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

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