Every now and then, I come across children that make me shake my head and wonder, “Why?” I am talking about children who insist on trying to be manipulative to get their own way. Now, most children have manipulative tendencies, but there are a few, such as Puke Girl and Poop Boy who take it to extremes.
Puke Girl is likely in the 4th grade and is a very bright child. She likes to make herself vomit in order to attain attention and to accomplish a couple missions. The first mission is to get off the bus as quickly as possible by vomiting so the bus driver has to call the school nurse, school nurse calls mom, mom comes and picks up the kid, no stinky bus ride home. Her other mission, should the first one fail, be that SHE be the FIRST child to be taken home by the bus driver, again using the vomiting as her excuse. The second scenario typically happens if the child happens to live towards the end of the route.
Poop Boy is a 7/8-year-old morbidly obese boy who is prone to tantrums if he does not get his way. He uses the same tactics as Puke Girl in order to garner attention. If he does not get his way (having a seat to himself, getting off the bus first) he throws a tantrum, huffs and puffs, and poops his pants. The result being a very stinky, tantrum-y child who still does NOT get his way.
Most children when legitimately sick, will have things they cannot control. Most of them don’t think about how they’re going to puke or poop today in order to get attention. I can usually tell those children who are legitimately sick as opposed to the others. Those kids who are legitimately sick typically look sicker than the fakers. They also will come up and tell you themselves instead of sending another student to do the “dirty work.” The main tell tale sign is that other students on the bus tend to roll their eyes at the offender as if to say “Oh not again!!”
I have developed a few tactics to deal with the “repeat” offenders. My first tactic in regards to pukers is no sympathy. I tell them to aim for the trashcan and if they miss the trashcan, they can be the ones to clean up the mess. My second tactic in regards to pukers is that when they are done, they can take and hold the plastic bag ALL the way home, and then they can be responsible for disposing of it. My third tactic is to not give into their demands. If they puke or poop, they get to sit in it or around it all the way home. I’m not going to reroute just to accommodate them. Insensitive yes, but it gets the point across especially on a very long bus ride.
The Bus Driver