so fast it’s insane. They don’t even look. There are no crossing guards on that corner, but many kids cross there. Of course, their own kids are safe inside their tank, so it doesn’t matter if they run down one of my neighbors.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Apparently I’ll have to walk her myself until she’s like 10 or something anyway. There’s a school policy that kids 10 and under (it might be a different age, but it’s something around there, I remember thinking it seemed high) have to be dropped off and picked up by a parent/guardian. I’m hoping by 10 she’ll know how to cross a street properly!

      I walked by myself (well, with my friends) to school starting from age 8. It was a 40ish minute walk and there was a shortcut over train tracks that the ‘bad kids’ took. We never did because we were smart little chicken shits. The biggest obstacle was not spending my allowance at the pastry shop we walked by on the way.

    • pacspeed

      Oh..they can walk by themselves at 10? Which school is that again?

  • http://maitribathbody.com/ Maitri

    I thank the gods that my day care has a bus that takes my kid to school and picks him up for me.

  • middleofnowheremom

    Growing up I lucked out to have the elementary school across the street and the middle and high schools only several blocks away. Now as an adult with children, I love the fact that if I look out my dining room window, I can see the middle school down the street and that is where the elementary children and high schoolers load to shuttle over to the next town. LOVE IT!

  • LiteBrite

    This is why I have a roller derby sticker on my car. People think I’ll cut them if they try any of this crap.

  • ThomasMHarper

    Oh man… you are quite the funny person. :)

  • Natasha B

    First-yay!!!! You’re back!!!
    And yes, yes, yes to all of this. Our oldest usually rides the school bus, it’s only a 10 min ride and the stop is at our corner. But she has after school activities, and omg the pick up line. Parents that PARK AND GET OUT OF THEIR CAR AND HOLD UP THE LINE…so much rage.
    I’m not looking forward to preschool drop off in the fall, either.

  • TngldBlue

    I got caught unintentionally in the school pick up line once. It was like suddenly there were no rules and it was kill or be killed. I still have flashbacks.

  • Joel

    We rode the bus. Problem solved.

  • Jezebeelzebub

    I used to really hate the whole kid-drop Thunderdome, but I realized it’s a great pick-me-up. After all that adrenaline and rage, I’m bright eyed and SUPER alert for like three hours and I don’t even need any coffee or anything. Also, the burning vadge/balls thing is HIGH-LARIOUS. But I wanna see panic in the eyes and sweat on the upper lip if you gonna be flashing the M (or whatever the balls-0n-fire sign is).

  • pacspeed

    Or: you could let your children experience the great and wonderful thing called REAL LIFE, and drop them curbside a few block from school. They will dawdle, throw things at other things, and be occasionally late for class. And of course be subject to the depredations of our almost 100% pervert-n-predator society, But you will NEVER sit in a traffic circle.

    My current passed-thru-a-traffic-circle-at-school score: 0

    • brebay

      THANK YOU!!! When did curbside drop-off become essential?

  • pat

    Spoon feeding your child breakfast while in line is verboten.

  • Pingback: High Five For Friday! | Erica the Great()

  • koolchicken

    I always like to say, turn signals come standard in every car because they aren’t optional.

  • brebay

    I drop my kids off 2 blocks away and laugh at all the suckers giving their kids curbside drop-off and blaming the interwebs when they turn in to entitled brats who can’t function. “But they have sooo muuuuch stuuuuffff nowadays…” We had stuff. We managed. It’s a couple blocks, you choose to get into that rat race, you take what you get. Yes, yes, I’m sure your snowflakes go to school right ON the highway, at the top of a mountain, surrounded by registered sex offenders…

  • Pingback: How To Dress To Drop Your Kids Off At School()