Stop this ride

I did something today that I have not done in a very long while.

I had to call another parent about the inexcusable behavior of her son. It was so hard because this is a woman who lives just on the street below us--and I can see her house from my back windows...just down the hill...so I will obviously be in contact with her on other occasions. This lady has been so nice to me since we have moved here, and I know that she has difficulties now because her husband has recently deployed for 15 months--leaving her to parent her son and run a household solo in a foreign country. That is no easy feat.

I didn't want to add to the stress of her day, but when Ashlyn comes home in tears because the kids on the bus have been unruly (common lately) and Lauren is reporting (as she does daily) that this particular boy is cursing, running around the bus and being crude and touching another girl on the bum...

I have had it.


I called the transportation office, the school principal and the neighbor. I explained the behavior that has been reported to me by my girls and that is a daily occurrence. There is a bus monitor occasionally on the bus, but the transportation officer tells me that is for "safety". I don't know what he means, exactly, by "for safety". To protect the children if an unwanted person gets on the bus? Come 'on. Aren't the chances greater that the children will be injured in a motor accident if the bus driver gets distracted by the bad behavior? And might I add that part of the road between here and the school is narrow, very curvy, hilly (is that a word?), and it has some very steep places where it would be scary to retrieve a bus or car.

Nick will be riding that bus next year. Hmmm...I wonder what new ideas and words he will learn. Great.

Ironically, a few weeks ago this same little boy (2nd grader) was slapped in the face by a 15 year-old on the bus. So now my neighbor is dealing with that issue and now the fact that her son is expanding other children's vocabulary in ways that I don't even want to think about.

Really, it makes me sick that my girls have to sit through the 35-40 minute bus ride (each way) and observe his crude behavior. In all fairness though, this little boy has played at our house and is always very nice and polite. I guess he just found a way to get some attention from other kids on the bus-it's just the bad kind.

Maybe I was just a little quick to call his mother since we had another cursing incident a few months ago, but the tables were turned. The little boy called our house right after school to tell me that my oldest daughter had told him to "get away"-just using a more explicative term. I couldn't believe it!?! My daughter?!? No. She just isn't like that. I told him that I appreciated him telling me, and I would talk to her after she finished her homework.

She did admit to the deed. She said that he had kept bugging and bugging her, so she got really mad. We discussed a more "successful" way of handling it and she was banned from the computer and electronic games for a week (no IM-ing friends) and she had to apologize to him. I also think that she knew how disappointed I was-and that is usually punishment enough for this child.

So, I was more than happy to call and let his mother know that the principal would be discussing the issues with the children on the bus, and that her son's name had come up in the conversations. She was mortified. She said that she would be talking with him immediately after we hung up.

I do feel bad about the way that I handled it. I wish I would have taken a little cool down time before I spoke with her, because I felt that I was a little harsh, but it's done. I do have a habit of letting those words just fly out---and I desperately want to grab them and restate that thought.

I like the Monsters, Inc. quote (about the paperwork --we have seen that billions o'times, it seems) "Wouldn't it be nice if it all just blew away?". I wish this situation would just blow over.

I do have the option of driving the girls to school everyday, but the thought of rolling out the door with 5 kids by 7:25 a.m. and an hour (round trip) commute sounds like torture. With gas prices just shy of $4.00 per gallon-it could be very expensive as well.

Stop this parenting ride-I wanna get off.

2 fabulous friends:

Bilary said...

I think that is one of the worst parts of being a parent - when you have to confront other parents. If we just had to have the parents get along, that would be one thing, but then throw kids in the mix and OH BOY! That is conflict in and of itself. I'm sorry. It is never fun to have a situation like that.

Let me know how it turns out! Oh, and don't feel bad about not cooling off first. Sometimes, I regret cooling off because then I don't come across as seriously as I want to and I don't say what is really bothering me and then it makes me more mad and it festers for a long time. So, don't worry. You got your feelings out there, and hopefully the problem will be solved and it will all just "blow over" soon!:)

Christina said...

I'm ready to hop off this parent ride, too. Wanna share a get-away car?