The middle school carpool may very well be the death of me. Honestly, either I’m going to have heart failure because it stresses me out so badly, or someone is going to beat me to death for screaming at them for breaking all the rules.
I like rules. They comfort me. If there are rules for me to follow, I’m going to honor them and I’m going to do the right thing. It’s just who I am. Call it boring or tell me I’m a “goody two shoes” (I have been called that, by the way), I really don’t care. I like when there are rules in place and I love it when everyone follows them. It’s called “harmony” people, and it makes the world a better place.
For example, if the middle school principal gives me rules to follow about the carpool, I follow them. In my eyes, the principal knows what’s best when it comes to all things school-related, so if he has rules, I’m going to follow them and I’m not going to question his reasons for those rules.
The rules for the afternoon pick up at my son’s middle school are pretty simple; drive slowly, park your car in a parking space in the lot (many spots are always available), wait for your child to exit the building and get into your car. You can then exit the parking lot in a slow, steady, and mature manner.
Here’s the problem; there are people who come to pick up their children each afternoon who do not follow the rules. From this time on, I’m going to refer to them as the “Non Rule Followers” or the NRF’s. Clearly, they are not comforted by rules as I am, and they must think the carpool rules do not pertain to them, no matter how many emails the school principal sends out reminding them to follow the carpool rules.
These NRF’s do not park in the designated parking spaces, no matter if there are fifty of those spaces available to them. Rather, they park as close as they possibly can to the front door, even if it means blocking the only exit we have to get out of the parking lot once we all retrieve our children.
The NRF’s must think their kids’ legs will shatter into thousands of pieces if they have to walk more than fifty feet to reach their vehicles. Don’t even get me started on the ridiculousness that occurs on the rainy days. Apparently, the NRF’s feel their tiny offspring will melt if water falling from the skies lands on them. Yes, all Hell breaks loose when it rains or, God forbid, it is snowing. The children will certainly freeze if they step foot outside and there are fluffy, white, icy flakes falling from the sky. These people DO realize we live in Michigan, right? It’s going to snow. A lot.
If a handicapped parking space is empty, you better believe it’s fair game. No matter that the non-rule following parent is NOT at all impaired in any way, shape or form. Just the fact that the space is available must mean that anyone can park there and remain parked there until their precious child exits the building.
My personal favorite has to be either the NRF who is on his/her cell phone while he/she is blocking the exit to leave the school parking lot, or the person who parks in the exit lane and then leaves his/her vehicle to enter the school. I’m not sure how this person thinks we’re all going to get out of the lot when his/her car is blocking the exit and there is no one in the car capable of moving it out of the way.
I also love the guy who parks in the exit lane and then proceeds to get out of his car, open his trunk, grab tools, and do some routine car maintenance while he waits for his kid. Dude- don’t you think you can just go to the gas station after carpool? I mean, doesn’t that make more sense?
I am intrigued by the people at the carpool in the very fancy cars who display on their license plates what kind of car they are driving. Don’t we all know? Do they really need to have personalized license plates that read “My Benz” or “My RangeRov” or “STANG”? Don’t get me wrong. I love driving my fancy car, but please kill me by stabbing if I ever personalize my license plate announcing what type of car it is. Nope. Not doing it.
I know I let this get to me way too much. I really need to chill out, take a deep breath, shut the heck up, get my son and be on my way. My head tells me that I should relax and let it go, but my heart tells me to raise some hell. It’s my heart that always gets me into trouble.
I can’t say my son loves it when I honk at the people who block the exit. He probably doesn’t like it when I give the people my “WTF?” look and mouth swear words. I am proud to say I have never said the swear words out loud, nor have I rolled down my windows to scream at anyone. But I will admit there are times I close my eyes and dream that I’m driving a tank and I just plow down that exit line, scattering random cars that are blocking the way as I go. Ah… a girl can dream.
I guess it’s mainly about trying to show my child that rules are there for a reason. When someone is blocking the exit lane, and all the cars trying to get out are driven by people who are getting frustrated, who are trying to maneuver around the car in the way, and the drivers are not looking for the children who are walking out into the parking lot, it gets scary and dangerous. If everyone followed the rules, we wouldn’t have to worry that one of these days, one of those kids is going to get hit.
In fact, last week a woman was backing up trying to squeeze her car in between two cars right in front of the building. There was barely any room, but instead of just moving her car and parking in a space only a few feet to the left, she HAD to get her car right there in front of the school. My son exited the school, and walked out into the lot when the woman’s car was not moving. She didn’t see him, or wasn’t paying attention, and just as he got behind her car, she backed up. He jumped out of the way. He was almost hit. I wanted to exit my car and confront her, but in order to save my son the embarrassment of having a lunatic for a mother, I let it go. Had she actually hit him, I would have gone batshit crazy.
I hope it doesn’t take a child getting hit by a car in that parking lot to get people to change and realize what’s going on right now is dangerous and wrong. I’d like to show my son that when his principal e-mails out a set of carpool rules to the parents, we follow them. It’s just the right thing to do. It’s the safest thing to do for our kids, ALL of our kids.
It would be nice for all the children attending the middle school to exit the building each day and observe every parent following the carpool rules. As parents, if we don’t follow the rules that are set by the school principal, how then do we expect our children to follow them?