All 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.
I realize that people have difficult lives full of circumstances out of their control. For this reason, please read the following exceptions to the aforementioned laws.
1. Vaginal Infections. If you have a vaginal yeast infection that is burning a hole through your panties or a sexually transmitted disease, feel free to go ahead. I realize this is a sensitive subject so to alert others, just make a hand signal so that we understand your plight. Hold up pointer, middle, and ring fingers Kat Everdeen style. Now turn them upside down so the “W” turns into an “M” for “Monistat.” This will be our gang-sign for bad yeast infections and we will let you pass.
2. I realize that if I include “yeast infections,” I need to include some kind of exception for males. Men: any type of urgent testicular matter wherein you feel like your testes are on fire earns you a pass as well.
3. Running out of gas. If you’re running on fumes, I’m not even going to judge you. It’s a North American tradition to wait until the last second to fill up your tank so go right ahead. Don’t make a habit out of this.
4. Fleeing From The Law. Are you a fugitive like that guy in that Kate Winslet movie nobody saw? Is a detective hot on your case? As long as your crime is a cool one (freeing Dolphin families from Sea World at night), you may go to the front of the line.
5. Have to pee. One of the unspoken powers of parents is to hold our pee for ridiculously long periods of time. Sometimes that game of Russian roulette comes back to bite us. If you feel like a yellow tidal wave is about to drench your pants and soak through the upholstery of your 2010 Toyota Sienna, let us know by shouting “GOTTA PISS!” out of the window as you whoosh by.
6. Screaming Infant in the Backseat. We’re going to have to use the honor system on this one. If you’ve got 16lbs of rear-facing, buckwild, hysterical, screaming going on in the backseat, feel free to go ahead. I’m not talking about a little “Mother, I pray thee, release me from this harness.” No. I’m talking: “YOU HAVE THREE SECONDS BEFORE MY HEAD STARTS SPINNING AND I RELEASE MY BOWELS THROUGH MY MOUTH” level 10 nerve rattling wailing.
Now you know the rules. Obey or suffer the consequences.
Bumni Laditan writes the blog Honest Toddler. You can see more of her writing here and be sure and order her new book here The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting
(Image: StacieStauffSmith Photos/shutterstock)