Carpool is a scary place, especially for the new mom. I remember sitting in the theater at Amber’s old school receiving the directions for carpool. It was like listening to the flight attendant give detail directions on how to save your life when the plane goes down because you knew the fly was going down. I couldn’t follow what they were saying. I was sweating. What are they talking about? I am going to go in where, park over where and pick up who at what time? It was confusing and my head hurt. Then the first day of school arrived and I fell in line like everyone else. This was easy. Or so I thought. There is way more to carpooling that can’t be taught, but learned on the job.
The first few days of carpool were easy, because everyone was on their best behavior. No one rushed. We all made sure to take our time and watch out for our precious little snowflakes as they made their way into the building. After about a month, it got really hairy. As we all fell into our routine, some of us thought that we didn’t need to rush so we might have hit the snooze button one too many times. This resulted in a few kids learning what quick reflexes meant and a few parents saying a few unsavory words. Sorry, but when you almost hit my kid in the school parking lot, because you are late for work, you deserve to hear a few unsavory words and maybe a hand gesture or two. This is tricky, though. Today’s ignorant asshole in the carpool line is tomorrow’s homeroom mom. That is an encounter you don’t want to have. You don’t want to be stuck on a treasure hunt that leads you deep into the swamp for that one special item that the homeroom mom just has to have for the class party. All because you cursed her out during carpool, because she clipped your precious on their way into school. Trust me on that one. I have learned to keep myself in check and keep the road rage to a minimum, when in the carpool line. Keep in mind that I am not perfect.
Then Amber started at a Catholic school. A Catholic school that uses a public residential street for their carpool routine. We received reminders on carpool procedures, but there was a little something extra this time around. We were reminded to not engage in Unchristian like behaviors. Ooooooookay. We were to remember that we had to respect those that lived around the school. Let me stop here and explain the neighborhood around Amber’s school. It is upper scale area and there are some elderly living in the area, who mostly go to the school church. Also, the school has to be careful, because neighbors don’t take kindly when schools want to expand, which ours did with the new church. Although, I don’t think you can really pin that onto the school, but the neighbors don’t see it that way.
I had done well, until today. No big issues. Everyone was always very cordial when allowing 2 lanes of cars to merge into the one lane of carpool. Of course, there are a few parents that feel they have to get their kids as fast as humanly possible so they may not let you merge. That is okay, because I am usually not in a hurry and let’s face it, God will get them for their Unchristian like behavior. I have always remembered to go the speed limit and watch for the walkers while driving through the hood. I never parked on anyone’s grass (Heaven forbid) and if someone couldn’t pass (we have very small streets with very large vehicles) I was more than happy to give up my spot and go around the block. Another point that is an obstacle is there is always some construction or landscaping going on which means more large vehicles taking up more space on small streets.
Today was the day I could have easily thrown down my Christian behavior and got very Unchrisitan in the carpool line. It was early dismissal, which I am sure messes with the plans of the residents. On top of that a side street was closed due to some construction/parish work going on. We were all waiting in the carpool line and it was at a complete stop. Not that unusual. It takes some time for the kids to get down from class. I take this time to catch up with Twitter. Here is where I can hear SoHubby telling me how I need to pay attention, blah, blah, blah. Then there is a rap on my window. This rap belonged to a very pissed off old lady. She is telling me to move up and straighten out. Huh? Wha? There was hardly any room between me and the car in front of me, besides the line of cars behind me. I pull up as far as I can, which seemed to piss her off more. She is shouting at me to straighten out and what is wrong with me. Now, I am pissed, because where the hell am I suppose to go. Last time I checked my SUV didn’t have wings. Here is where I say a few Unchristian things…in my car…with the window rolled up. Why? Because 1. I am still scared of Catholic school officials. There may not be any nuns, anymore, but the Fear of God is still there. 2. As mean as dirt as this woman was, she was old, so not really a fair fight. and 3. I don’t need anything else to make me known as “That Mom!”. I can do that by just being myself.
I pulled up to the curb and watch the chaos unfold in my rearview mirror. Old lady had another old lady with her, with whom she was bitching with…at…who knows. Old lady was then caught by surprised when she saw that the street leading her out of this hell of school children and their parents was blocked. Oh yeah, I had a little chuckle and a take that….to myself. This woman had no where to go, but in line with the rest of us carpoolers. That alone gave me some satisfaction. I will be honest, though, I had had a long day, not too happy with leaving a group of moms to pick up my child early (early dismissal seems to always land on my MOPs days) and I just wanted to lay into this woman. Why did she pick me? There was a long line of cars that she could have set her sights on. Where the hell was she going in such a hurry? I figure by the time I am that age, I really don’t care when I get somewhere and other people can wait for me. The biggest question was what did she say when she got in the car and realized that she was still stuck like Chuck in the DAMN CARPOOL LINE? HA! HA! Maybe it is okay if your Unchristian like behavior remains in your head for your own enjoyment.
Never underestimate routine days as a mom. Around every corner there is something waiting to shake up your day. Just make sure you don’t end up in the parish jail, because you needed to teach an old lady a lesson. And of course, you need to always maintain your mom reputation. You don’t ever want to be the subject of THAT conversation where you are THAT mom. You will, however, want to be invited into that conversation so you can learn all about THAT mom and how to stay out of her way.