Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why I Will Never Trust the Bus Stop

Guru here. By now you guys all know that I had a baby this summer. But did you also know I bought a new house? And moved into it the same week that school started? And that my two big kids both started new schools this fall? Yeah, I really like to cram as much change into one summer as possible for my kids . It's called building resilience, people. Go big or go home!

Anyway, this year my daughter gets to start riding the bus, which is a really big deal for our whole family. You see, my husband and I never took a bus to school. I walked my ass to the public school in my tiny town and he got dropped off at school by his parents. So no big, yellow school bus memories for either of us. And after two years of rotting in the kiss and ride line at preschool I was PUMPED for the bus. Free daily transportation for my kid that doesn't involve me fighting to strap in three kids and wondering if I have enough gas to wheeze my way through the school parking lot? Hells yeah, sign me up!

On the first day of school we were out there early, taking precious photos and anxiously watching the road for the bus. It's just me and my kids at the bus stop because--get this--the bus stops at the bottom of our really long driveway because our new house is on a busy street with no sidewalks. So the bus came, swallowed her up, and off she went!

Fast forward to the end of the day. Dismissal was at 3:10pm and although the school is clear across town I was dutifully waiting at the bottom of my driveway at exactly 3:10 just in case the bus found a worm hole in the fabric of time and managed to show up at 3:11. I was feeling pretty nervous about missing it because the school drills into your head that they cannot let your kid off the bus unless an adult is at the stop. I'm all for that, but it makes me super anxious that I'm going to somehow miss the dang thing.

I had left my 3 year-old son inside watching the end of a TV show, telling him to come outside when his show was over. Within 5 minutes I spotted him on the front stoop at the top of the driveway. He was panicking and flapping around yelling, "I can't find my shoes! Mommy, where are my shoes?!" (WHY don't they ever know where their shoes are?? Gah!) So I glanced down the street, sprinted up the driveway, grabbed him, and ran back down, relieved the bus hadn't flown by in my absence. I seated him, barefoot, on a big rock at the base of our driveway and proceeded to wait for the bus.

And know what's coming, right? "Mama, I have to go potty!" I could tell by the way he was wiggling around on the rock that I had NO time. And I also knew I couldn't run him back up to the house without risking missing the bus. So I walked him behind a nearby tree, nudged down the front of his pants and told him to take an outside whizzer.

Except it seemed my kid had gotten a nice case of the runs while waiting for his sister to come back from school. Oh yes.

We both freaked out. He immediately realized the problem and started yelling, "It's not pee, mama! IT'S NOT PEE!" as I'm watching the leakage begin. I knelt in front of him and said, "Sweetie, you just have to run inside and use the toilet. GO!" So he started up the driveway and within seconds bursts into tears because he had no shoes on and our driveway is loose gravel and rocks. So he picked his way back to me, holding his crotch, crying and yelling, "I can't go! I can't go! My feet hurt!" Could this get worse?

I'm glad you asked. Yes, it could. It started raining at that very moment and the baby, who had been happily asleep in the carrier on my chest, awakened and let me know just how rude he found the rain by screaming at me in my face. My poor boy finally worked up the courage to hobble up to the front door while I stood planted at the bus stop, hurling encouraging and inspirational statements at him. He made it all the way to the top step in front of our door when I guess he just couldn't hold it any longer and he just started peeing. Everywhere. The poor kid was still crying from the barefoot walk of pain and now he had finally made it to the front door and BAM. Pee.

So now my little boy was standing in his soaked pants, sobbing and screaming, "MOM, I PEED! I PEED AND POOPED!" All I wanted to do was run to him, scoop him up, wrap him up in a big hug (maybe after a shower) and assure him that everything was going to be fine. But the flippin' bus hadn't come, you guys. The. Bus. And my driveway is long enough that I could not be in both places. It's just not possible.

There is not enough juice in the world to fix that afternoon.
At this point I had to pick which kid to help. Whose therapy bills would be greater some day--the kid who stood screaming for help with soiled pants or the kid whose mother failed to get her off the bus on her first day ever of big kid school?

Truly, there are few feelings as hollow and sickening as knowing you are going to disappoint one of your children when you have every good intention and physical means of doing so. My poor boy had to wait. I yelled to him that I couldn't leave the bus stop. I yelled that he was brave and that everything was OK, that accidents happen. I yelled that I loved him SO much. I yelled it so loud that he may have even heard me over the baby who was also screaming, and was, incidentally, also pooping himself.

And that is how we came to spend the first after-school afternoon curled up on the couch drinking apple juice and watching Spiderman, hugging each other like we had been through a war.

My apple juice may have been fermented "grape juice".

