Dismissal time from school—ask many moms who pick their children up and the stories will just start. You’ll hear stories of people nearly getting hit people or of cars getting dinged. You might hear stories about parents yelling at each other or using hand gestures to communicate their frustrations to each other. You’ll hear about mothers grasping the steering wheel in frustration while simultaneously trying not to curse with the kids in the car. (Oh wait, that might be me.)
Why does all of this happen? Why do normally rational people, who typically obey traffic laws, park wherever they want, despite the amount of cars that become blocked in by people doing whatever they want? Why do some people feel they can just cross the roadway with their kid’s hand clenched in theirs, even when they see a car coming?
I’ve always found the entitlement that occurs during pick up and drop off to be interesting. It’s so frustrating to me to be waiting to get to a safe spot to pull over to drop off my kids and the person in front of me is dilly-dallying. Is it really necessary to pull over (to the drop off area that is supposed to move quickly), get out of the car at a snail’s speed, get little Johnny out of the car, grab his backpack from the TRUNK (why doesn’t he have it in the backseat with him??) and then make a production out of the hugs and kisses you have to give him? The best is when the mom stands there and watches him walk up the steps and into the building and waves the entire time.
I somewhat understand why people are frustrated in the afternoon. People are rushing to get home and get homework done, or they need to go to an activity or they need to go to another school to pick up another child. The latter is my frustration this year. Both kids are in two different schools, but they get out at the same time. My oldest gets a bit nervous waiting for me, even though he now has a cell phone and calls to find out when I’ll be there, so I feel the need to rush to get to him. Even so, I still don’t park wherever I want and block people in so that I can get out first. That’s just obnoxious.
Do you have any interesting tales to tell about drop-off and dismissal at your kids’ school?
**Note: the drop-off scenario mentioned above does not represent a particular person. This represents a combination of many scenarios I’ve observed over the years.