Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Drop Off, Pick Up
Jennifer Flaten

Part of our school’s welcome back to school email included a link to a video on how to navigate the school’s traffic circle. Keep in mind my kids are not bright, shiny kindergartners. No, they are old, grumpy middle-school kids, who can, on occasion complain endlessly, but I digress. 


The school drop off or pick up can be daunting.

I understand how someone unfamiliar with school might need a tiny bit of instruction, a handout perhaps, maybe a map of the parking patterns. If you Haven't done the whole school drop off or pick up it can be a bit daunting, but this is middle school. By now, I spent approximately one thousand hours, of my life, in the drop off or pick up line.

Besides it is rather self-explanatory drive up, push, er, I mean, let the kids out of the car, drive away. One bit of advice, on the first day of school, after a long summer, take care not to burn rubber on your way out of the parking lot. You don’t want to give the kids the impression you are happy they are gone, leaving you to spend five glorious hours in peace.

I can’t decide if I am more irritated that I wasted 10 minutes of my life watching the video or that this video was even necessary. Yet, every time I see some dumb ass that has no concept of “pull forward”, I remember why this video was necessary.


Directed by a teacher convinced he is the next Steven Spielberg.

Directed by the teacher, who is convinced he is the next Steven Spielberg and is just teaching until his kick-starter funding comes through, the video featured a caped crusader showing parents the proper way to drop off their kids.

It was lame. Look, I can’t fault the teachers for trying to inject a little fun into something so boring, but you just can’t make a traffic circle a dynamic subject matter no matter how many movie clips you add in, by the way, I hope you got permission to use those.

Maybe if self-driving cars become a reality they will include a “school drop off/pick up” feature. The car can handle that ever so complicated traffic pattern-go straight and stop-that way parents can concentrate on what is important posting the perfect school pick up line selfie on Instagram.

Is the idea of a line that unfamiliar? You wouldn’t think so, as people line up, right at this moment, to get a piece of technology that isn’t even available until next week. Did they need to watch a video on how to queue up properly?


I need an eject button.

What I need is an eject button, not for my car, but for the car ahead of me. Why am I always stuck behind the family driving a Smart car with a cello, two dogs and the kid stuffed in the back?

First, the kid has to wriggle past the two dogs and close the door before the dogs escape. Then he realizes he forgot the cello so he reopens the door. He makes a makes a valiant effort to release the cello, but it wins that round. The driver hops out and attempts to pry the cello out, meanwhile the dogs escape and the cello wins again.

At this point, I consider home schooling. Then I remember I have zero patience and am willing to pay people to teach my kids, so I don’t have to.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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