In first grade Melissa was afraid of the bus. She started out the school year when we were still living in Steve's parents' basement while our house was being finished so I drove her to school everyday. Then when we finally moved into our house, and she could ride the bus, she wouldn't. After much coaxing, I finally got her to just try it out and she loved it! We had the best bus driver ever back then. She even had a cool name 'Babe'. Towards the end of second grade, Babe left and ever since then, I curse the bus...
Somewhere someone came up with the idea that as long as your backpack is in line at the bus, your spot is reserved. So there are kids who are putting their backpacks out a whole hour earlier than they would even think of going out. There are a few kids, whose brother will put their backpacks down when he leaves for school (he's in junior high). I've even seen kids sneaking out there barefoot in their jammies (during winter of course) just to put their backpacks in line. Then they run back in the house and get ready for school. I have considered putting my kids backpack out when I go out walking in the morning, but I can't. I grew up in the sticks/ghetto and you just don't leave your things unattended if you want them back.
There was the one time that my brother's bike was stolen. He drove up to our house, and left it on the lawn by the front door. Ran in the house around to the garage to open it and then went to the lawn and it was gone. Not even a minute had passed. So from then on, we would just get home, and yell in the house for someone to open the garage for us so that we could watch our own bike.
So, lately getting a good seat on the bus has become important to Spencer, so he busts it to get ready in the moring and get out to get in line. Maybe it is the fact that it isn't freezing outside, so he doesn't mind standing out there forever. It just seems rediculous that he will stand out in line a half hour before the bus comes. And he's not even first. And why has it become so important to him? Apparently all the kids will get on the bus and then save seats for their friends and later stops. There are only two other stops, but still.
One rule that they have is that only family members can butt in line. But apparently that only applies to some of the kids. The first time Melissa went out and butt in line with Spencer, one of the other kids said, "Hey, you can't do that, no butting!" Melissa's reply was "Why? you do it all the time!" I have to admit I was proud of her, way to stand up for yourself. Noone has said anything since. And I have heard Melissa helping Spencer in the morning to get him out the bus line faster. She will let him go first to get his hair combed and brush his teeth. She has even helped him find his shoe so he could get out there faster.
She got in trouble once for hitting a kid on the bus. There was this kid who was sitting in front of Melissa and her friend. He would pop up and hit (not really hard) Melissa's friend on the top of the head and then hide. And he kept doing this and Melissa's friend kept telling him to stop. And he wouldn't. So Melissa had this brilliant idea that the next time he popped up to hit her friend, she would surprise him with a hit herself. Which she did, only it turned into a slap on the face and she admitted it was a little harder than she intended it to be, but anyway, the kid got to school and told his teacher Melissa hit him. Go figure, no mention of the reason why.
You know, even though all this bus stuff makes me crazy, maybe my kids are better off for it. Maybe they are getting some really good life lessons thanks to all the crap they put up with on the bus. They are learning to stick up for themselves for one. Spencer is learning that if he wants something he has to work hard for it, and a lot of times that means not procrastinating. And for once, they have a common goal and are working together helping each other to get a good seat on the bus. So maybe, just maybe all this bus stuff is actually a good thing.