For my readers... here's a math question for you.
Q. How many times does a bus stop within a 5-mile radius?
A. Too many times!
My current route is a decent size route, but most of these kids live in relative close proximity, yet instead of having just one stop on a short road, I have to make 3 stops. Short is defined as maybe the length of one and a half football fields. For my babies, pre-k through third grade, I can understand it. But when a highschooler insists on riding door to door, its insane, but mostly due to their friends getting off later, it’s a social thing for many of them. Some stops I have set due to safety because of being on a busy road, but other stops, especially when I do my high school run, I can easily stop at an intersection on a non-busy road and expect them to walk 2-4 doors down to their homes.
There was a parent this morning that asked me if I would take her son along with her daughter to school. The son goes to a school that technically he could walk to, and he has been doing so, but in doing so, he actually has to cross a pretty busy area that often has buses, cars, and other people not really paying much attention to what is happening around them. I told her I would take him on the bus, simply because I have the room, also, it’s a safety concern for that child to walk to that school from where that child lives. There’s another one of my kids that rides in the evenings, but walks in the mornings, once in a great while, I’ll see her coming out of her house getting ready to walk, and because it was cold a few mornings ago, I offered to take her to school. Since she rides my bus in the afternoons it wasn’t an issue.
Rain is another thing. Parents call and complain about their child getting wet in the rain on their walk home from school off the bus. So as a result, every time it rains, we are “reminded” to drop these cherubs as close to the front door as possible. Yeah lady, I’m going to drive my big yellow school bus straight into your living room just so little Johnny doesn’t get wet. You would think rain is toxic to these kids.
Heck, some parents are so petty they will call if you drop their child at the mailbox instead of the driveway, which is a difference of 5 feet away. Some will even call claiming that you LEFT their Cherub at their bus stop in the morning or that you didn’t even come by. I hate to break it to parents but I’ll let you in on a little secret…
1. Cherub was playing around and forgot to get on the bus.
2. Cherub was sauntering his/her way TO the bus stop expecting the world to wait on him/her.
3. Cherub wasn’t READY when the bus came by, the bus stopped and waited about a minute, while ALL the other children who get on at that stop were there, ready and waiting were being seated and getting settled.
4. The bus came by at the usual time or even a little later due to having a substitute. IF Cherub were out there at least 5 minutes AHEAD of time, he/she wouldn’t have MISSED the bus!
Mouthboy also didn’t take my warning this morning and earned himself a write up to be turned in tomorrow morning bright and early. He thought he’d be sneaky and talk quietly, unfortunately for him, I was watching his mouth move in the mirror. He gave me attitude and I’m done dealing with him.
Mini-Mouthboy is another one of my characters that is having difficulty accepting where I’m seating him. He stays up front because of allegations of him and another boy (who is also seated up front) swearing while all my little babies were on the bus. Mini is maybe in 3rd grade and already a pain in the rear. I think I have found a way for him to be helpful. I’m tasking him with seating my pre-k babies as they get on the bus, and once I have assigned seats for everybody, his job will be very easy. I told him, if he did a good job being my helper, I’d consider moving him back a bit. Mini’s sister is another big mouth that does not like to listen. She’s going to learn that she cannot get away with anything on my bus.
Floating along in Choppy Seas,
The Bus Driver