Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Parenting FAIL: Nightmare at the Kiss N Ride

Sometimes other parents drive us crazy at the Kiss N Ride by not follwoing the very simple rules.  It's about time we heard their side of the story!  This particular tale of parenting prowess comes from our friend the Marketing Mommy.  I can only thank Maude that Kate was not in line behind her.  Because there might have been trouble.

I don't usually drop my kid off at school. I have a wonderful daycare provider that does that for me and therefore I can get to work at the ungodly hour of 8am. So I don't get a whole lot of practice with the Kiss 'n' Ride. But my daycare was closed for a very well deserved break. Hence... the NIGHTMARE.

Everything was going along swimmingly. My mom showed up to watch my  2 year old as I helped pack up my son for Kindergarten. The backpack is as big as he is and it's winter so there are coats upon coats that he needs to wear and lunch boxes and scarves...you get the picture. He looked like Randy from "A Christmas Story."

We left the house at 8:20 bound for school (the bell rings at 8:30) and it's less than five minutes from the house so... we were actually early. For the first time since I gave birth.

The ride was nice. We played rhyming games. We went over who was going to pick him up from school - "NANA? YEAH!" Life was beautiful. We pulled into school and circled the parking lot to get to the end of the line.

For those of you who don't know what the Kiss 'n' Ride line, is I'll explain...nope too long. I'll sum up:
  • Line of parents in cars dropping kids off
  • Must exit from right side of car where sidewalk is.
  • The protocol: Kiss kid once (Air kisses are acceptable) They bounce out. Close door. You leave.
  • Important Note: Do not pass on the left in the Kiss 'n Ride line.
  • All this should take less than 45 seconds if done properly. I will repeat that last part for effect, and make it both bold & italicized so you can fully grasp its importance: if done properly.
To prepare for the drop-off while still at the back of the line, I said...

Me: Son, go ahead and unbuckle. Get your backpack on and stand right in front of your sister's car seat. [This would prove to be Mistake Number 1.]

Son: But Mommy the car is moving.

Me: It's OK, we're not going fast and you won't be there long.

Son: OK, Mommy if you say so.

I see my daycare provider's hubby dropping off their kids and pulling out of the lot. We are in the next group to pull up to the sidewalk. I am first in line. [As I don't know the protocol here, this would be Mistake Number 2.] I pull up to first spot and come to a stop. I do not put it in park. [And, because I'm determined to utterly fail the Kiss 'n' Ride, this will prove to be Mistake Number 3.]

Me: OK, Go ahead and open the door. I love you have a good day. [Air kiss]

Son: OK Mommy. Bye. [He pushes the door and it opens a crack but no more.]

Son: Mommy? It won't open.

Me: What do you mean it won't open? Push.

Son: I did.

Me: Try again. Push harder.

What the hell are you doing?
He tries, but no luck. It is at this point I realized [Aaaaannnnd, Mistake Number 4. Super.] I have not made the appointment to get the trim fixed on the side of my car which prevents the rear passenger from opening until the front passenger door has been opened first. [Editor's Note: Holy crap. Do you have a Big White Tampon? Because my van did the same thing! xo, Lydia]

This is when panic creeps in. Oh Dear Maude. That's when everything went into high gear and slow motion at the same time. I never thought that was possible before, but it can happen. I now know how a Cullen feels. I look at the clock and -- schmidt! -- we have been here over a minute. I spin around and start barking at my son.


Son: I'm trying. I can't!

I lean over the passenger seat and try to open the front door and the side door while still buckled but it won't budge. Gah! Then I sit up and frantically unbuckle my seat belt, put the car in park, throw my door open, run around the front of the car -- in heels -- and reach for the front handle while simultaneously yanking on the rear handle. I had to do this several times in order to get the timing right. I must have looked awesome. On the third try, the doors fly open and I'm yelling:


Son: OK! OK!

My son tries to hop out, but, because his hugely ginormous backpack decides right then to quite literally hook up with his sister's carseat, he ends up hanging helplessly, mid-jump, two feet from the ground. We've also hit the three minute mark. People give birth faster than this.

Suddenly, I'm struck with the thought that somewhere in North Carolina, there's a mom who took too long at the Kiss 'n' Ride link and another mom pulled a gun on herFurck! Furck! Furckitty Furkwad! I'm gonna get a cap popped in my ass because I am now at three and a half minutes.

I grab my child and rip him off the car seat while simultaneously throwing him on the sidewalk [He landed on his feet thank Maude.] I turn into a whirling dervish slamming doors and running back around the car, still in heels thank you very much, and throwing air kisses and calling over my shoulder..


I hop in my seat. Buckle up for safety and pull out at exactly four minutes with no caps having been popped. Leaving my poor son on the sidewalk staring after me and the teachers/parents/other children in the lot looking bewildered. Whew! And all I can think is, "Thank goodness no one I knew was there to witness it."

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Thank you for the good chuckle I got from this.

  2. And this is what scares me about my life in four years.

    This is hilarious!!!

  3. OMG that was hilarious, I only wish the other parents that are literally texting or just parking their ginormous Yukon XL or truck with a trailer right smack in the middle of the lane and then getting out and leisurely walking in were as well meaning as this person. Seriously our school has no teacher or anything out directing traffic and I don't think I have ever seen such a horrible job of collective parents. I have started just dodging ahead into the empty handicap parking spots at the front of the lane now to drop off my kid if there's any delay because its not just a 4 minute delay its freaking forever.

  4. Man I wish I was there. Hahaha. Don't worry, you only have to do it one more time and that's the last day of school. You will do fine at that kiss n ride. And if not, at least you don't have to see any of those people for at least 11 weeks. LOL.

  5. Awe.some. Also? The car has to be in PARK for the automatic door to open. Yeah . . .that should be painted on the windshield for the first timer *cough* me *cough*

  6. Awesome. Just. Plain. Awesome.

  7. When in the Kiss & Ride line, has a kid ever exited the vehicle through the sun roof?

  8. I love, love, love this. If there were only more moms and dads that actually cared about the timing. I just love the parents that drive front end first into the curb, wedging themselves in just to get into the front . Only to completely bring the line to a halt. Then have the nerve to give other parents the evil eye as they stand outside their door watching their dawdling child stop and smell the roses before actually entering the building.

  9. Thank you for this! My entire day yesterday was one huge Parenting Fail and I needed this little vignette to remind me that maybe I'm not the world's worst mom and it could be possible we just had a tough day. Good to know that those happen to others too and they can even be quite funny when viewed from an outside perspective.

  10. I have never been soooo excited to fail at something. I am literally bouncing in my seat. I am happy to share all of my failures as a parent. Lydia & Kate I printed out your parenting fail sign and it is proudly displayed on my office wall.

  11. It seems like I deal with being a lousy parent at least once a day with my 12 kids. You can read about my latest ones that have been recorded for posterity at www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com
    Look for Mother-of-the-Year from February or Haircuts in March.
    Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

  12. A great story that made me laugh. Thanks for sharing it!

  13. I don't know if the Princess Bride reference was intentional, but it gave me a chuckle anyway!

  14. Parent drop off is to be avoided at all costs! The only thing worse is pick-up, when there's dreaded down time without the kids and only the parents to glare at, waiting for the munchkins...
    Ur kids are young: you'll see!!!

  15. Yes the Princess Bride was an intentional reference. One of my absolute favorite movies. If my Hubby and I ever renew our vows (considering what I do to our children, this is not a given) I want it to be A la Princess Bride - Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togevah today.....




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