Barefoot in Camo Pants: Getting to School on Time
Getting kids to school on time can feel like trying to climb a mountain every morning. Each day you have to get them, dressed, fed, and sent out the door with all their paperwork. I am more or less successful depending on the day.
We’re Ready for School
Some days, I don’t realize what my kids are wearing until we’re sitting at the bus stop. That’s when I notice my son put on a pair of pajama pants and one of his little brother’s T-shirts. I’m pretty sure belly shirts aren’t in fashion this year, at least not for 7-year-old boys.
As I take in the rest of him, I realize I forgot to comb his hair and most likely his teeth aren’t brushed either. I would ask him, but even if he said, no, there’s nothing I could do about it at this point. I just shrug and decide the teacher has probably seen worse. At least, I hope she’s seen worse.
I’ve already asked my preschooler’s teacher not to judge our family by what he may say. She laughed and asked that I not judge her by what he says when he comes home. So I think I’m safe.
Small Town Traffic Jam
We’ve entered this strange new phase where we have multiple start times at different schools. I now get kids out the door in waves.
We live in a fairly small town. As I drive my daughter to school, I know that everybody in the cars I am passing are heading to the same place I am. For the most part, there’s no traffic except for the main highway that goes past town, unless of course, everybody in the school district is trying to drop off their middle schooler.
That’s our small town traffic jam.
Friday morning proved to be particularly difficult to get my daughter to school on time. Main Street was a nonstop flow of buses, SUVs, and minivans heading toward the school. Unfortunately, I needed to cross Main Street to get my daughter to her first class.
There were two cars in front of me and five behind me as we all waited to either turn or cross Main Street. The lineup was just as long across the street. People were starting to get impatient because time was ticking and kids were going to be late for school. A girl in the car in front of us got out and decided to walk the rest of the way.
Somebody two cars behind me honked their horn. I snorted and wondered out loud what it is they wanted anyone to do about it.
Grabbing the Bull by the Horns
I don’t know if it was the guy who honked his horn or not, but a man got out of his vehicle and started walking up the middle of the street toward Main Street. He was peering into other vehicles as he walked, making me a little nervous. That’s when I noticed his bare feet and camo pants.
I don’t have anything against camo pants, in fact, several of the male members of my family own them. But when you’re walking down the middle of the street barefoot in camo pants you kind of call attention to yourself. He walked into the crosswalk of Main Street, held out his arms, and stopped traffic.
He motioned for the first car on the cross streets to go, which they did. The barefoot traffic cop motioned for several more cars to go before he got out of the street, waved, and climbed back into his vehicle.
It was a short-term fix, as I still couldn’t make it across the street. Instead, I decided to turn right and let my daughter walk the longer route to her class. My daughter and I had been arguing right before the man jumped out of his car, but once he got into the street we couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing. Morning frustration was obviously getting to everybody.
While I wouldn’t recommend directing traffic in your bare feet and camo pants, there’s something to be said about the breaking point of a parent trying to get their kids to school. He had obviously reached his. I would never condone his actions, but there was a small part of me that cheered him on. He at least needed a fist bump.
We’re all in this parenting thing together as we try to navigate the waters of schedules, activities, and a battle of wills (at least it’s a battle of wills at our house).
The next time I’m in one of our small town traffic jams, I will definitely remember the man in the bare feet and camo pants. I don’t own a pair of camo pants myself, but if I ever do reach the point where I get out of my vehicle to stop traffic, I hope I take my shoes off first.
I don’t know about you, but somehow I have more sympathy for someone standing in the middle of Main Street in their bare feet just so their kids can get to school on time.