May 18, 2005

Damn that bus driver

Lil' J's (aka Squishy) bus driver is annoying me to no end. He's this old guy whose got the patience of a two year old in a candy store. No matter what the season or weather he's wearing this knit cap on his head. Not only is he the drive-off before you even get to the bus kind of guy, he's driving off before the kid even gets in the seat!

Jake's pick-up time used to be 7:41, so we'd go out there at 7:35. My townhouse is barely a minute and a half away. The only problem is the view of the street is obstructed by a row of 1970's style flat top garages.

After coming out to find him impatiently waiting many times, I began to guess he's the overly eager type. Then he began driving away before we even got to the stop. I can hear the bus before I can see it, as I walk down the drive-way. We're running towards him, yelling like lunatics as the occupants in the row of townhouses directly to my left tries to slumber, or get ready for work. Either way, they don't want to hear an out of shape mom in her pajamas screaming at the same lousy bus over and over each morning. Then there's Lil' J aside me, some mornings running with his little hands clutched to his spider-man backpack, all worried that he won't make it. Other mornings, he's just sort of shuffling along with as much enthusiasm as a dental patient. It's always the same outcome, at least a few days of the month this guy just flippin' drives off.

At first Lil' J just had to deal with it. Being in K4 the first few times he was very upset. School's the bomb at this age. Then after awhile, it was like...the bus missed me..right on,
Xbox here I come. All the while I'm pacing about the house looking at every clock, mumbling incoherently.

Then the driver says to me one day, that since he doesn't have as many high schoolers to pick up (Lil' J goes to a Christian K-12 school) he finds himself getting here earlier. So he's moving the time up to 7:38. No duh, you're getting here earlier, and leaving earlier, with or without your stop!! OK, fine whatever. I have to drag Lil' J's butt out of bed even earlier. Anyone with preschoolers knows 3 minutes can make a huge difference when you're looking at pick-up deadlines. Those of you who don't know this yet, I can only wickedly laugh with glee at your naivete.

One would think that we have a solution. Since he's driving off before we ever even fully get to the stop (and still driving as I wave at him frantically), things should be settled. I'm out there even earlier after all.

Nope, wrong. He's still driving away before the pick-up time. The only difference is I'm calling the bus company and complaining, insisting he come back around. Sometimes they send another driver, but most of the time it's this old guy. I want to suggest he get his eyes checked. Maybe he's having trouble reading the watch. Heh.

I'm nicknaming him drive by. You know, he drives by, does a California stop, and then gasses his gi-normous, yellow 'sports' car with lotsa windows like he's reliving the Speed movie. I bet he hollers some sort of hill billy yeeeeeeee-haw as he swings all over town.

Today was another drive by pick-up. As we run out there, he's driving by. But he forgot the pick-up. Yep. This time I haul ass back to the house, call the bus company and begin inspecting every clock in the house.

I'm running from room to room. Doo-doo, doot-doo, doo-doot, doo-doot, doo-doot, doo-doot, doo-doot, dada dada, doo -doo, doot-doot, doo doot, doo doot dada.... Kitchen clock 7:38, Computer, 7:38...TV clock..Wait, where's the remote? Where's the reeeeeeeeeeeeeee-mote? Yes, yes!!! 7:38. Damn that bus driver!!!!

Lil J'- Mom, that's a bad word.

Me: Yes, I know, sorry. Bad mommy.

So I call the bus company and I'm totally complaining. He's been doing this all year I tell them. Yadda, yadda, yadda. There's a discussion, I relay the facts while panting into the phone like some perv. Lil' J is worried because I told him if he didn't get to school, or if he missed the bus, he wasn't going to see the Stars Wars moving tomorrow. I tell him to chill, its not his fault, this time. She keeps putting me on hold to call the driver.

She's telling me that sometimes their watches aren't quite right.

"This happens", she says.

I told her it happens a-lot. I said his watch has been off all year!

The whole time I'm telling Lil' J to keep his shoes on. "No, don't get undressed, you're not playing video games. Keep you're shoes on! Yes, you're still going to school!" She says he's been sent back around.

Me: Let's go, let's go. Get your coat!! Where's your backpack? How could it be misplaced already? I grab his arm and start dragging him out the door.

Lil' J= Mommy, why is he coming back? Did he forget me the first time?

I mumble something else incoherently because preschoolers are notorious for repeating everything you say.

I'm barely out the door and I see him come around the corner flying towards the stop. I bet it kills him to see me w-a-l-k down the driveway. I put Lil' J on that bus, and this time I stand and hold the door so he can't drive off before he's even seated.

I look right at him and say, "So, we've been having a problem this year, haven't we? (I'm tapping the side of the door) You know, as I was running to the stop, you were driving away. That happens quite a bit. So, like, do you need to move the stop up to 7:37 or something. Would that be better? Because apparently 7:38 isn't soon enough or something."

He just sits there with a blank expression on his face. It's always the same, no matter what. Totally clueless, and a bit juvenile. Like he's a 13 year old, listening to a speech given in a foreign language about politics. A subject no doubt he could care less about. Its that 'huh?' look.

He nods. I think it was a yeah nod. He offers up no logical explanation. He just sits there with that same stupid look on his face that I've seen all year.

I don't even think he's capable of having a conversation that doesn't involve him nodding as a response.

Me: "I mean, because I've had to call them to have you come back to pick him up many times. I'm coming out here when I should, but you're driving off. I even checked my clocks and all of them said 7:38 after I got back to the house. So, what's up with that?"

He shurgs then points to his non-digital, ancient looking Timex and says" before we leave, the dispatch has us set our watches."

I reply, "maybe that dispatch doesn't know how to tell time then because when I came running back to the house after you drove off, it was just 7:38, which is when you should be picking him up. I'll be out here one minute earlier tomorrow, we'll see how it works, hey."

Humph. I'm so looking forward to
summer. I think.