Ever read somebody’s post and feel like it validates your own personal shortcomings?
It happened to me with a post by Em Rusciano last week (if you are not already all over her shit like shingles, you need to rectify that situation, stat).
Em vented about the kiss and drop zone at her school, and, boy, did it resonate with me.
As usual, Em is bang on the money. The kiss and drop zone is the sanctum of human misery.
Here’s what Em said:
How does that relate to me?
Our school is in the middle of nowhere. The school neighbours are paddocks full of cows.
Imagine no footpaths, minimal parking.
Given it’s unique location, no kids are walking to school. You need to get to school here? You’re gonna need wheels and a motor – plus, given the lack of parking, you are going to need to manoeuvre those wheels into the *cue scary music* …
Kiss and Drop Zone …
In theory, the kiss and drop zone should be a simple and efficient exercise:
Cars form an orderly queue, snaking into the curved driveway, pausing only briefly to allow children to alight or enter their vehicles. Said vehicles then continue the snake-like queue out of the curved driveway, moving onto whatever destination is next on the parenting agenda.
As Em says:
One fluid motion.
In and out.
Except that never happens … because people are jerks, and kids are jerks, and seatbelts are jerks, and the kiss and drop zone is a motherf#@king, piece of shit, jerk face zone.
I have that shit down pat. Cael doesn’t have the strength to yank open the van door next to his seat, yet – so we have a system. As I strap everyone into their seats in the morning, I ensure the path between the two front seats is clear – no obstructions. Cael’s bag is placed on the front passenger seat and off we go. As we roll into the kiss and drop zone, I prepare Cael with the oldest parenting trick in the book:
“Quick mate, I’ll time ya …”
Challenge set – Cael is out of his booster faster than you can say Minecraft (sidenote: he probably is saying Minecraft), through the front seats, bag over his shoulder, out the passenger door and through the gates in a gangly mess of limbs and bag.
So you’d think – given our efficiency – that the job is done, we can move forward … ha. Haaaaaaaaaaaa.
I’m just going to say this once: IT’S CALLED THE KISS AND DROP ZONE, PEOPLE!
It’s not the ‘Get out of the car and put your kid’s bag on their back and walk them to the gate before chatting to other parents for 15 minutes zone’.
It’s not the ‘Hop out, turn off the car, open your boot, check your kid’s bag, get the baby out, squat down, talk to your kid for half an hour, brush their hair and do up their shoes zone.’
Kiss and motherf#@king drop. Drop and roll. Brake and snake. Move on.
It’s only 5-6 hours and you’ll be back in this queue. Go and get your shit done. Work, shop, internet porn … however you are spending your day, off you go. Your work here is done.
Oh man, I am a hideous person. As the afternoon car snake makes it’s way through the zone I am a muttering, swearing, sighing, steering wheel tapping, ball of arsehole.
I mutter to myself:
“Lady, LADY! You might want to get off your phone, you can roll forward now.”
“Jesus Christ, seriously?”
“Oh sure, get out and put the kids bags in the boot, clearly there is no room BY THEIR FEET! Jesus.”
“Oh for f@#k’s sake, move forward. MOVE FORWARD!”
Then it is my turn. And I am the biggest hypocrite in the entire universe, because Cael’s seatbelt gets stuck …
Every. Single. Time.
A teacher will walk him over to the van, slide open the door and help him up before moving on to escort the next kid to their vehicle. Cael dumps his bag and settles into his booster seat, and while I wait, he reaches over his shoulder to tug on the restraint. Tug. Tug. Tug.
“Mu-ummm, it’s jammed again.”
Out I jump – hoping nobody notices my state of bralessness – and run around the front of the van, making no eye-contact with the teacher, or my fellow kiss and droppers, as I endeavour to unjam the most betraying seatbelt of all time.
The shame. I have the shame. I really am an arsehole.
But at least I’m not alone. Em and her readers are mostly kiss and drop arseholes as well. Huzzah!
Talk to me, what’s your relationship with the school gate like?