The joys of the school pick up line

Welcome to Term 3!

I know Term 3 is hard going.  You have been slogging through those school lunchboxes and drop offs and pick ups for two terms now, and now you have to do it all again for another ten weeks, except it is now freezing cold and everyone is still tired and probably a bit sick from our “worst ever flu season”.  On top of all that, Term 3 signals the race towards the end of the year which makes everyone a bit batshit crazy and who said there was 22 Saturdays until Christmas and wasn’t it Easter like last week and I’m not ready for any of this…..

I get it.  I do. 

Which is why I am trying my hardest to be understanding of the fact that so many of you seem to have lost the ability to drive like a sensible, rational human being at school pick up. 

What the fuck people??

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start.

Actually, yes, I do.  At the very beginning.  With the kindy parents. 

Dear sweet kindy parents, with your dear, sweet little munchkins.  Your kids are gorgeous.  Truly precious.  But not so precious that they cannot possibly walk more than two fucking steps out of the school gate before hopping into their nice warm car. 

Until now I have held my tongue, because you are new to our beautiful school community and I was channelling the spirit of being warm and welcoming, which is what our community generally is.

But it has been two terms, and you still appear unable to read the signs that very clearly state NO PARKING in the school pick up zone.  Hell, your child has been at kindy long enough that they can probably read the signs on their own now. 

But where am I meant to park, you cry?

How about the car park (the purpose of which is exactly as the name implies), or alternatively, try one of the seventy billion parks in the neighbouring streets.

And yes, that does mean that you may have to in fact take your baby out of the car, instead of leaving them unattended in your parked car on a public street while you go in to collect your child from the kindy, sign them out, load your arms with their 5 thousand pieces of precious artwork, wait at least 10 minutes for the 4,999th painting to dry, bundle your cherub into his / her parka and return to your car.

But maybe I should cut the kindy parents some slack, it has only been 20 weeks. 

What do the rest of you have to say for yourselves??

Some of you have been doing the same shit every day for YEARS.  This is not a one off situation where a police car pulls up behind you and suddenly you forget how to drive.  I understand that anxiety.  No, this is a situation that is as predictable as tying your shoes.  Every day, as surely as the sun sets and the sun rises, you will have to go and pick your kid up from school.  There is no anxiety here.  Just common sense, and common courtesy.

Unfortunately, neither of those things seem to be very common at all.

The number one rule of the pick up line is: get in the line.  This doesn’t mean speeding at 60kph down the right hand side of the road and then slamming on the brakes and cutting in on a 90 degree angle when you see a space of approximately 30cm between two cars.  The only thing that is going to fit into that space is the plastic ruler in your child’s backpack.  Not a two tonne motor vehicle.

But you have places to be?  After school sport?  Other school pick ups?  Want to get home in time for The Bold and The Beautiful?  Guess what? So do the rest of us.

In my case my eldest child is dismissed from his school (several suburbs away) exactly 5 minutes after the bell rings here.  What can I do to change that? Nothing.  Except wait in line.

The exception to my wrath is if you are turning from the adjacent street into the pick up line and myself or another member of our lovely parent community has waved you in.  That’s not cutting in, that’s just good manners.

What is not good manners is cutting in to wait on the SOLID yellow line.  Y’all know what that solid yellow line is there for?  Not solely to inconvenience you and hold up the line (although it is pretty inconvenient); it is for emergency services vehicles.  Well, that’s what the front office ladies told me and I’m going with it.  So next time you cut in front of someone and find yourself on the solid yellow line, you are not only risking a fine from the council (those of you sitting there yesterday afternoon can be expecting a present in the mail any day now), you are making a statement about the needs of your child being picked up being potentially greater than a child who needs a fucking ambulance. 

Lastly, the line needs to MOVE.  If you are using the opportunity of being in the line to stop every 2 metres and chat to parents walking past, you should not be in the line.  I am writing this to myself as much as I am writing it to you, for as you may well know, I am partial to a good chat.  So if you are in the line and some inconsiderate fucktard is not moving forward because they are having a good old gossip, feel free to beep and yell at me as you speed past and cut sharply in front, nearly taking out the front end of my car.

However, if I am obeying all of the rules of the school pick up line, and you speed up next to me on the wrong side of the road and yell through a closed window that I am a “fucking bitch” as you did the other day for whatever unknown reason, you may need to be prepared to back that up when I approach you in the quadrangle……

But as I said at the beginning: Welcome to Term 3!!

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