Friday, September 12, 2008

Why I Need to Supervise My Kids at the Bus Stop

Most first graders and many fifth graders have a thing about being first in line. Being first is very important and in fact, line position can sometimes make, or break a day.

Jonah wanted so much to be first in line this morning at the bus stop that he went out side 20 minutes early to claim his position. It's only the second week of school, so I'm still pretending to be a "good mom" by hanging out with my kids at the bus stop, but I'm pretty sure that by week four I'll be waving at them from the window when the bus pulls away. By week five, I might hear the bus pull away as I check my e-mail. By week six, it's entirely possible I might be snuggled under the covers, having fallen back asleep by the time the bus drives off with the kids.

Twenty minutes was way too long for me to stand on a curb on a crisp fall morning. I spent a few minutes unloading the dishwasher and figured I'd head outside when I was finished.

Jonah had been out at the bus stop for about 10 minutes when he came back in the house. I could tell he was struggling to hold back a flood of tears. "My Capri Sun is leaking he said," handing me his soaked lunch bag.

"Don't worry," I quickly assured him. "I'll make a new lunch and bring it out to you as fast as I can. Go back and wait for me in line."

I opened the lunch bag and fished out each item, now swimming in 2 inches of Grape Tide. The Uncrustable (don't judge me) was easily salvaged because it was sealed in packaging. I rinsed and dried it off, then deposited it in a clean lunch bag. The homemade brownie was a total loss, but I thought the applesauce, in its plastic cup, surely would have survived.

The applesauce had not survived. The plastic was cracked and the foil top had pulled back slightly so that applesauce was oozing out.

Suddenly my mom-sense kicked in and this scene flashed through my mind: Jonah showing off to his friends. He's going for laughs. He pulls his lunch box out of his backpack, says something silly and throws his lunch box to the ground. He picks it up and tosses it high into the air and watches as it lands in the middle of the street. Laughing, he kicks it back to the curb.

I finished making his new lunch in record time (thanks to pre-packaged foods and some grapes I already had portioned out in a zip lock bag in the fridge) and brought it outside. The good moms were standing with their kids and chatting with each other happily.

"Jonah," I said when I handed him his new lunch, "Did you throw your lunch bag on the ground?"


At this point I looked to the other moms for confirmation. They were smiling knowingly at Jonah's whispered confession.

"Don't do that again." I said. "I won't make you a new lunch next time."

Right away I knew I was lying. I could never send my little boy off to school without a lunch. So I really hope he never destroys his lunch again because I'd surely cave and make him another lunch and what little credibility I have would surely be shot.


Erika and Ryan said...

You are hilarious Afton! Once again I can totally relate to what you are saying. This sounds like something my 9 year old would do, throw his lunch around. And yes, at our bus stop the kids all fight to be first in line, literally! Last year we had a fight between a few of the kids, and then my 9 year old (then 8)got involved, and kids ended up on the ground, crying and dirty, and I was somewhere while this was going on-probably checking my emails Ü--but all those kids ended up in the principal's office that morning, and I got calls from some of the other moms, and it was a big fiasco. Anyway, so I've learned my lesson and now watch my kids from the window until the bus comes to make sure everyone stays in line and doesn't end up with a black eye. KIDS!

Debbie said...

i wish you would've had time to take a photo of the smashed up ozing lunch! super funny story!

Imez said...

"The Uncrustable (don't judge me)"

Oh, but I love you.

Heather said...

That is great. Best of all, I can totally picture Jonah doing all of that. :)