Every weekday at 2:40pm, the alarm on my phone goes off. Yes, I'm that kind of mom, who needs an alarm to remind her that it's almost time to go pickup her kid. :) You see, on Conner's first day of school, it was the day after his birthday (which was a big day for all of us), my grandmother had just passed away and I had been packing everyone to go to the visitation that night and funeral the next day, Micah was at my Mom's and Dad's, and Joey was taking a nap. Exhausted, I had fallen asleep on the couch, and just happened to wake up just in time to wake Joey up and go get Conner. It kind of freaked me out, and I've had the alarm set ever since...
Anyway, the alarm goes off at 2:40, and everyone knows that this means it's time to get ready to go. I hit "snooze," and we go potty, often someone is not dressed so we take care of that, sometimes Joey is asleep so I go to wake him up, we find shoes and socks and jackets. Sometimes we suddenly discover that we are starving and can't wait another single minute so we have to get together snacks and drinks. Sometimes it takes awhile!
Ten minutes later at 2:50, the alarm goes off again. Everyone knows that this means it's time to get in the van. Once again, there's three of us to buckle up and sometimes it takes awhile. Especially if one of us (a certain strong-willed one-year-old) is in a bad mood.
Then we're off -- for the grand 3 minute drive to Conner's school. I wish we could just walk, but the road is simply too big and too busy, and there's no sidewalk.
We get to the school, and the first task is to navigate the crazy parent parking lot. It's not really paved, and there are no lines -- and apparently people can't park in straight rows if there are no lines. I never know what kind of spaces will be available or just what kind of navigation I'll have to attempt in order to get a good spot.
Then we unload, which once again, sometimes takes awhile. Sometimes there's a lengthy debate over whether or not Micah wants to take Softie with him. Sometimes Joey has taken his shoes and socks off. Sometimes we've thrown the snack all over the backseat.
Once we get out, we nearly always have to stop and play in the rocks. Parts of the parking lot are semi-paved. (I think maybe the whole thing was paved at one time?) I get in "trouble" if I park on the grassy part where's there's no rocks -- even though that's where I like to park. If we've parked on rocks, Joey has to pick a few up. Or at least try -- they're all stuck in the pavement in some places.
Then everybody gets a hand and we begin the walk. (Yes Joey's pants are wet. On this particular day, he unscrewed the top off his full sippy cup and poured orange juice all over himself and his carseat...)
To get to the front door of the school, we walk across the parking lot, down a fairly steep hill (steep enough that you can't see it in the picture), cross the street, and past all the school buses (saying hi to each one).If there is a flower of any shape or size along the walk, we have to stop and pick it, too. They often end up smooshed or dropped or blown away, but how can I complain. These boys love to pick flowers for me! :)
Once we're at the porch, we don't find a bench to sit on like most normal people. No, we stop at the bike rack. I then spend the next few minutes trying to keep them from climbing it (worried they'll get a leg stuck and then fall and knock out a tooth or two), and/or trying to keep them from picking the dead, dried-up, and hardened crape myrtle buds off the tree (worried they'll eat them or throw them at someone).(And yes, you do see Micah climbing the bike rack and Joey picking buds off the tree...)
It's during this time that, if they're halfway cooperating, I try to find someone to talk to. Slowly but surely, I'm starting to meet and get to know some of the other parents. That's the main reason I go through all of this everyday instead of doing the easy thing and picking Conner up in the carline. So far, it's been worth it!
Finally, at 3:06 or 7, Conner's class comes out and Conner comes running to us.
Joey immediately takes his water bottle out of the side pocket of his backpack, and Micah starts to fill him in on the day's events or the after school snack we're planning to have. I barely get a hug or a word in edgewise.
Funny story -- today while I was trying not to worry about Joey and Micah hurting themselves, I was talking to one of Conner's friend's mom. She had eaten lunch with them today and was showing me a picture she had taken of Conner with her phone. He had ice cream all over his face. Now after school, four hours later, he still had ice cream on his face. :)Then we all hold hands again and begin the trek back to the van. Only this time, Conner is yelling bye to all of his friends, Joey parroting everything he says. There's a tree that Conner always stops at and seems to have to pick a leaf off of, and he usually picks a flower for me, too.
When we get to the Grand Canyon (the fairly good-sized and deep place where the water runs off the hill), someone always gets "stuck," and Joey nearly always has to pick up another rock. (The rocks in the Grand Canyon are much bigger than the ones in the parking lot!)
And finally we're back to the van, loaded up, and on the way home.
Everyday. Five days a week. Unless Bret happens to be home and do it for me, or it's raining or in the thirties -- then I call calfrope and pick up in carline. :)