Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I have a ledge, & I am not afraid to use it!

I am stuck between Dr. Phil's proverbial rock and hard place. Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?

I am fairly certain that if you have seen me in the past few months you have heard me go nearly apoplectic discussing the insane situation that is my children's school bus routes. The absolutely ridiculous three stooges-esque comedy routine surrounding the simple task of picking my children up and delivering them home from school. It started with no buses at all, moved to drivers who didn't know the route therefore delivering my children 30 minutes late to school, to taking over an hour to return my children home, because my son finally recognized the streets and guided the bus driver to our house.

I screamed, I yelled, I emailed, I threatened contacting the media. The last threat finally worked and I received a call from the director of the transportation department. Since then, I have had the privilege of having direct access to him to scream.

The last fight I had with this department was related to a substitute bus driver seeing my husband outside with our children and yet choosing to NOT stop because we were not at the designated spot. Now, my husband did not even realize she had passed them up because she was a sub (ie different bus) and since my children go to 2 different schools on 2 different routes and many buses pass our house going to several different routes, it never occurred to him to throw himself in front of the bus to force her to stop, or at least slow down as she ran over the "speed bump" of his body.

So we fast forward to this morning.....first day back after a long holiday break. I was just finishing my early morning jig to "and mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again..." when I hear the breaks of the bus and I see....New bus driver, new bus..... Mother-f&$/?!$&!?!!! He hovers and starts to break near the designated spot, sees us waiting 20 feet away and pulls in front of our house. I ask the driver who he is and where he is going, because being a sub, I am not sure if he is here for Max or Ben. Ben. Fine. Great. " uhm, ma'm, we are not allowed to pick up kids in front of their house." yes, yes you can, yes you have, yes you will. " uhm, no...." and he gestures to another man standing inside the bus.... He introduces himself as the safety coordinator. Hello, Mr. Safety coordinator, I am pissed off mom, so nice to meet you...but yes you can pick my son up here and you will pick my son up here. "no, ma'm"..... Look, I am gonna try and keep calm, as I do not wish to scare the small children on this bus, but I have discussed this many many many many times with your director... I have his direct line and he has mine.... So when HE calls me to tell me that things have changed, I will scream at him, but for now.... You will drop him off here this afternoon .....Have a Great day!!!

Fast forward to the afternoon.

He pulls up (in front of the house) and hands me a cute little hot pink sticky note with a name and a number. "Ma'm If you will just call this person, he will explain why I have to stop at the designated spot." Is this person the director of the transportation department? " uhm, no ma'm...." Didn't I already tell you this morning that I have already called the director and discussed this very issue with all the bus drivers before you? " uhm, ma'm I can only do what I am told....." well, I am not sure who the person on this sticky note is, but I am fairly certain he is lower on the totem pole than the director, cause I scream all the way to the top when I am mad, and now I am mad.... " uhm, if you could just call...." the director, yes... Yes I am calling him right now....and I let the doors close, pull my cell phone before he leaves and start to dial the speed dial, yes speed dial.

New secretary answers the phone.... Hi..... you will get to know me very well.....I would like to talk with (director).... he will know who I am. You can remind him, I am the mother who has had to repeatedly call to have the same conversation. I am the mother who calls the media whe she doesn't get a return call. I am the mother who will be waiting anxiously for the call back explaining that once again, he has solved the problem.

" uhm, okay, I will give him the message...."


I then go inside to start my email... 'cause.... well.... when you can't get your frustration out over the phone, email is the next best thing.

I start to forward all the emails I have had back and forth with this gentleman including my scanned diagrams of the streets around me, marking the designated spot and bus routes in coordinating colors.... Yeah... Crazy batshit kind of stuff.

So here I am stewing.... simmering....boiling. My mother says, let it go. Just go to the damn designated spot.

But I can't. I just can't.

Let me explain.... This is a so called safety issue. According to them, it is safer for my 6 year old child to stand in the street of a stranger's home, 30 feet away. A house that has no sidewalks. A street with a blind curve and cars racing in and out of the busy entrance to our neighborhood with clocked speeds of up to 40 miles per hour ( I know this thanks to those handy dandy radar signs that the police park out on our street.) It is safer for my child - and only my child as there are no other children picked up in this part of the neighborhood- to wait here at this safe designated spot, rather then 20 feet away - one intersection and one freaking house away - in his own driveway. A driveway that is merely 10 seconds further on the route in regards to the bus driver putting his foot on the break pedal.

So here I am on the ledge.... No returned phone call or email later.... Trying to meditate on the forest, but I can only micro manage and criticize the trees.

So I ask this simple question again.... Do I want to be right? Or do I want to put this bullshit behind me and be happy......



Sunday, January 02, 2011

What you all were supposed to get in the Christmas Card!

I am fully accepting my lame status when it comes to this years Christmas Cards. I had incredibly grand plans to annoy and bore you all to death with a family letter and a cute family pic, but I could never seem to get my act together!

So here is the letter you were supposed to get:

Happy holidays to you all!

It has been quite a year for our family. 2010 started off with great news that Mike was named the 2009 Employee of the Year for his branch. An honor that included an all expense trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Well, we couldn't let him go alone! We surprised the boys with a "treasure map hunt" that ended in the our new mini van and a sign that said we were going to Disney World. The boys were beside themselves! My mother and I drove the boys while Mike flew ahead of us and spent his first few days of the trip doing work stuff.... Ya know, hanging by the pool and riding roller coasters with fellow employees of the year from across the country. We all had a great time!

It was a big year for Benjamin as well. Ben started kindergarten in the Fall. He was so excited to be going to big kid school, that he refused to allow us to take him to school the first day. He demanded that he ride the bus, something he has wanted to do since the first day his big brother gloriously ascended those magic stairs to the big yellow bus! Ben is doing great, he is literally head shoulders taller than the rest of his friends, but I guess that is to be expected....look at his daddy!

Max continues to amaze us in his dual language program at school. I have even caught him speaking to me in Spanish when he doesn't want his brother or his daddy to know what we are talking about! He is growing like a weed and we have finally started losing those baby teeth! We were hoping for an "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" solo, but as of this letter we only have one open spot and another terribly wiggly one, just begging to come out!

As for me, we had some really big changes at work that kept me busy all year. From moving the office to changing our systems to a web based program, there were a lot of long nights and weekends. Mike and the boys were very supportive and I cannot thank them enough!

Wishing you all an amazing New Year!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

This is how we rang in the New Year!

It was a big night last night at our houesehold. The boys made it to their first New Year's Eve toast! We had a rather lazy day around the house, but once we started going we didn't stop.
We had a quick visit with Tiffanie and her kids, headed to dinner and a movie, followed with grocery shopping (woo hoo, par-tee-time!) Once we got home we had a little family ping pong tourney. While playing a round with Ben, I hear chaos and clanking coming from the kitchen. Max has taken the Christmas gifts he got from Oma Linda and Opa Jim and started setting up his kitchen show. The next thing you know, he was setting the "stage", making his title "opening" and rehearsing with his brother. I thought great, fun, have a good time. The next thing you know Max is saying, "Well, mommy, you have to video it!" So I sit down and pretend to be video-taping the whole thing and Max demands - "No, mommy, FOR REAL!!!"

So for your viewing pleasure, I present - Max's Cooking show!!