Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hey, I'm walkin' here.

At pickup today, the lack of space meant I had to park a distance away from the school. Since it was such a gorgeous afternoon, I didn't mind. I envisioned Jordan and I walking hand in hand down the street, with him relaying all the details of the morning's school activities (I can dream, can't I?)

It didn't quite play out that way, but it was pretty close. I went out back to the school playground, where he was waiting patiently on the bench. He saw me and came running - a big smile on his face (that, I would not trade for anything...except cash, maybe). I ignored the blatant rule violation exhibited by the running.

He took my hand and we began the hike back to the car.

"Where's Jordan's car?" He asked.

Where indeed. Not much further now, my little smurf. A few stops on the way to pick up random leaves, acorns, observe a police car...and we were finally there. It was hot!

So hot, someone insisted on dropping his backpack and removing his jacket right there.

I don't know about this parking thing. The road in front of the school is a high-traffic narrow stretch of pavement. Cars plow by at break-neck speed. Traffic patterns are redirected in the mornings to ease congestion, but it's always bad.

The school has recently instituted a new practice designed to minimize the time parents spend at drop off in the mornings. They've begun placing teacher aides outside to escort the children from the cars to the classrooms. This way the parents don't have to park and take up valuable space.

I LOVE this. It frees me up from having to unbuckle and unload two monkeys out of their car seats, strap a backpack on one, forcibly march them up the school steps, sign one in, try to keep the other from messing up all the toys in the classroom, etc. It helps me keep Mina in her seat, and avoids the meltdown that occurs when we've finished dropping off Jordan and have to leave the room (she doesn't want to go)

The only problem is - now that the teachers reach into the car sometimes to grab Jordan and take him out, Mina completely loses it. She bursts into tears and starts hysterically screaming.

"Jobie!!!" (she can't pronounce Jordan's name.) "Jobie!!" She screams again.

Her face turns bright red, and big, fat baby tears roll down her cheeks uncontrollably.

I'm up front trying to be sympathetic, clucking sympathetic little things, but all the while I'm stifling my laughter. Does she think he's being abducted? I don't know what the hell she's thinking. But she acts like she's never going to see him again. I feel kind of bad, because she's already had to say goodbye to her dad in the morning. She's barely recovered from that drama.

En route to the school, we drop Jeff off at the bus stop down the block from the house. He catches it to work. But lately, his departure from the car is accompanied by wails from Miss Mina.

"Dada!!!" She cries. Sob, sob. Violent body thrusting movements in the car seat to emphasize her unhappiness.

It kind of looks something like this, except her face is redder, more scrunched up, and she's sobbing.

I guess she thinks everyone is leaving her, and this abandonment drama, which unfolds three times a week, is probably rife with potential psychological problems. Hopefully, the Dunkin' Donuts run we make after it's just the two of us will make up for it. Nothing like using food as an emotional band-aid.
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