Thursday, October 06, 2005

bus drama

We live a 5-minute drive from Cadao's kindergarten, but it's not a viable walk or bike ride for him, and there's no way we'd drive him to or fro daily, so he has to take the bus. (This would not be necessary if his kindergarten was in the same building as his first through fifth grade will be, but that's another rant.) He's one of the last picked up on the way to school, so has a quick trip there. However, his ride home is about 45 minutes long. He doesn't enjoy sitting on the bus for 45 minutes, and I can't say I blame him. (Why does anyone think it's okay to have 5-year-olds sitting around bored and essentially unsupervised for 45 minutes? School is only 2 1/2 hours long, and if he spent a quarter of his classroom time sitting still with no teacher guidance, I don't think anyone would find that okay. But whatever.)

His bus route makes a loop however, and in the first part of the loop, it passes Cadao's old preschool, about 2 blocks away. It's an annoying walk, because despite our complaints the local car shop thinks it's okay to park all the cars they're working on in the sidewalk, but it's not too bad. So we decide to switch Cadao's bus stop so he'd get off at his old preschool and we'd walk home from there. This makes my life significantly more difficult, but cuts a half hour off his ride- definitely worthwhile.

Dan calls the bus garage, explains the situation, and sends a note in to make the switch as directed. He specifies the exact route number Cadao would continue to ride. At 3:25, I go to the new stop to wait.

At 3:35, his bus roars by, stopping a few houses down to let off another kid, and takes off again. I chase the other kid's mom into her house and borrow her phone to call Dan. He calls the bus garage to find out what's up while I drag Whiny Baby back towards home, figuring I'd get him at his old bus stop.

Halfway home, we encounter Dan running around the corner. Despite explicit instructions to the contrary, the bus people decided to put Cadao on a different bus. Luckily, this bus goes even closer to our house, and we meet it at the corner and retrieve a crying, distraught Cadao, who had been all psyched up and prepared to ride his regular bus but get off at a new stop.

We were furious (and I didn't sleep last night, feeling sorry for poor Cadao; the experience felt lik a kidnapping to him), but rather excited to know that an earlier bus comes so near our house, so Cadao could have a shorter ride without an annoying trek down the sidewalkless street.

But, of course, after his experience on that bus, Cadao refuses to consider riding it. Ever. In his whole life.

So we gave in. Dan spent forever talking to the bus people and ensuring they were going to put him on the RIGHT bus this time, and he was going to get off at the NEW stop, and we had to pretend his babysitter lived there for some obscure reason, but at any rate, it's done. We used that stop today for the first time, and it worked well, although its going to be much less pleasant when there's a foot of snow on the ground. Even with the walk, he gets home 25 minutes sooner than otherwise, which makes us all happier. But none of us like the bus garage very much....


Aunt Maureen said...

The dreaded bus garage; this is probably only your first problem with them. My experience has been that they automatically change the parents' directions to some variation thereof. Poor Cadao! I feel so bad for him.

Dan, Sarah, Cadao, and Alyra Rain said...

Since this happened, he has TWICE asked me for a story about someone getting lost. He never asks for themes like that; if we ask what he wants a story about he'll suggest "pirates" or "the Purim girls" or whatever. It's really sad, but I think he's recovering.