January 7, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
There isn’t much in this world that upsets me anymore. I mean, sure, I have a normal range of human emotions (stop laughing, family members) and feel pretty decent most of the time (thanks, Wellbutrin). I try to be calm and rational and look at both sides of a story and keep an open mind (SHUT UP, FAMILY MEMBERS). That is, unless you mess with my kids. Then the Momma Bear Claws come out.
We’re no strangers to school bus drama. Between Bugaboo being mistreated one summer on a “regular” bus (by an aide! Who received a long vacation!) and Bug Boy’s issues with last year’s driver and aide telling him he was a baby for crying (OH YES. THEY DID.), I’ve had some drama. For the most part, the people who drive school buses full of hyper imps do a great job. And driving a special needs bus? Not so easy. Those kids are tough. Trust me, I drive in a car with one every single day. They sometimes cry, act out, try to escape, you name it. And Bugaboo’s drive is a LOOOOOONG drive.
Anyways, Bus. This year’s drivers rock. AGAIN. So when they picked him up yesterday and the driver hesitated and I said my usual cheerful hellos, I knew something was up.
Then she proceeded to ask me how my neighbors were. Naturally, I said, “AWESOME!” because they are and you should be jealous. It’s a great neighborhood and my neighbors RAWK. You missed out on your chance to live here. So there.
Then she told me that someone called and complained. About the bus. Like, the one that stops in front of my house, at my driveway, to pick up Bugaboo? Yeah, that one. Apparently SOMEONE who is my NEIGHBOR called to complain that the bus takes too long, it sits in front of my house too long, I get on the bus and TALK TO THE DRIVERS and we hold up traffic and sit there forever.
OH NO THEY DI’INT.
Firstly, we have to wait INSIDE the house until the bus pulls up to the curb because Bugaboo is an escape artist. If we wait by the curb he DARTS AWAY and runs in the street. And with my limp and lean and inability to, you know, run after him? We cannot wait outside.
Thing the second? The time it takes me to walk him to the bus, block the door so he can’t get OFF the bus, strap him into his seat and pull away while I walk back to the house waving? I timed it today. And we took our sweet ole time. Guess how long it took? GO ON, GUESS.
Two minutes. TWO F*CKING MINUTES.
Three? I get on the bus with him to assist them in holding him while they strap him in. It takes two people most of the time. He’s like a Gumby doll, this kid, and wiggles free easily because he’s skinny as a rail. And quite limber. And I also stand there to BLOCK THE DOOR so he doesn’t run. Which he has done in the past. And! The second we walk out the door? The bus lights go on. The second we climb onto the bus and we’re sure he’s not running away? She turns the bus lights off and motions for the cars to go around. Grand total? THIRTY SECONDS.
And cuatro? My neighbors all know me. They all know Bugaboo is special. They all understand (and are quite patient with) the circumstances. The person that called? Could not possibly be my neighbor. I’m gonna venture out on a limb here and take a wild stab in the dart and say that the person who called is one of the jack*sses that cuts through my neighborhood during rush hour (because I live on a corner and the side street is a popular cut through to get from one neighborhood to a busy road) and gets stuck behind the bus every single day. For less than two minutes.
Because, you know, they can’t POSSIBLY leave their house two minutes later or two minutes earlier. NO! Call and complain that the DISABLED KID TAKES TOO LONG TO GET ON HIS BUS.
Let’s just say that if I ever find out who did this…I’ll prolly do nothing. Except sneer at people waiting for the bus to turn off its flashers. And for now on, we take THREE minutes to get on the bus. SO THERE.