Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The wheels on the bus go round and round and round and round

Remember my sweet peanut of a daughter who started Kindergarten yesterday? The one who waited for the bus that never came?

Remember her mom who crossed the "I'll never let my kid ride the bus to public school" off the *I'll never* list? Yeah, well the sweet peanut of a daughter got the afternoon ride of a lifetime. As did the opinionated, list crossing mother.

Olivia was suppose to get off the bus on our corner at 3:22. The letter from the district said to wait at the stop 10 minutes before she was to get off. Being the OCD parent that I am (even though I can see the bus stop from my window), I arrived at the bus stop at 3:05. Just. In. Case.

I had been warned by some other parents who have older kids at the school that the buses were running late since they were still ironing out the kinks. So when the bus was 20 minutes late, I decided not to panic. When it rolled onto 30 minutes late, I was so proud of myself because I still remained calm. I told myself I'd give the bus until 4:00 and then I would call the school.

At 4:10 I decided to call Steve and then the school. I also texted a few parents to see if their kids got off the bus. Steve got on the phone with the Department of Transportation (whom he tried earlier that morning to get the scoop on the a.m. bus, but after 45 minutes on hold, gave up) and I called the office. I was told her bus was the last to leave but they didn't know what time it left.

Since she was only suppose to be on the bus for 8 minutes according to the schedule, I thought I would give it another 10 minutes in case it had just pulled out (an HOUR late from school. Seemed weird, but you never know.) At 4:25 when the bus was officially an hour late, I called the school again (and Steve was still on hold with DOT) but gained no other further info, other than the fact that the first week of school, buses tend to run late.

Fine, I get it. But how LATE can you be to the first stop of the afternoon?

Finally, at 4:40 her bus rolled up. I ran to greet her. Off stepped a red faced, sweaty and disheveled Olivia. I looked on the bus and there were no other kids. The driver apologized. She said that she didn't know Olivia was on the bus. She did her whole route and then found my kid. She said no one at the school told her O was on the bus. What the????

I asked if the bus would be arriving from now on at the appointed 3:22 time? She said it would be more like 3:45 because she doesn't even arrive at the school until 3:30 (a half hour after O is dismissed.) Needless to say, an hour and forty-five minutes after Olivia got done with her first day of Kindergarten, she got home. Sweaty, tired and ready for another bus ride! The good thing was that she didn't know the difference.

The bad thing? I did.

I got a hold of the DOT today (after another 30 minutes on hold) and was told that should have never happened (duh... glad I held for that!). Apparently it was the bus driver's fault. Not exactly boosting my confidence in letting my 5 year old ride the bus this year.

So I'll be adding this one back to my *I'll never* list. (Until next year rolls around.)


vwiller said...

So far ours have gone well, though standing and waiting for 1/2 an hour is getting annoying! It is very difficult to keep kids behaving at all....they may start writing spelling words if they can't behave! Now tomorrow with all 3 of them on 2 different busses may be different....

Colleen said...

I wouldn't put her back on that bus either. It's already a long day for her to be away, let alone adding a half hour of wait time at school, plus the bus ride home? No way! Where would she even wait for that time? What a bummer, though, because buses can be very convenient.

jenny from mommin' it up said...

yeee-IKES!! that is crazy. And also crazy that the bus would not even get to her school til 30 mins after school is out!! I myself have been trying to get hold of DOT to cancel Sophie's bus that I never signed her up for. Sheesh. No luck yet. Today I got disconnected somehow while I was still on hold.