I decided to shoot a little video yesterday of the boys getting off the school bus.
I now have about six minutes of other people's children getting off the school bus.
Because my children? Were not on the bus.
The bus driver was about to shut the door when he noticed me standing there, my phone still pointing at the exit and a Tina-Belcher-like uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh starting to come out of my mouth.
"Uh oh," he said. "Who are we missing?"
"Noah and Ezra?" I replied, as I continued to pointlessly record this interaction. For posterity. For remembrance of the day I waited over 30 minutes for a bus that did not contain any of my children.
"Yeah," he looked back. "They never got on today."
I finally stopped recording because my phone rang. It was Jason, and then our call was immediately interrupted by the school's number, and then I screwed up both calls and accidentally hung up on everybody. Probably because I was too busy sprinting back to our house with my 30-pound toddler in my arms to interact with a touchscreen properfly.
I knew immediately what had gone wrong with Noah — last year he had a standing appointment with a therapist on Monday afternoons, so I would pick him up at school. He no longer has that appointment and I THOUGHT I'd conveyed that pretty clearly to him yesterday morning — he was to ride the bus home.
And he was ALSO to make sure the bus didn't leave without Ezra. Because I'd completely forgotten to fill out an information card for him, clearly detailing his bus route and stop and our contact numbers, like all Good Kindergarten Parents are supposed to do.
I only remembered about the card when we arrived at the bus stop and I saw five or six other kindergarteners dutifully wearing their information cards around their necks or pinned to their backpacks.
"Oh," I said, before turning to Noah. "Dude, I'm gonna need you to do me a favor today."
Damn fine parenting, all around. What's the worst that could happen?
But alas, this request obviously did not override his old habits and routine, and as I shoved Ike into his car seat and hauled ass back to the school, all I could think about was Ezra's lack of card and whether Noah remembered his little brother and oh God, the worst that could happen probably involved Ezra getting on the wrong bus and/or just being scared and confused and wandering around and/or POSITIVE KINDERGARTEN EXPERIENCE RUINED FOREVER.
I arrived at the school office a pant-y, sweaty mess and was thankfully greeted by BOTH of my children, both of whom were smiling...and wearing stickers labeled with their bus route. The office staff were apologetic — Noah had been beyond adamant that I was picking him up and he needed to stay with his brother, so they listened to him and pulled Ezra off the bus as well, just to be safe.
Ours was far from the only first-day transportation miscommunication/mishap — that office was packed full of children waiting for someone to come claim them. And Ezra was far from being scared or upset — he thought he'd been chosen to attend a special First Day of School Party at the office. He said it was very fun.
They both had great, great first days of school, and couldn't wait to go back today.
"RIDE THE BUS HOME," I hollered at them this morning as they boarded. Noah flashed me a thumbs up. Ezra waved through the window. I guess we'll see.