Obligatory Back-to-School Photopalooza
The Mighty Zah, Kindergarten Champion of the World

First Day, First Crisis: Done & Done

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. 

 

Comments

Mary

4 years of bus riding here. Every damn day I yell "HOW YOU COMING HOME?" and wait for the required response "BUS!" My husband thinks I'm crazy but it makes me feel better. Good luck today! I'm sure they'll be on it.

MaryC

My son rode the bus home most days. For the days that he was to STAY (after-school program or mom pickup), I put a colorful carabiner with random hanging toys on his backpack. He would see it when he got it out of the cubby to leave school and then he'd know what to do. Worked great all thru 8th grade, by then it was plain carabiner only and no tchotchkes (uncool).

Waah, he's in college now, how did THAT happen?!?

Charlotte

It is so amazing to watch your boys grow up. I always think the same thing when you post the great moments like this one: Noah making sure that Ezra wasn't left behind. And the other ones. And also when you post the not amazing ones because it makes me feel that I am not alone in raising my three boys either.

Arnebya

Yay for good days. Not yay for what I know was a stranger-filled, lost kid on a random sidewalk, separation, what if set of shit running through your head. Day 2!

Thanks, MaryC for carabiner. I've always said one of those latchable things. You know the one, looks like a sideways head?

Ladotyk

It's like putting your kids on a ship to the new world and hoping they find safe passage!

Melissa

If it makes you feel better, our school district was 0-2 in getting my kindergarten kiddos home on their first day, despite having filled out the 27 forms/info cards AND my kids wearing the stickers indicating that yes, oh god yes, they will ride the daycare bus home. Both first days I received frantic calls from the daycare because my kids are MIA and the bus driver won't leave without my children, followed by a nonchalant "hey are you planning on picking up these kids" call from the school. And both times, the school was like "eh - it's always chaos on the first day." My kiddos...totally unfazed by the whole thing. Me...well, they are now in 7th and 3rd and I'm just now able to laugh about it.

Cara

I love reading stuff like this because it shows me these things happen, even with awesome parents. I remember my aunt forgetting to pick me up from school when I was young. I just sort of sat at the curb and hung out until she got there. Kids can be pretty chill sometimes! Glad Ezra had fun at the party. What did Jason say when he found out?

Heather

Oh, I wish I had had a big brother Noah. What a good kid to look after Ezra.

Isabel @alphamom

so proud of Noah for taking care of his little brother!

Jane

Total Older Brother win for Noah! Way to make yourself heard when it comes to the safety/well-being of your little brother. Ezra and Ike, you are two lucky dudes.

Kate

Kids are amazingly resilient. When I was about Noah's age my mom dropped me off for a soccer practice that *surprise* had been canceled. I sat there alone for the whole hour and other than being extremely irritated because I was bored I was really ok. I still don't know why I didn't just walk home; it was less than half a mile.

Margaret

Oh my gosh, weren't you stressed? I would have been panicking like crazy. The bus driver seemed pretty calm though!

Sue W.

Us older siblings are always looking out for the younger ones! So glad it all worked out in the end. Hope they both get off the hus this afternoon.

laurel

i so loved this post. this is the crap that needs to go in a book to be presented to a child upon the birth of a grandchild. this is what you're in for buddy! life with kids. so glad you're documenting the hilarity for posterity and for us. that video will be classic.

Mandy

So when I was in kindergarten I got left at school. Well, kinda. I was the last kid left at pickup (lived to close for a bus) so the teacher just up and left me outside. So I walked home (which, btw was one street over. I could see the school when the leaves fell off the trees) cuz I was scared and knew my big husky could keep me safe. Needless to say that teacher's ass was grass when my mom got there a few minutes later and I was no longer there. PS she had run to the store before pickup and got stuck in traffic.

Marla

As an elementary school kid I can remember always being jealous of the kids who walked home because they could stick around with their friends and play on the playground or whatever. One day I decided I would play on the playground too (clearly this was a time before bus info was tagged to each child so they could be herded home like cattle). After my fun I went to get my bus which had the audacity to leave without moi. I ran crying to the office and they called my parents to pick me up. My dad came and said why didn't you get on the bus and I think I said something like I dunno or I was playing.

Finkle

You forgot to fill out Ezra's card? WTF?!? Teachers haaaateee parents like you.

Spudz

OMG. My SIL just wrote that. I'm so sorry. I love you and your blog and your kids. So, so sorry.

Melinda

Teachers do not hate parents like you. Good teachers don't anyway.

-a former teacher

Cara

My daughter desperately wants to ride a school bus next year for Kindergarten. We are well within the 'no we won't transport your children for you' zone, so it won't be happening. I feel bad for her, but now I'm kind of relieved for me.

MariaV

I would really like to know how day went.

The bright side of this mishap is that Noah was equally adamant that he had to stay with his brother.

Cait

LMAO! Children man...fucking shit up with their sincerity and insistance

Candace

I like the other person's carabiner idea - we're going to be mostly 'pick up at school' because we both work, but there will be enough days he comes home on the bus.

nonsoccermom

HA. I don't mean to laugh, but it makes me feel so much better that this kind of stuff happens to other parents too. I lost my kid on the first day - in the morning, before school even started. He's in middle school this year and we agreed he could meet up with some of his buddies at the elementary where all of their siblings go, and then walk the 5 blocks together. But I hadn't meant on the first day because I hadn't confirmed with the other parents yet. I guess I didn't convey that well enough because I looked up from dealing with my 1st grader and he was gone. Yadda yadda, of course he was fine and at school but damn, son. Way to make your mother feel awesome.

Libby

I guess it's still too early in the afternoon to be asking DID THEY RIDE THE BUS TODAY.

DID THEY RIDE THE BUS TODAY??

(Because worrying about your kids is less stressful than worrying about my kid screaming his poor head off at daycare.)

MKP

My first day of 1st grade, when I was 6, I talked the bus driver into actually driving me to my house because I didn't see my mom's car at the Long John Silver's that was my bus stop. My aunt called the house and when she heard I was home alone, drove over and stopped to tell my mom on the way. Mom was mostly impressed I knew my address and the way to my house.

Kris

Once a week I take my youngest to OT straight from school. We always have to go over that, yes, today is OT day. BUT, I pick him up every single day. He does not ride the bus. Go figure.

Jelourai

All I see is that no matter what, Noah knows that his top priority is to keep his little brother safe - which means damn fine parenting. Good job!

DontBlameTheKids

At least they were together, so good for Noah!

Also, I did that to my parents once, only I just randomly decided I would like to walk home instead of take the bus. Unfortunately, I didn't remember the way. Fortunately, they found me.

Motable

So, I just had a heart attack right there with you. Glad all ended up ok. WHEW!

Amy

I love Noah. My big brother would have said, "What sister?" Really. I would have loved to have a brother like that! Hug him once just for all of us, 'kay?

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