Home > Busy Mom's Guide, Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized > A Busy Mom’s Guide to School Drop-Off

A Busy Mom’s Guide to School Drop-Off

Necessary Tools:

  • Armored Car
  • Sling Shot
  • Bull-Horn
  • Ear Muffs
  • Defensive Offensive Driving Handbook
  • “I Brake for Crossing Guards” bumper sticker

When preparing for battle, one must have the necessary tools and a solid strategy.  Elementary school drop-off is no less than war.  The meek do not survive (or their kids are late).  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Know Your Allies – Some inexperienced soldiers think that the crossing guard is the enemy, since she can bring a group of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, stressed out parents to a grinding halt with her long-range stop sign.  Wrong people!  She keeps our kids safe at frequent risk to herself!  Make friends with her, smile and wave every morning, give her extra space and give her an eye contact check before proceeding.  The next thing you know, she will let you slide by, before she allows the 5 minute parade of scooters, bikes and strollers. 
  • Know Your Enemies – They are any parent who thinks their kid is more important than yours or that where they are headed next trumps your next destination.  They park to close to the right hand turn into school, blocking traffic and requiring you to make crazy swerving maneuvers to get around them.  Another enemy is anyone who disregards the crossing guard – shoot them dirty looks.  If possible, use a bull horn to shame them publicly.  In dire circumstances (or with the repeat offenders) do not be afraid to sling shot your cold Starbucks at their car***.  Hey, your coffee wouldn’t be cold, if they followed the program.
  • Practice Offensive Driving – I use my large SUV (or armored car as I call it from 7:40 – 7:55 am) as a child safety device.  I purposely drive 25 mph (the speed limit in a school zone!!) to slow down the other speed demons who are a danger to the kids.  If they tail gate me, I slow down to 23 mph.  It’s “offensive” driving because I find their disregard for children’s safety offensive.
  • Set The Example – My elementary school actually has quite a well-thought out drop-off plan that works when people respect it.  Set the example, work with the program, not against us.  Drop your kid and keep moving, don’t stop to chat while taking space for another little pumpkin trying to get out of the car safely.  Take notice that the darling children who open your car door to let your kids out say ‘have a nice day’ every. single. time.  Thank them!  And tell those sweets kids to have a nice day too!
  • Have a Back-Up Plan – There are days… oh there are days… when the enemy pushes you too far.  What you normally refer to as ‘silly drivers’ in front of your children starts to sound more like an Ice-T album.  Just use the ear muffs!  Don’t let your child hear you lose it!  If you forget the ear muffs, crank your radio and try to swear under your breath.
  • Believe in Karma – I believe in karma and know that karma hangs out with the sheriff and CHP.  One of those three musketeers will catch up with the insane drivers.

In a  delightful twist of demon driving fate, I just opened the following email from our principal:

Please remember to be courteous to students, parents, and staff when picking up your children. It is inevitable that you will have to sit in traffic during drop off or pick up. We ask for your kindness and patience during these times.”

I love our principal, she is a charming lady who carries herself with class and tact.  Her message is perfect and reminds me why I am not the principal, because I would have sent the following:

“It is freaking alarming that some parents show such a blatant disregard for the safety of others.  To those parents that think their time is more valuable than others, think again.  If you have a legitimate time constraint, arrive at school earlier!  Remember, the person you cut off today may turn out to be the one hosting your child for a playdate tomorrow or teaching your child to read in class while you’re causing mayhem on the road!

***Because the world is a ridiculously litigious place, I must inform you that this post is for entertainment purposes only.  I do not encourage or condone any acts of violence or vandalism towards another motorist, even the stupid and selfish ones.  Follow the law!  Especially the one that tells you to drive 25 mph in a school zone and obey all traffic rules!

  1. Lori Dyan
    October 27, 2011 at 7:01 am

    My kids go to a hippie Waldorf school where I pull into the wooded parking lot and take them to see the bunnies in the garden before the bell is rung (and by “bell” I mean full-on Little House on the Prairie hand bell). Yesterday I dropped my friend’s kids off at their public school and almost went postal in the parking lot. It was Lord of the Flies meets Dangerous Minds. I wish I’d read your post sooner….

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Tell me more about Waldorf… it is soothing my frazzeled nerves. So is my morning gin and tonic.

  2. October 27, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Seriously, the drop-off and pick-up lines sound like something from my worst nightmares.

    And I’m someone who loves horror movies, so I have some pretty f’d up nightmares!

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Hmmm… a horror movie about drop-off… hmmm. Mom’s without make-up… this could work…

  3. October 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I used to have to drop my kids off a full half-hour before their elementary school started to get to my own high school campus on time…

    So I never had to deal with crazy parents (thank goodness), but I did have to watch my kids wander alone across the playground…

    Even in the rain.


    After that, I have NO sympathy for parents who are assholes because they are running late in the morning.


    Figure your shit out, people. It’s not the six year old’s fault.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

      Wait… do you mean to say your job is not an excuse for driving like a bat out of hell?! (I use this expression all year long, but it feels awesome less than a week before Halloween!)

  4. October 27, 2011 at 8:10 am

    you forgot one item…bra!

    Did you watch desperate housewives the other day? It was all about the damn car line!

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

      Jamie! Are you spying on my at drop-off? Of course no bra!

      TV? It’s TV or blogging sister and I can’t even blog consistently!

      • October 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

        DVR…I LOVE TV. I am doing both right now!

  5. October 27, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Paige – this is brilliant. Just yesterday I posted a rant on my FB page about psycho-mini van drivers (don’t mean to stereotype all MV drivers but I’m seeing a pattern at our school) who have nearly bull dozed me and my son in the Montessori parking lot. Enough is a enough. I’m about to break out my alter-ego Brooklyn and take it to the street because I am so tired of the blatant disregard for safety. The only think that keeps me from getting out of my car and hauling some speed demon parent out on the pavement is that my two-year old son still needs me and I know that my husband is not ready to take on child rearing duties on his own while I’m in the county jail for assault and battery. Thanks for giving a hilarious take on the school drop off process. I agree with Julie, parents get your S@#T together and get to school on time.

  6. October 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Thanks Portia! I just don’t get how, as a parent, you wouldn’t be concerned for the safety of any kid?!

    If Brooklyn does come out, you’ll have awesome blog fodder! Can you blog from the county slammer?

  7. bearlover
    October 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Damn it! I was reading this on my iPhone while drinking my coffee, putting on makeup and speeding through the parking lot..I only got to the part about shooting dirty looks and using the bullhorn! Wait!!..the crossing gaurd is trying to get my attention, I bet she wants to tell me what a GREAT job I am doing! Ok, just threw my coffee, I’ll read the rest later!!!

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

      I would laugh at your comment, but it is likley you’re not kidding. Did you read my legal disclaimer at the bottom…

      Welcome back Bear Lover!

      • bearlover
        October 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        Disclaimers are like cell phone contracts or privacy notices…NOBODY reads them!

  8. November 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    A back-up plan is a must! Not even a joke, I remember forgetting about my 8am meeting and I was on my way to dropping off the little one, I just called someone else to fill in for me, and the meeting went fine. I just had to apologize to some folks, but thats okay, they all get it.

  9. November 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Teeheee. I HATE drop off! Great post!

  10. December 17, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Man, that was BRILLIANT.

  1. April 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

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