Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

Well, yesterday was the first day of school for Cam, Alex, and Ian. It started off fairly well, with everyone excited and on time.

Our handsome second grader, Alex.

Our good-looking fifth grader, Cam.

And they're off. I even earned a few over-the-shoulder looks -- not sure if the looks were to make sure I wasn't following them to the bus stop or if they were actually giving me good-bye looks.

Our cute kindergartner, Ian.

Feeling bashful and shy lining up for school.

At his desk.

All is well...right?

Not so.

I walk down to the bus stop...gotta catch those just off the bus, first day of school, pictures. Bus shows up. NONE of my kids get off. What the hell?! I stop the driver from driving off.

"You should have three Meyer boys."

"What are the names?" I list them. He says he doesn't have them on his list.

"The two oldest rode the bus this morning."

"There weren't any kids at the stop this morning." WHAT?!!! So now I'm wondering if Cam and Alex even made it to school. Just as I'm starting to freak out, he says, "There's another bus behind me maybe they're on it."

Sure enough. Another bus pulls up.

And this picture says it all (even if it is blurry because I was moving the camera as I realized Ian wasn't with them). Cam and Alex couldn't find Ian at school where the buses line up. They got on the bus that had picked them up in the morning -- which, by the way, wasn't the bus the bus company said they should ride! Meanwhile, the first bus -- the one all the boys were suppose to be on -- drives off before I can double check for Ian.

So we're thinking Ian got on the wrong bus. Policy is that kids are returned to the school if they don't get off (miss their stop, etc.) or, for the kindergartners, a parent doesn't meet the bus at the stop. So Mark calls the school. Three kids had been returned to the school from the bus Cam and Alex had been on but Ian isn't one of them. Someone at the school checks the after school program but Mark can hear them calling the wrong name over the phone. Finally, Mark tells whoever he's talking to that he's coming down to the school. We send Cam back down to the bus stop in case the bus comes back with Ian. I stay at the house with the other two and near the phone.

I get a call from a mom, her son sat next to Ian in class. She lets me know that Ian had been on the bus -- the correct one -- but had been sitting at the back (why the hell were kindergartners sitting at the back of the f---ing bus in the first place I don't know but will be taking that up with the school!) with her son. Likely, Ian didn't recognize the bus stop or had been having so much fun with his new friend he wasn't paying attention. Well, Ian got off the bus with his friend, the mom recognized him from class but Ian was confused as to where he was. Luckily, the school sends out stickers that have all the pertinent info (name, home phone, bus route number, bus stop location) which I'd filled out and put on Ian's backpack. So the mom (THANK YOU JUDY) checked for this, flagged the bus down, put Ian BACK on the bus, and called me.

Because of the policy, I figured Ian would be taken back to school. Mark was at the school. So I sent Alex down to get Cam from the bus stop. About two minutes after that, Mark called and said the bus was dropping Ian off at the bus stop and I needed to get down there because they needed to release him to a parent. So I rush down to the bus stop...who do I meet part way there...the boys. The bus driver obviously wanted to get home. He hadn't waited. I'm so glad Cam had still been there. Because if Ian had been dropped off like that, without someone there, I would have been on the phone with a lawyer yesterday.

As it was, there was a ton of crap going on at the school with other kids and other buses, and the principal came close to calling the police at one point during this whole fiasco. Mark came close to calling the police at least once during this mess. (After meeting the assigned bus driver, I'm not sure I won't be calling the police at some point during the year either.)

This morning I went down to the bus stop with the boys -- Mark just had to be late for work and that was all there was to it, I was a mom on a mission -- and every parent down there had the same issues with the buses as I did but, oh lucky me, I was the only one that had the one kid who only rides home in the afternoons. Anyway, there are two buses that pick up at two stops diagonally across the street from each other. The buses come within five minutes of each other. Kids being kids, get on the first bus that shows up at their stop...I would have too. Why didn't the bus company set it up so one bus picked up at one stop and the other bus pick up at the other stop? Hello?! That makes the most sense to me (and every other parent that was at the stop this morning).

So yesterday, Cam and Alex got on the first bus that showed up that morning. When they got to school, a teacher met the bus, put a color coded tag on their backpacks. After school, the kids were lined up based on those color coded tags. Not a bad system, if the kids ride to and from school. But when you've got one kid only riding the one direction and the route he's told to take doesn't match with the route the others are on...

It was well after five before everything was straightened out. Luckily, Ian hadn't been freaked out because he'd been with his friend. I was freaked out enough for both of us.

Just a side note: today should have been Robbie's first day of school. Unfortunately, he didn't potty train to a point where he could go. He did really well for a while at the start of summer but this last month every thing just regressed.

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