Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First things first: Huck loves his new school. I've heard a detailed description of the playground and the snack, and he says that "The girls tell me to push my glasses up!" Right now I'm stalling him until noon as best I can, but he's ready to go go go go go go go.

Some of you may recall a difficult experience at Huck's other preschool last February, blogged on April 13th. Remember how the impetus for that exchange was my being ten minutes late because of a traffic accident?

Some of you may also recall that we were recently inspected by the state, and that things as silly as having fruit on the kitchen table was treated like physical abuse.

So my school anxiety is fairly high.

Enough preamble: Huck's school gets out at 3:15 for the preschoolers, and the rest of the school gets out at 3:30. Preschoolers are not able to take the bus, so parents have to pick up and drop off. There are two parking entrances in the school, one for bus and parent pickup, and another for faculty. The entrances are twenty feet apart on the same street, and preschoolers are the only ones that get picked up in the faculty lot. Yesterday morning, it took me six minutes from the time I got Huckle strapped into his car seat in our garage until we walked in the school.

I left the house at 3:00 to go pick my boy up, figuring I'd sit in the parking lot with the ten minutes to spare.

Half a mile from the school, traffic stops. There's a line of parents about 100 cars long waiting to pick up their kids. And the line isn't going to move because 1. No kids other than preschoolers are out of class yet, and 2. Cars aren't allowed into the bus + pickup lot until the buses are gone, which means 3:45. 3. The bus/pickup lot line is only one lane.

So I could see the school, but didn't have any way to get there. Time passed, and between 3:03 and 3:30, I move about twenty feet forward.

In the take home packets we got at Meet the Teacher Night, it was written that at 3:30, preschoolers will be taken to the office and the school will begin calling the child's emergency contacts to make sure that someone will be arriving at school.

Anyhow, I sat in my immobile hunk of metal with tears streaming down my face, because really, if washcloths get me cited, then I may as well start packing Huckle's stuff if the emergency contacts are called on the first day of school because I didn't come get him.

Around 3:40, I pulled out of the line, parked illegally in front of a model house, and started walking to the school.

After crossing two large fields, a drainage ditch, and a softball field, I got to the school at 3:55. By then, I was sobbing. But I'd remembered to put the windshield pickup pass in my purse.

And out of the 40ish kids in the afternoon preK classes, about 25 were still sitting outside in their pickup lines with the teachers.

I swear, I'd never been so happy to see so many four year olds sitting on pavement. Huck ran to me and launched himself into my arms, I apologized to his teacher, told her how bad it was trying to get there, and waved happily to all the other kids as Huck and I set off for the car.

And together we crossed the parking lot, the softball field, the drainage ditch, a field, four lanes of traffic, another field, and the model home's backyard. Huck yammered the entire way, and we were eaten alive by mosquitoes.

We got home at 4:30. We both took a nap until 6.

I think I'll leave for school at 2:30 today and bring some knitting. And a few drinks. And this time, I won't wear my cute little kitten-heeled sandals.


Tudu said...

OMG, I panic at the thought of my child sitting somewhere waiting for me, wondering IF I am coming. I am so glad it ended well.

Other Mother said...

3 points for your perseverence! Neither hills nor high water will keep you from your child! The first days of school are always hectic, no matter how organized everyone is. We make plans that work for later in the school year, but on the first day - I think everyone and their grandmother drive (drives?) the kids to school.

Yondalla said...

I'm having a deja vu -- except I can't quite remember it. Still it feels so familiar, unable to get to my kid, worrying, waiting.

Now that they are all old enough to have cell phones it is easier. They may not like that I am stuck in traffic, but they know I am coming.

Tami said...

I can almost feel your panic. How awful! I'm glad it ended well..and that Huck handled the situation like a pro. Hopefully, all of this school stuff will settle down into a routine pretty quickly.

Solomon & Malachi said...

Hey, I shot over here from The Open Window. I'll be praying that your little guy will stay with you - his true family. Please pray for us, too. Nobody else would take newborn cocain triplets. I hope everything works out for us and for you. It's a thankless job, huh?

Esther said...

You are such a great writer! Love your blog ;o)

Thank you for your comments on my blog about meeting our girls. I don't think I mentioned it before, but they are foster adoptions.....they are currently in a foster home and have been for quite some time. Now they are legally free and moving in with us shortly.

Cheers! -Esther

Innocent Observer said...

I think this is one of those rites of motherhood. I still panic about missing the bus and having kids waiting for me.

Nicki Mann said...

Whoa that school needs to figure out a better pickup process! At least Huck is lucky to have a mama who will leap over tall buildings to get to him!

Melanie said...

How frustrating!!! That is so irritating that their parking is so screwed up that you need to be there an hour early to get anywhere near close to the school entrance. Hopefully your next pickups will be less stressful.