1) If you feel the need to “make out” with your children before letting them out of your car please do not enter the drop off zone and proceed to the nearest parking space where you can smooch, snuggle, family group hug and high-five your way to a kinder and gentler morning without holding up the line for 5 minutes.
2) If your children are shoeless, half-dressed or require some final grooming tips before being allowed to disembark from your vehicle please do not enter the drop off-line. All children should be “mission ready” for their school day before you reach the drop zone. This also applies to the parent that feels the need to get out of their car, unbuckle each kid and then place their backpacks on their backs. Rest assured parent if your child can use scissors at school and go to the bathroom independently I can guarantee they have long ago figured out how to master a seat belt and know that the straps to their backpack do indeed go on their back. All you’re doing is holding up the line and sabotaging your children’s fine motor skills.
3) If you have a child that had a melt down en route to school please pull over somewhere private and address the issue. The drop off-line is not a hospitable place to conduct any kind of family therapy. Studies show that a teary, unhappy child is further distressed by the act of having to get out of the car.
4) In the interest of public safety do not attempt the triple play of talking on your phone, putting on makeup and driving while negotiating school drop off. Because when you hit the back of my car it won’t be because I stopped short it will because you were distracted by the superb magnifying qualities of your new lash boosting mascara.
5) Do not, I repeat, do not, get out of your car to “visit” with another mother. Nothing you have to share, no gossipy tidbit, even high value teacher gossip or spousal cheating updates, are valid enough for you to leave your vehicle. All parents doing transportation duties should keep their butts firmly affixed to the driver seat.
6) If your child is having to “pack mule” anything that is either half their body weight, bigger than their arm span or is fragile such as: An Invention/Science Fair project, diorama or worse the dreaded Puppet Stage book report please make arrangements to help them unload and transport said items to school from the safety of the parking lot.
7) If you are in a hurry because you are so much busier and more important than any other parent in line please leave for school 10 minutes earlier so we don’t have to listen to you honk your horn or attempt to squeeze into a line opening that is not big enough to accommodate your vehicle or your ego.
8) If your child’s teacher is the assigned school professional working the drop off zone please resist the urge to address a concern about your child, ask a question about homework or engage in any “sucking up” chit chat. This will only result in you holding up the line and irritating the teacher.
9) Never, ever, park in the drop off-line. I know you think that you’re just going to run into school for less than 60 seconds and what could it hurt to leave your car for a moment but in the time space continuum that is the drop off zone that 60 seconds stretches into at least 10 minutes. It’s not your fault. It’s never your fault. You’re a popular mom and you ran into another mom you needed to talk to or you got waylaid by someone wanting you (of course) to volunteer for the latest fundraiser. Meanwhile, your car is causing not only a traffic stoppage but a disaster is in the making as other cars have to go around your parked vehicle compromising the safety of children.
10) Please be aware that the interior of your car does not make you invisible nor is it totally sound proof. I can see you squeeze that chin zit, pick your nose, do the “what if I got a facelift “ maneuver with your hands as you pull your forehead skin up into your hairline and I can hear you scream at your kids. This, while not always holding up the line, does turn me right off my morning Diet Coke.
In review, the perfect drop off scenario should be as follows: Kids are dressed, backpacks are at the ready. You approach the drop off zone in full alert, hands on steering wheel, preferably in the 10 & 2 position, and eyes forward. One of your child’s teachers is doing drop off duty but you valiantly fight your desire to speak to her about the book report due next week or comment on her “super cute skirt.” When it’s your turn for car unloading you initiate the “bye bye, have a great day” sequence, as children unload swiftly and with all of their belongings. You then ease away from the curb and drive away from the school secure in the knowledge that you are a master of the drop off. Take pride in that fact. It’s not an accomplishment a majority of parents can claim.
*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon. It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read. I hope you like it! 🙂