And that is why I will never trust the bus stop ever again. The end.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013


  1. I think the problem could have been solved by the school allowing the children to walk from the bus stop home alone.. especially since it's only your DRIVEWAY!!! That is the pathetic part.. I know it's all about "safety" but come on! What are the chances that some random perv just happens to be coming along as your child gets off the bus and walks up your driveway? about 0.0000001%...

    On the other hand that was both hilarious and completely awful.. good luck in the future! :)

    1. I also live at the end of a long driveway and would NEVER let my 1st or 2nd grader get off alone and walk. The bus won't even leave them there unless there's a parent there to pick them up. And, to me, a 0.000001% chance of their running into a perv is higher than the 0% chance they'd have if I do it myself. So, basically, I can feel the author's pain. : )

    2. When my daughter was in 2nd grade she walked home from school alone... Part of being a parent is teaching your kids to be independent and responsible, by never letting them do anything unsupervised you are raising them to remain children, I am raising a mature responsible young lady.. She's now 11 and often rides her bike half way across town from her dad's house to my church so she can participate in youth group.
      You have to balance what could happen against what is likely to happen and prepare your children.... And that's the best you can do..

  2. oh my goodness *snicker*. that is an absolute nightmare *giggle*. what a horrible experience *snorting*. I'm sorry, but that was just too funny and I'm so glad it wasn't me.

  3. This sounds like my life. You have to laugh or you will just cry. And maybe a little cry is okay too.

  4. HOLY CRAP ON A STICK that was the worst story ever. Guru... are you ok? LOL I felt how hard that was, all the way from Canada! At least, now you have this documented and can one day print it, and put it in your kids memory book (or just an envelope on their first day of college) SMILE! Also, now you'll know how long it really takes the bus to come, and that will never happen again. :)

  5. Sounds about right. How did the bus go THIS week?

  6. Hilarious... but only because it wasn't me. You poor thing! The poo! The rain! The screaming baby!
    Bad school bus memories aside... I cannot believe all the changes you just went through! Moving?!? New schools?!? New baby?!? Good for you, girl!

  7. It is probably a typo, but calling the bus stop the "bust" stop in the last line is so perfectly perfect for this post. Let's just call it intentional and be done with it.

    If it makes you feel better, I don't remember my mother EVER meeting the bus. And she assures me she did, EVERY DAY. So, there's that. ;-)

  8. I actually love the bus, but I'm spoiled out here in the country and the bus literally pulls into our large driveway and stops about 15 feet from our door. In the winter, I stay nice and cozy in the house while the kids tromp across the snow to get to the bus.
    One bad experience: For the first year and a half my daughter took the bus, I was paranoid about leaving and going grocery shopping or whatever while she was gone, lest there be some odd early out day and I'd miss it. I finally calmed down about it until one day, when I was in town. I thought briefly about stopping for lunch with my boys but decided against it and we headed off for home where I found my daughter, who had been let off by the bus 15 minutes before. Early out day. Somehow I missed that one on the weekly information from her 1st grade teacher. I'm SO thankful we didn't go out to lunch. She could get in the house, so at least she wasn't stuck outside. We have no land line, though. She used the computer to attempt to message her dad at work (I'd taught her how, just in case), but of course he was at lunch. She was sort of amused, but was starting to get a little freaked by the time I got home. Needless to say, I'm back to being worried when I'm gone.

  9. Oh my gosh, I'm crying and laughing and I am so sorry this happened to you (and your poor little dude)!
    -Kelly L.

  10. If grandparents could only teleport instantly when needed in crisis, I'd be there! Would hate to have ruined this delightfully horrific afternoon at the ranch story and deprived your readers of the well-deserved opportunity to exhibit Mommyland empathy.

  11. I was just waiting for you to write that the bus was 1/2 hour late. That is how it works in my world.

  12. I felt the sick feeling in my stomach for you reading this. Been there. Not the same exact circumstance, but holy moses, it sucks big time. Thanks for the solidarity sister!

  13. I swear this is my new favorite blog! Too funny!

  14. I am so so sorry this happened to you, but seriously, I am laughing so hard I peed a little.

  15. The bus stop was at the bottom of our long driveway, too. I was so engrossed in work (or probably facebook)one day that I didn't realize I was missing the drop off until I heard the squeal of the bus' brakes. I went tearing through my living room screaming "I"M HERE! I"M COMING!" and when I rounded the corner from the living room to the front door, I heard my knee go. Hopping, I pulled the front door open (still screaming, but for different reasons)to find a neighbor standing at the bottom of the drive with my daughter. No trauma for her, but knee surgery for mommy.

  16. Thank you for sharing because sometimes you feel so solo - at least I do this world of perfect parents, etc! I'm so glad you kept it real!

  17. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. You poor thing!

  18. Oh good lord. I'm so sorry but this made me laugh so hard.




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