|It was bucketing with rain.|
At our school, there is a Stop-Drop-Go (I will call it SDG) point where you can pull up and let your children off, so you don't have to find a parking spot. They can just hop out and make their way to the classrooms on their own. You are not allowed to park, you just well...stop, drop and go.
Prep children are meant to be escorted to their classrooms by their parents, so we don't avail ourselves of this time-saving convenience yet. Besides, I still enjoy taking them to their classrooms and intend to do so as long as they'll let me.
I had a bright idea. So that the children wouldn't get soaked in the walk from the parking lot (it involved a wait at the lights to cross the road) and have to sit in their wet clothes all day long, I would just drop them off at the SDG point and get them to wait for me under cover until I could park the car and then I would escort them to their classrooms. I would get wet, but I was able to go home and change, so it wouldn't matter much.
You need to know that we approach our SDG point from the opposite side of the road, so in order to get into the queue, a u-turn is required on quite a busy road. You also need to know that I am a somewhat timid driver, and I hate causing inconvenience or making people wait for me unnecessarily. If I am looking for a specific address on a busy road and there are lots of cars behind me, I will drive around the block instead of slowing down sufficiently to see the address numbers.
My pet peeve is those who pull up at the SDG point and neglect to move up, thus making the u-turn next to impossible and very dangerous.
One such person was doing exactly that, and I was getting agitated about how I was going to make my u-turn and fit into the minuscule space behind him, when he had heaps of space in front. This didn't help my demeanour.
So when it was safe to do so, I did my u-turn and then, being mindful of the line of cars waiting to do their u-turns and fall in behind me, I hurried the children out of the car. Of course, "hurry" doesn't seem to be in a child's vocabulary, so they moved at a snail's pace, so I reverted to my Sergeant Major impression. It goes something like, "Move it, move it, move it! Let's go, let's go, let's go!". This startled them into action, so instead of stepping out of the car, MasterFive tumbled out. I watched him to see what his reaction was. He didn't burst into tears, and he was just brushing off his hand. Alright then, he was OK, I could drive the 100 or so metres up the road to the nearest parking spot, and come back to give him a cuddle and take him to his class.
So after parking the car, getting drenched and returning to where I left the children, I find MasterSeven standing on his own...out in the rain...watching for me to come back.
"What are you doing standing in the rain?" I asked in exasperation. "Where's MasterFive?"
"He went to sick bay"...
Fortunately for MasterFive and unfortunately for my parental ego, a kindly mum saw him fall, and found that he had a graze on his hand that needed attending to, so she took him to the sick bay to be patched up.
|You're gonna have to jump for it kids!|
"You should have seen it! This crazy woman chucked this poor boy out of a moving car and drove off!"
When I turned up, after sending MasterSeven (soaked) off to his classroom, the Principal was applying antiseptic cream and cooing so nicely to my injured boy. As she applied the plaster, every sweet word she said to him was like a blow to me. I imagined her thinking, "See? This is how you are meant to take care of your child, not by throwing him out of a car, you incompetent heartless mother"
I thanked her, and as I was taking him to his classroom, I spotted the mum who had taken him to the sick bay. I thanked her profusely and managed to get in a "I didn't drive off, honestly, I just went to find a parking spot". It sounded so lame when I said it, even to me. And the real bonus? I recognised her. She has a child in the same class as MasterFive, so I get to see this woman everyday, knowing that she probably thinks I am The. Worst. Mother. Ever.
What have I learned from today's embarrassing parental failure?
- Always make sure you put the umbrellas back in the car (no comment required from my ever-tidying husband).
- If your child falls over whilst getting out of the car. Get out and make sure he is fine, no matter how many cars are lined up waiting for you to move on.
- Wear dark sunglasses and a hat for the rest of the school year so that no one will recognise you as the crazy woman who chucked her kid out of the car at Stop-Drop-Go.
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