Today is also the day my fourth grader has a big project due and he has not quite completed it. He probably would have had enough time to finish it this morning if he hadn't spent a half hour standing at the bathroom counter reading a book when he was supposed to be taking a bath, but that's a story for another time.
We pull up to the school at 5 after. Okay, we're late, but not too late. I know they haven't left without us because I see the empty bus pulling up behind us. Good. I have time while they load. I send the two little ones ahead to their classes, but the oldest is having a meltdown because of the unfinished project and I have to talk to his teacher real quick to see what we can work out.
Crisis contained; now back out to get on the bus. I round the corner to the exit just as I hear the bus engine start. No! I dash out of the building. Not quick enough though, because the bus is already in motion. I know they have to slow down to make the turn out of the drive so I sprint after the bus waving my hands like crazy woman hoping the driver might see me in the rear view mirror, or someone else on the bus will see me and let the driver know.
No one on the bus sees me and the bus turns out of the drive. One last attempt though, because I'm close, so close. "Hey!! Hey!!!" I'm yelling now while running and waving. As if that weren't embarrassing enough, this would be a good point to mention that I am also dodging the various other cars that are coming and going from the school. I'm pretty sure a few of them had to tap their brake so as not to hit me. So while the bus and its occupants are oblivious to the scene I am creating, I do have the full attention of everyone else in the drive/parking lot.
Which is when it happened. It happened in hyper-speed and slow-motion at the same time. In my frantic state of yelling, waving and running, I remembered too late that there is a small white rope that runs between the cones I have just passed through. What I mean is that, as the rope hit my thighs and the first cone tumbled to the ground, my brain starts saying, "Wait, what? Ooohhh..." Unfortunately my body is still in motion and so is the rope that is now tangled around my waist and legs. The rest of the cones are now in motion too, but the cars... well, the cars are not. They have come to a complete stop all around me, just watching me while I flail around trying desperately not to fall on my face.
And there went the bus.
I wish this was the end of my story.
But insult must be added to injury.
I manage to free myself and turn to start picking up the cones when an SUV inches towards me and rolls down the window. "They're going to get gas," the driver says calmly, but I think she looked a little nervous. I notice she has two other mothers in the car with her. "Are you headed to the pumpkin patch, too?" I hope out loud. "You want a ride to the gas station?" she offers. "Oh, please!" I practically beg, but I walk around to the rear passenger side with my head held high pretending that I am not completely mortified at the spectacle I have just made of myself.
I take a deep breath and open the door to find the only remaining seat is occupied by the base of a baby carrier. I unlatch the lap belt and yank, nearly falling backwards because, as it turns out, the base is also secured by tethers at the very bottom. The two passengers stifle a giggle but I can see the driver looking anxiously toward the bus disappearing down the road. There is also a line of cars building up behind us. Cars that have witnessed my shame and know full well that they are waiting on me. I fumble with the straps a little before I realize it's just not going to happen, so I give up, climb in, and sit awkwardly on top of the base.
Silently I pray that they won't. But they do. They offer me comfort. "Don't feel bad," they say, "Jane here, is always chasing after buses." "Not quite like that," Jane corrects quickly, "but I've had to drive behind a bus or two." I force a gracious smile and think to myself, What I wouldn't give to undo it all, and just drive behind the bus.
|Can you see the rope?|
|Car Seat Base|