Having the girls ride the bus this year was a decision based on two key factors. First, we’d save a crap load of money. Not like General Motors bailout money but still a crap load to us. Riding the school bus is a helluva lot cheaper than before and after school care. Rye is in 6th grade and is old enough to watch her sisters after school for an hour or so and – not to be minimized – organized enough to get them on the bus – on time – in the morning. Second, taking the bus allows the girls to sleep a bit longer in the morning and as a consequence the grumpiness level related to waking up goes down. Or so the theory goes.
Well, as strange as it sounds, we were right – mostly – about both things. It is these rare parenting victories where Mom and I rejoice and congratulate ourselves. Here’s video of us celebrating:
Yes, parenting victories. Not as sweet as this:
But still sweet. It is, however, these kinds of moments when God’s sense of humor becomes apparent.
Quick reminder – what makes mornings easier? More sleep for girls and they get themselves to the bus stop. No transportation needs for us. About all we do is make sure they don’t eat Oreos for breakfast and that they aren’t wearing flip-flops and tank tops since the leaves are changing colors.
Anyway, just as we’re getting used to the ease of our new morning routine, reality hits us Mean Joe Green meeting Dan Pastorini. Riley has violin on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, along with sax on Wednesday mornings…and soon to be added – choir on Monday mornings. So we paid for morning bus fees even though it doesn’t look like we’ll need them. Still cheaper than daycare however. Counting this a win.
But that means that Kinsey has been elevated to starting morning babysitter. Putting Kinz in charge of something isn’t difficult. She enjoys being given responsibility and showing us that she can handle it. What worries us is the many ways in which she employs said responsibility. Sometimes I’ll call Riley “Patton” in regards to her management style. Turns out that nickname may have been prematurely bestowed upon the wrong daughter.
The thing I’ve had to explain – repeatedly – is that Kinsey, Bailey and our neighbor who is in 3rd grade have to walk as a group to the bus stop. That means together. It doesn’t mean running ahead and then stopping, turning and yelling at Bailey for not keeping up. It doesn’t mean telling Bailey that it really stinks that the umbrella just doesn’t seem to be quite big enough for her to fit under. And it really doesn’t mean leaving the house without Bailey while uttering the phrase, “guess Bails is going to miss the bus, too bad for her.”
Yeah, first time Kinz is in charge I stayed home to make sure everything went smoothly. Kinz is anxious not to be late to the bus so she’s out the door faster than President Obama can say “fair share” in regards to higher taxes.
“Kinsey! Wait for Bailey. You have to walk together. Got it?”
Then, with me standing not 15 feet from her, she waits for Bails to walk up to her and our neighbor and then BOOM! She gone. Dead sprint for the bus stop. She took off faster than David Caruso could lower his sunglasses and deliver a cliché in CSI: Miami.
Bailey turns and begins to say something to me but the waves on which the sound of her voice were carried never made to my ears. It was overwhelmed by my impersonation of field artillery.
“KINSEY! STOP! What did I just say only 10 seconds ago!?”
“What? I waited for her. She’s just slow.”
Incredulity is defined as the inability or unwillingness to believe. It was a good term for both of us that point. I’m not sure what my face looked like but it must have got the message across.
Kinz groaned, drooped her shoulders and sludged back toward the house. Bails walked up to her and off they went. I waited until they turned the corner before I went back inside.
Upon my return home that afternoon, I informed Kinsey that my line of sight is clear all the way to the corner and just past it. So if she may have been contemplating a mad dash to the bus stop, she should know this information before making that decision.
“Did you do that this morning?” I asked.
“No. You made me come back.”
“I mean after you got to the corner.”
“Did you watch us this morning all the way to the corner?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Well, um, yes…but we were all running. Bailey just wasn’t running very fast.”
So, as they say, we’re still working on this…