Monday, May 8, 2017

Lunacy on the School Car Line

(Photo of a random school line)

We're going to talk about #firstworldproblems today. Today's problem: Car line. I've seen blog posts go around the internet about the school car line all over the country. Sometimes I'd read, but more often not, because my kid was too young. Now, that I've been dealing with the car line for almost three school years now, I have to say, it's absolute madness. Complete lunacy. I think I can tell you everything I need to know about a person by their behavior on the car line.

Not every school has a car line. Ours does because it's a small school, in a residential area, with no parking lot. There are few rules, but to keep things moving and safe, there are a couple.

The main rule is to pull up to the end of the sidewalk. Meaning the school is on it's own block, with one or two other homes before it. In the front of the school, you're supposed to pull up to the corner where the school block ends and the cross street is to the next block. Different grades line up in the morning at different areas of the school. That's not really anyone else's problem but the kid who may have to walk an extra few feet to their area, but they can manage. Nope. Certain parents think that they should just give valet service to wherever their kid lines up. No problem that there is a LINE OF CARS WAITING BEHIND YOU.

Same with rain. It's raining? Precious can't walk a few feet because he might melt. Sure, just full stop and TALK to your kid as there is a LINE OF CARS WAITING BEHIND YOU.

Now, if we all waited to get to the actual end before letting our kids out, we'd be on that line forever. So once there is a full line, as long as you're in front of the school somewhere, and not in front of the house next to the school, I think it's acceptable to let your kid out. If you can basically punt them out the door. If you're going to take forever, then it's best you wait to be the first care, and pull up to the end WHERE THERE ARE SIGNS THAT SAY- PULL UP TO HERE!

I don't know- I tell E to unbuckle as soon as we reach the house next to the school. I either pull up all the way to the end if I'm the first or second car, or I tell him to quickly hop out and then chuck his bag at him out my driver's side window.

Then there's the one that sits at the end, where people are waiting to move, after the kid's gotten out, and just texts. I don't know what's that important to text about while you're holding up a whole line of people, unless you're an on-call trauma surgeon, but please, go ahead and get that text out.

Those are the drop off rules- pull up, drop kid, go. Nope. Never easy. Someone always needs to be the snowflake.

Then, there's the chaos that's pick up. Pick up is a whole other animal.

There are now signs that explicitly say, "NO IDLING". I make sure that if it's cold for my thirty minute wait in the car (another story), I bundle up. Hat, gloves, whatever I need. Make no mistake, while I'm bundled listening to Stern, I can hear the hum of the car in front or in back of me, just idling away. "But Precious #2 or #2 & #3 or #2, #3, & #4 are in the car with me! They'll freeze!". I sympathize. The sign says no idling. Sorry about your Precious litter possibly getting cold. There are rules. Give them blankets. They'll live. It's like when I tell E- "I'M cold! Put on a jacket". Most likely they're all bundled beyond what they really need anyway. There's a car that idles every single day for like fifteen minutes and it drives my friend crazy. It reminds me of Brody in Mallrats going, "That kid is on the escalator AGAIN!". My friend doesn't really drink but this idling person could drive her to drink. Idling isn't really my hill to die on, but it's ON THE SIGN. So my issue is lack of reading comprehension, AND thinking the rules don't apply to you.

There is NO reason to idle. If it's too cold for you to sit there- you have options! Wear more clothes! If it's too hot- same thing just opposite. Less clothes. Don't feel the need to get as close to the school, wait a little and be on the back of the line. Park and walk. There are numerous other options! 

Then there are the people who are on the pick up line and GET OUT OF THEIR CAR to retrieve their child(ren). This isn't "preferred" or "VIP" parking in front of the school. It's line that's supposed to move more like a conveyor belt or assembly line. Grab and go, grab and go. Not, "well, I have a kindergarten kid. He/she needs help". NO. Then park, and walk. PARK AND WALK! I'm literally watching someone PARK on the line, then get out, greet their kid at the front school door, and walk the kid back to their car. Just look in my car- I'm screaming and cursing them out with the windows closed.

One time, a dad decided he didn't feel like waiting at the end of the line OR parking and walking, so he decided he'd just cut me off to park in front of me, IN FRONT OF THE PERSON'S DRIVEWAY who lives next to the school. People purposely leave that area open, because I don't even think it's legal to park in front of someone's driveway, for any length of time. It just also happens to be a douchey thing to do I actually got out of my car to say, WTF??!, after screaming at him to myself IN the car.  I knocked on his window and he told me to "calm down- I'll move if she needs to get out of her driveway". I don't know him, but if I ever see this guy, I'll be staring at him with WTF-face for as long as I live here. Special snowflake doesn't begin to describe that behavior....

I'm thinking that if people just followed the shortest, easiest list of rules, ever, for dropping off and picking up, there wouldn't be a need for a line or idling committee, or worry about safety, and we could all just go on with our day.

Drop & go. Then pick & go. Do not get out of your car, Do not stop wherever you want to let your kid out. Don't text at the front of the line because you feel people can just go around you. Don't idle. Do not pass go and do not collect $200 dollars....

It's a dog eat dog world on the car line. 

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