Monday, January 20, 2014

While We Wait

The set up at Hallie's school for drop off and delivery is kind of ridiculous to me.  They don't bus the children, so most parents have to drive to pick up their children. Hallie's school is a little over three and a half miles away, down very busy streets.  Like many others, I drive her.  In the afternoon, we drive to the school, and then we sit in a line of cars for, on average, an hour.

A one year old and a three - now four - year old in the car for an hour every single weekday is... I mean, I could tell you that it is really fun, and a special bonding time for all of us, or I could tell you what it is really like.

Boring.  Mostly, pretty much, it's boring. Sometimes there is fighting, sometimes there is crying, sometimes there is screaming.  Sometimes there is peacefulness, sometimes they are both asleep, sometimes we play games and sing songs and all is bonding and swell.  Since Christmas break I've been doing Hanna's reading lessons during the wait, and that has been nice.

But really, mostly, boring.

The other day I had a notebook and pen out and was making a list, you know, as I do.

Hanna popped up beside me and begged me to take dictation of what she wanted to say.  I present to you now, a transcript of maybe 15 or 20 minutes of our hour in the car, from a random weekday in January while we wait for Hallie in the car.  Oh, and if you think it doesn't make much sense, you're right.  I literally wrote down everything she said, as she said it.  Heather's words are italicized.

Dear Momma, Hanna I like your pretty dresses.
Dear Hanna, do you like the snow?
Hanna.  Mommy. Do you like our mailbox?
Hanna. Dear Hanna. Do you like the car?
Dear Hanna. I mean mom. So so so so so. Huh?
Mom. Dear Hanna.  Do you like your preschool teacher?
Hanna, Do you like the trees? by Mom.
(laughs) Yucky! My finger has some yogurt on it.  Hmm, that is so yummy yogurt. (NOTE: She had no yogurt on her finger.)
Dear Hanna, Do you like the mailbox?
Dear Hanna, Do you like the grass?
Dear Hanna, Do you like your mom's spinning wheel (laughs) by Hanna.
Dear Hanna, Do you like your snow pants?
Dear Hanna, Do you like your mommy? (laughs, repeats question)
Mommy, on one of them can you make a question mark? (this question repeated three times, I showed her that I had been writing many, many question marks)
Mommy we forgot to go to the store today. (This sentence repeated three times)
Mommy what is that supposed to be? (points to something random in the car, I didn't know what it was she was pointing to)
(Heather begins crying.) Momma! Momma! Pooping!
Dear Hanna, Do you like your nose?
(Heather crying) Momma! Pooping! Out! Mommy! Owie! (assorted grunting noises)
(Hanna, to Heather) Heather, what do you want?
(Heather, softly now) Momma.
(Hanna, to Heather) Do you want me to take off your shoes?
(Then a conversation where I mostly hear the word "dots" repeated over and over and Heather saying "Yeah!")
(Next, Hanna instructs Heather to repeat the following words.  Hallie and Hanna love to teach Heather new words. It went as follows) "exclamation point", "seat belt", "magazine", "snow"
(Heather quit playing when Hanna tried to get her to say "stoplight")
(They talk for a minute about boo boos, then something about hair, then Heather began crying again.  She is done playing with Hanna.  I tell Hanna to leave her alone.)
(Hanna, ignoring me) Say "jacket" Heather.
"no say jacket, Hanna, no jacket!"
(Hanna continues poking at Heather. I upgrade from "leave her alone" to "stop it".  Hanna does not stop)
Stop it Hanna, stop it!
(I tell Hanna to move back to her seat away from Heather. She does.)

(The car is peaceful for one minute.  Hanna and Heather begin mumbling to each other things I can't understand.  Laughter.)

(Heather asks Hanna to play the boo game.  Hanna begins to play.  Suddenly, Heather is done playing.)
Sit down Hanna, sit down!
(Hanna continues boo game, laughter, Heather begins to say random words) boot, rock, tip, all through town, Hanna move
(Hanna begins playing with my hair.  There is one minute of peace again.  Heather, crying again.) Momma! Pooping!
(Hanna begins singing) We're sitting on the lawnmower, my daddy is a grandpa, my daddy is a baby.
Mommy, write me a note. Dear Hanna, do you like the black car?

And thus, we came full circle.
Note, Heather never did poop.

Wish me luck.  I only have ten years or so to go of sitting in the car like this every single weekday for an hour.


  1. Oh my goodness. That is an insane amount of time wasted. Why do you have to sit there so long? Is it so you are closer to the front of the line? Why don't they bus? I am so confused about how this is seen as reasonable by your school board / city council. Do you not pay taxes?

  2. We have bus service, but it is insane. I have to take Noahto the elementary school that is only 4 blocks away so he canride the bus to his school which is only 5 minutes down the road. Even if you live out in the country and your children are picked up, they have to transfer buses if theyare in kindergarten to second grade.

  3. Awesome conversation. Our old school district in Ohio didn't have busing until high school or if you were more than two miles away (or some distance) from the school. You have to remember to not drive down streets with schools, because all the waiting cars didn't fit in the parking lot. For ours though, the kids get to wait inside in the gym. They each have a number could on their back packs that match the number hanging from your car mirror, so when you get closer to the school, someone read your number and tells it in a walkie talkie, so by the time you make it to the door, your kid is waiting for you. So once school is actually out, the line moves quickly. It is just the waiting to get a good spot in line that takes so long.

  4. I know what you can do: call me. Do you have a cell phone? Just call me sometimes. I mean, I know that you'll have little kids with you, and I'll have little kids with me, but we can call and laugh about some of it for a moment. Okay? So, call.