September 13, 2011


You know what is "awesome"?

When on the 2nd day of Kindergarten, your kid doesn't get off the bus. 

Then you tell the bus driver that your kid is on the bus. 

And he calls out his name a few times and no kid comes. 

And then you are like, WTF? 

Then he makes a final call and says the kid is not on his bus and that you will have to call the school.

And then you try not to totally freak the fuck out.

Then you wonder how hard he really looked.  And even though you KNOW that your kid is probably fine, your heart rate is about double normal.

And then you don't have the number for the school, so you have to go back to your house.

Then you call the school and the secretary checks and says that he did get on the bus.

Then you are super pissed because they say you have to go to the middle school, which is like 20 minutes away to get your kid.  And also, you are worrying that your kid will be freaking out, which is making you anxious.

And then you wonder why they are not being MORE HELPFUL to kids who started school YESTERDAY and might need a little extra help with bus stuff for a few days.  Especially since yesterday, your kid was sitting on the bus and didn't get off until the driver called him and he came up and saw me.  Especially since your kid is special ed, and has an IEP, and blah blah blah the bottom line is that part of his sensory issues is that he doesn't always hear/respond his name when you talk to him.  Especially when he is crazy tired because he just started going to school and learning for 7 hours a day and adjusting and COME ON PEOPLE.

Then you get to the middle school and at least the REASON he is there starts to make sense since the buses are now loading up with middle schoolers.  And you walk in the front door and practically bump into the bus driver.

And then he tells you that things will be okay and you can see your kid through the glass in the office and he is totally oblivious to anything being really wrong and seems pretty happy and you are relieved but at the same time you are sort of trying not to yell "WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE?" at the bus driver as he tells you that he makes sure all the Kindergarteners sit at the front but Sam must have slipped away to the middle of the bus and then he didn't respond to his name being called and I wonder why the hell the driver didn't take 5 seconds to walk down the aisle and actually LOOK for my kid and I shakily tell him that Sam is special ed might need extra help and he tells me that he has a kid with Autism who is graduating college this year and I wonder why he doesn't apologize in any way and just tells me things will be okay and both he and the secretary tell me I should remind Sam to sit in the front and watch for his stop and I am like HE IS FIVE DUDES.

And then you walk in and your kids is like, "Hey!  Mommy!" and he is fine and you say woah, that was silly, you had a long bus ride and he tells you that he knows he gets off at Huckleberry Park and you are kind of like, what?  You know the name of that park?  And he says that the other kids were talking and he tried to get them to be quiet so he could hear the bus driver but they were not listening and then through conversation you realize that he may actually have heard his name, but didn't know he was being talked to because there is another Sam in his class, Sam V.


Yeah, that's "awesome".


Aunt Becky said...

I hate to say it but the school and the driver fucked up.  Have them call me.  We got 900 kids home with no one getting lost the first day.   My kindergarten and 1st grade teachers have the parents fill out 10  labels with student's name,  address and phone number.  The kids wear them the first 2 weeks of school.  Also, it is a fireable offense for a driver to let kids 8 & under off the bus without an adult to receive them.  Also your bus driver needs to get off his ass and check when a parent is wating.  Does he not have a radio he can use to contact the schoo to check on a kid?  My advice is to relax for now.  If it happens again, go see the principal. 

I will come to Bellingham and kick ass if you want!! Love Aunt Becky 

Tara said...

Wow, sounds like a really crazy day! My son (Brian) just started kindergarden this year and has Autism. He has been going to public school since he was 3 years old. The VERY worst part of everything for him has been the school buses! The drivers just don't seem to give a crap! This is the 4th year of school buses for Brian. I dread the thought of going another year dealing with the buses! Brian is on a different bus with a different driver this year, so I am really hopeful that things will get better!
All I can say is good luck! I hope and pray that your bus experiences go better than ours have! :)

Jamie said...

Well, first off, it really will be okay.  ;)  Everyone will get the hang of it and it won't be so scary to send your baby away.  Trust me. I promise. <3

Second, when the Princess was in Kindy, they didn't put her on the bus.  A substitute mistakenly thought she was a walker.  So, I'm standing at the stop, no Princess.  I freak out.  The bus driver looks for her.  No Princess.  The Bus Driver tells me she didn't get on the bus.  I ran home (I do not run) in a flat out, absolute, total and complete panic.

She was safe.  In the office. They really didn't ask her the right questions.  They asked if her parents had arrived yet and she said no.  I doubly freaked out and dropped the F-bomb in school because the Princess has a peanut allergy.  It is critical that they KNOW her. 

Oh, we know her.  They assured me.

No you don't.   THe fact that she's sitting here and I hadn't gotten a call makes it pretty f'ing obvious that you don't!

I bet they knew her after that.  SO, it was a useful F-bomb.

I'm certain that Sam, at five, can understand that he must sit at the front of the bus. Absolutely certain.

Good luck!  It really WILL be okay.  <3

Aunt Becky said...

Sorry if I sound like a know-it-all.  It's just that apathy and laziness on the part of school employees really pisses me off.

Colleen Gonzalez said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that. Plus, if the bus driver has a kid with autism, you'd think he would be even more hands on with those kids. It will be okay though. I took the school bus at five and it had only been a couple of days and I was always nervous. One day the driver said, "Everybody out." He meant it as an expression, but I took it literally. Yup, I got off at some random stop and watch the bus drive away as I cried! Some older kids helped me out and got me to me mom. I can only imagine how you felt. I would've freaked. Hang in there and breathe!

Rachael1013 said...

That is awful! The funny thing is that it's really no less upsetting to get off the bus at the wrong place or ride the wrong bus as an adult. When I was 19 I was in London and one night had to take the night bus. I didn't recognize my stop because it was on the opposite side of the street (despite the fact that I'd asked the driver to tell me when we got there). I stayed on until the end of the line, and the driver agreed to drop me back off there... AFTER he took his break. It was awful, it was like 2 AM and I was crying on the bus. So... I can relate to how the kids might feel!

Rachael1013 said...

That was one of my thoughts - the upside was that the driver certainly knew who we both were and where he was supposed to get off the next day! Unfortunately, I don't think that was his permanent driver. Oh well, we haven't had any problems since.

Rachael1013 said...

Hi Tara! Thanks for reading! What school is Brian at? Sam went to preschool in Mt. Baker District since he has had some minor setbacks and sensory issues. We had pretty good luck with the busses there, the first year, two AWESOME drivers, the second year one of them again and then one I didn't like - she seemed really frazzled every day when she dropped him off, and I couldn't figure out why she was driving a 3-6 year old special ed bus.

Rachael1013 said...

I talked to another Mom whose kid had actually been put on the wrong bus - that would have been worse! I am pretty sure that this guy wasn't his permanent driver, so that's something.