Commuting Observations

I always have to assume this means the child isn’t bright, since they’re obviously running quickly in the picture…

I’m fortunate that I don’t have a particularly long commute to work, but since it’s through a mostly rural area, I have the pleasure of dealing with school buses along the way. It’s amazing that in the short few weeks since school has been in session, I’ve developed active likes and dislikes for some of the families and children along the way… all while never meeting them, but just based on how they interact with the school bus pick up.  There’s quite a variety out there and I’ve named a few of the bad apples…

Spaced Cadets – This is a family with three kids. They are never out and ready, and apparently the outside door of the house has an airlock with a timed-release feature as they never come out together. They generally exit the home one at a time and as they are ambling (no rush) to the bus, there is generally a 20’+ spacing between them. Though I can’t see this, the bus driver must have to follow this protocol too and not let another child on until the previous one is seated, since the delay extends beyond just getting to the bus.

Atlas’s Daughter – This poor child stands about 4′ tall, looks to weigh about 60 lb and comes trudging out with a 3′ tall backpack, that from the way she’s carrying it, must weigh 150 lb. She appears to be carrying the weight of the world as she trudges out from the house each morning. Again, she doesn’t start her trek to the road unto the bus arrives, but I at least feel a little sorry for her. If that pack every pulls her over, she’ll be flaying on her back like Randy from A Christmas Story.

Basketball Jones – This young man must be brilliant, since as opposed to Atlas’s Daughter, he carries no books to school. On the positive side, he is generally out by the road, practicing to palm the ball. But then, when the bus arrives with its built-in audience, he has to dribble his way across the road… maybe throwing in an out-of-control spin move, nearly losing the ball several times along the way.

Dead Heads – There are a couple of houses where the bus stops… for an inordinately long period of time, only to move on. The houses are dark. In the case of one, there doesn’t even appear to be curtains in the windows which truly turn a dark-eyed stare to the street. I’m left wondering if there is ever any follow-up on this. While it’s probable that someone overslept or decided to drive the kids to school, there’s always the possibility that a serial killer paid a visit and the whole family is dead… or worse, they’re being held and tortured with their only hope being that the bus driver reports the absence of their children…

While unfortunately, the above get on my nerves and seem to be all too prevalent, there are still others that are more courteous. Some are waiting near the road, either with their parents or on their own, ready to walk briskly or even run to get to the bus as quickly as possible. There is one young man that appears to have invisible Hellhounds on his tail, because he runs headlong for the bus as if his life depends on it. I like him!!! I want to stop and give him $5 at the end of the week! Ha!

If it’s raining or later this year when the weather is frigid, I understand waiting in the house until the last minute. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to change much of the above behavior. The dawdlers continue to dawdle and the polite and respectful ones are there on time and move to the bus with purpose.

I hate to drop a rant without any constructive solutions. I realize that the children with the poor manners are the product of their parents, so the grief should go upstream… and probably would do no good. But on the houses where no children appear, can the school come up with a sign to put in the window to let the bus driver move on? Maybe a series… One for sickness. One for laziness (went back to bed). One for alternate transportation. Put them on a flip ring and supply a suction cup hook to hang them on the window.

There! Got that off my chest and provided a partial solution.  Oh, and one last thing… THANK YOU to the bus drivers that wave the traffic on around when there’s a line behind them. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. I don’t think I could do your job without ending up as the serial killer listed above!

“Slow Children” sign borrowed from

“Book Bag Girl” gif from

“Friendly School Bus Driver pic borrowed from

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