My fellow Americans, you have certain inalienable rights which somebody once found to be self-evident. You have the right to bitch about gas prices while driving a Hummer (with or without a bumper sticker that reads, “Honk if you think I have a small penis!”). You have the right to complain about being fat while eating french fries.
You have the right to pay inflated property taxes to live in the town with the “good” public schools and then find yourself on the phone with the bus garage trying to remain calm while you demand to know WHERE YOUR CHILDREN ARE.
God bless our great country.
So. Um. Funny story! The bus hit a rift in the space-time continuum on the way home, today. Otherwise known as a substitute bus driver. And the thing is, you know, stuff happens. I understand that. But there is not enough STUFF that is permissible in the HAPPENS category to excuse the big yellow child transporter for an HOUR past drop-off time.
At first, I kept peering outside. A truck went by and I was sure it was the bus pulling up; but it wasn’t. Finally, about 10 minutes after they should’ve appeared, I went outside to wait. I ran into my new-ish neighbor who was also waiting for her son.
Fifty minutes is a long time to stand on the street corner with someone you really don’t know and make smalltalk.
At five minutes:
“Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you! Sometimes they’re a little late on Thursdays, because they have a sub. I’m sure they’ll be here any minute.”
At fifteen minutes:
“So. It’s really been cooling off, huh?”
At half an hour:
“Are you liking it here, on the unfashionable side of town? Have you dealt with any of the old New England blood yet?”
At forty-five minutes:
“Okay, um, I’m starting to get worried. No, actually, I’m starting to have morbid fantasies about the bus being in an accident.”
At fifty minutes:
“I’m calling the garage. They had better HOPE that bus crashed.”
The nice lady at the bus garage put me on hold and while I waited for her to return, the bus pulled up. I continued holding, however. When she finally came back, I let her know that the kids had, in fact, turned up in one piece. She was relieved, because GUESS WHAT? She’d been unable to get the bus driver on the radio.
One hour late, and not answering pages. Yes, PLEASE DRIVE MY KIDS AROUND. I enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling of rampant fear and homicidal urges. Thank you, rogue bus driver!
They were fine, of course. Well, other than REALLY NEEDING TO PEE, because an hour and a half on the bus when you live TEN MINUTES FROM SCHOOL is hard on little bladders. And Monkey was once again starving, because (this happened yesterday, as well) the twenty-minute lunch time is five minutes of getting into the cafeteria, ten minutes at the table, and five minutes of getting back to the classroom. If you are six, those ten minutes at the table is just enough time to extract the little straw from the wrapping that binds it to the back of your juice box. And boy cannot live by Juicy Juice alone.
(Chickadee has, of course, already perfected the art of the lunch sprint. She can hoover up a surprising amount of food in almost no time at all. Perhaps she can train her brother.)
The children recovered quickly. It turns out that rice krispie treats are a pretty good panacea. I’m still a little twitchy, though.